On December 15, the University of Houston’s Andy & Barbara Gessner College of Nursing held its fall 2023 commencement, featuring Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of Insight Into Diversity, as the keynote speaker. Pearlstein honored the graduates, praising their dedication in pursuing nursing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each of you graduating today made the decision to enroll in nursing school knowing you will be on the front lines, and without regard to the challenges and risks you may also face one day. In my book you are also heroes, and future leaders everyone should aspire to be,” she said.

She compared her career journey to theirs by noting, “Nurses enter this profession to make a difference in other people’s lives, just as I did when I made the decision to buy Insight Into Diversity magazine 17 years ago,” she said.

In her address to the new graduates, Pearlstein outlined five essential principles for achieving leadership success: build connections through networking, start by building small teams, never stop learning, cultivate self-confidence, and prioritize self-care. These principles, she said, are essential for any leader, especially in nursing.

Pearlstein also recounted her father’s experience as a Holocaust survivor, drawing a parallel between his remarkable resilience, his message of survival to audiences he spoke to, and the graduates’ potential to make a lasting impression on the world. She concluded with an uplifting message: “As leaders in the nursing profession, you will not just be defined by the position you hold, but by the actions you take and how you inspire and influence others.”●

This article was published in our January/February 2024 issue.

Above: Lenore Pearlstein, President and Co-Publisher of Insight Into Diversity (black gown, yellow hood); Kathryn Tart, EdD, Founding Dean, Andy & Barbara Gessner College of Nursing (black robe, orange sleeves); Renu Khator, PhD, Chancellor, University of Houston System (black robe, crimson panel and chevrons); Jack B. Moore, Vice Chairman, University of Houston Board of Regents (orange robe); Diane Z. Chase, PhD, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Houston System and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston (crimson robe, blue panel and chevrons), along with University of Houston’s Andy & Barbara Gessner College of Nursing faculty and 2023 graduating class.