Commencement is an important day in the lives of most college students, but for recent University of Wisconsin Oshkosh nursing grad Pamela Fleming, the day was especially significant.
Fleming, of South Milwaukee, was a graduate and student speaker for the afternoon ceremony of UW Oshkosh’s 57th midyear commencement on Dec. 18, 2021. Her inspiring speech focused on encouraging her fellow graduates to step out of their comfort zones in order to reach their full potential.
The morning before commencement, she also was honored with the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) Future Nursing Leader Award for fall 2021 at the UWO College of Nursing Recognition Ceremony.
The WNA Future Nursing Leader Award honors Wisconsin nursing students who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and embody the ethics and values of nursing during the education process.
For Fleming, the award came as a huge surprise. She had never heard of it prior to being nominated, and was humbled to find out that she had been selected because of her hard work and accomplishments.
“I feel very appreciative and proud that I was selected to receive this award,” she said. “Being nominated showed me that the involvement I’ve had and the things I’ve done at UWO are impacting and reaching people that I didn’t even know, which makes everything I’ve done so worth it.”
During her time at UWO, Fleming was awarded the Chancellor’s Award of Excellence for involvement, leadership and strong academics; the Founders Award for positive representation of Greek Life; and Titan LeadHERship recognition for leadership, women empowerment and her passion for inclusivity.
She also was very involved on campus, serving as student coordinator for New Student and Family Programs, which plans Titan Takeoff and Titan Welcome events. She served as a peer mentor through the University Studies program, helping students through their first semester at UWO. Additionally, she served as the president of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.
“I’m going to miss the community and connections I made at UWO. I’ve met some of my closest friends, made professional connections and shaped and perfected my leadership skills. Although I’m sad to leave so much behind, I’m so incredibly grateful for everything I’ve been able to do and experience at UWO and can’t wait to begin my new chapter,” she said.
Fleming has since moved to Washington to pursue her career as a labor and delivery nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. In the future, she hopes to eventually earn a master’s degree in nursing or public health, with a focus on reproductive health.