Mercy College of Health Sciences hosted the Nursing Pinning Ceremony for spring graduates prior to the annual Commencement ceremony on April 28, 2023. During the ceremony, graduating students celebrated the accomplishment of becoming a nurse with their families, friends, and faculty at HyVee Hall in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.  

During the ceremony, nominees for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students were announced. Five students were nominated for the award: Bisrat Araya, Isabella Caruso, Rachel Hansen, Caroline Ndi, Amber Sandmeyer, Emily Sell, and Angela Williams. Following the recognition of all nominees, Angela Williams was named the DAISY Award recipient.  

“She was always someone that everyone could go to for assistance or advice,” wrote a classmate. “I would never see her standing around, she was always busy helping someone in one way or another. Angela consistently went above and beyond for each and every patient as well as her fellow classmates.” 

Following the announcement of Williams’ recognition, nominees for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty were also announced. Nominated faculty members included Jane DeGooyer, Jolynn Ernst, Ashley Hoff, Teresa Housley, Nataliya Khalandovskaya, Lisa Martin, Theresa Smith, Christa Steffens, and Jennifer Wieland. Ashley Hoff, Mercy College associate dean of nursing, was ultimately awarded the honor.  

“Ashley is the epitome of a compassionate leader,” stated one of Hoff’s students in her nomination. “She is constantly willing to give help where necessary. Even if it is not her known area of expertise, she will give some sort of guidance on where to go to receive help. Her devotion to both students and faculty shows how bright her selfless demeanor shines.”   

All nominees were selected by nursing faculty and spring graduates.  

The DAISY – Diseases Attacking the Immune System – Foundation was established in memory of Patrick Barnes, who passed away in late 1999 following a long hospital stay. The DAISY Award recognizes extraordinary nurses for their compassionate care toward their patients. In 2010, the Foundation also established the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty to honor the contributions faculty make to the future of the nursing profession. To learn more about the DAISY Foundation or to nominate a nurse, please visit the DAISY website

Ready to Chart Your Course as a nurse? Visit for more information.