College Leads in Creativity, School Spirit

By: Katie Coburn

The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing sailed its boat-like float to a first-place finish for the second consecutive year at the university's annual Homecoming Parade Saturday, Oct. 22.

This marked the college’s fifth year participating in the parade, hosted by the UC Alumni Foundation, and its fourth float entered to build teamwork and camaraderie among faculty, staff, students and alumni.

"We're not just involved with academics," says Sophia Amati, one of two third-year nursing students who served as co-lead student float technicians. "We're more involved with the community of the school."

Leadership Extends Beyond the Classroom

More than 100 of the nursing college's faculty, staff, students and alumni dressed in UC College of Nursing T-shirts walked alongside the float to pass out candy and promotional items to parade spectators. Among several other floats representing various clubs and Greek life organizations, the nursing college was the only college from UC to enter a float in the parade.

"It just shows what we're being taught in our classes and how we portray ourselves in our jobs or in clinicals," says Olivia Pirosko, co-lead student float technician. "We’re being taught leadership."

Float Features Founder of Modern Nursing

More than 85 nursing students, faculty and staff dedicated roughly 500 hours to designing and constructing the nautical float in the two weeks leading to the parade. To fit the "Bearcat for President" homecoming theme, college members fabricated the float to depict George Washington's 1776 crossing of the Delaware River, an idea proposed by first-year nurse anesthesia student Brian Deatley BSN, RNSA. Dubbed the USS Nightingale, the float also paid tribute to Florence Nightingale, founder of the first organized training school for nurses in 1860, which UC used to model its nursing college in 1889.

The float featured two medical mannequins, clothed in Continental military garb and posed as boat rowers; second-year nursing student Jack Stigler, dressed as the Bearcat commander-in-chief; and Dean Greer Glazer RN, CNP, PhD, FAAN, dressed as Florence Nightingale. As Stigler led the float down Clifton Avenue, he held the head of East Carolina University’s mascot, a pirate. ECU played UC in this year’s homecoming football game, which UC won 31 to 19.

Eric Price, CATER (Center for Academic Technology & Educational Resources) helpdesk coordinator and float technical director, says he wasn’t surprised the college won first place in the float competition.

“When talking to the other colleges, no one else really had any intention in really competing,” Price says. “We had such a huge representation; I’m hoping that it’s going to inspire other colleges to say, 'You know next year we need to step it up.'"