Student of the Year Award

At a ceremony on December 14th honoring Pace University Family Nurse Practitioner students, Cathy Concert, a four time Lienhard School of Nursing alumna (and very active adjunct professor) presented her son with the Student of the Year Award – the same award she won when she studied nursing at Pace.  The award recognizes scholarship and exceptional dedication to the ideals of the Lienhard School of Nursing.

Cathy Concert's son, Tom Concert said, “I was shocked when I found out that I would be the Student of the Year.  I did not expect it at all.  I am humbled and grateful to those who nominated me.  This journey was not easy for me, as I graduated from nursing school almost 13 years ago.  Information was not as fresh in my mind as when I was a new nurse.  So to balance the demands of schooling and a leadership role at New York Presbyterian/Queens left me very drained sometimes.  I see this award as an acknowledgement of my commitment to the program and that the faculty saw the hard work and effort I put in.  I am truly honored to receive this and it provides a great deal of validation to me personally.”

Cathy expressed her pride in her son, saying “You have demonstrated that through persistence, dedication, caring, and hard work, anything can be achieved. You inspire others with your motivation and creativity.” 

Tom started at Pace in 1999 as a computer science major.  He also worked part time as a unit clerk in a busy emergency room in Brooklyn.  The nurses and doctors he worked with noticed he was very good with the patients; they encouraged him to consider studying something in the healthcare field.  He eventually switched his major, but the computer science courses did not go to waste – today Tom runs the Nursing Informatics department at New York Presbyterian/Queens and is responsible for the technology that the nurses use to provide quality patient care. 

He says, “In 2014 I decided to go back to school, get my post-masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner and eventually continue for my DNP.  It was the best decision I ever made.  The experiences with patients have been wonderful, and I really have been challenged to think in a whole new way.  It has also enhanced my knowledge in my current job, allowing me to communicate and understand other providers such as physicians and nurse practitioners more effectively.” 

Tom is grateful for the faculty members at Pace.  He says, “Throughout my nursing education, I had phenomenal faculty at Pace.  Each and every one of them shaped me into the nurse I am today.  I am particularly grateful to Dr. Renee Mcleod-Sordjan who managed to make some very dry content extremely memorable and at the same time imparted years of clinical experience with a great sense of humor.   The things she shared with us were very valuable when it came time to see patients on our own.  My mother probably served as the best ‘faculty’ member of all.  Growing up I saw her care for family members and neighbors using her nursing skills along the way to keep them safe.  I watched her in leadership roles, and those interactions with her staff and her displays of fairness and diplomacy helped shape the nurse leader I have become today.  She taught me some of the most valuable lessons of my nursing career.  You treat every patient as if it was your family member in the bed, and when it comes to difficult decision making, you have to do what you feel is right in your heart.   Never compromise on your integrity.”

In addition to Cathy receiving the Student of the Year Award when she graduated from Pace University’s FNP program, she also won one of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program pillar awards when she graduated with the first DNP cohort.