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Immaculata University to Hold 95th Commencement

Immaculata University will hold its 95th commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 17 at 6 p.m. for graduates of the College of Graduate Studies; and Sunday, May 19 at 10 a.m. for graduates of the College of Undergraduate Studies and 3 p.m. for graduates of the College of Adult Professional Studies. This year, 395 students are eligible to graduate.

The Immaculata community is pleased to welcome Barbara Wadsworth (of Blue Bell, Pa), senior vice president of patient services and the chief nursing officer of Main Line Health, as the commencement speaker for the College of Graduate Studies on Friday. Pat Haggerty (of Dresher, Pa), basketball coach for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, will serve as the commencement speaker for the College of Undergraduate Studies on Sunday morning. Patricia Knecht (of Downingtown, Pa), vice president at Assessment Technologies Institute, will speak at the commencement ceremony for adult undergraduates on Sunday afternoon.

Barbara Wadsworth, DNP, RN, MBA, FACHE, FAAN, NEA-BC:
Barbara Wadsworth has dedicated her life to helping others as a nurse and as senior vice president of patient services and the chief nursing officer of Main Line Health. With over 30 years of executive nursing experience, Wadsworth leads nearly 3,000 nurses at MLH and strives to create a culture of caring through the use of holistic therapies, shared decision-making and advocacy. Wadsworth also oversees Main Line Health’s major performance excellence initiative, in addition to other system-wide projects focused on patient experience, embedding the culture of safety at MLH, palliative care, and advancing care coordination and population health to meet the needs of the community. Wadsworth is also responsible for the inaugural Clinical Pastoral Education program at MLH.

While ensuring Main Line Health’s nursing team is offering superior care to patients, Wadsworth has also continued to advance her own professional development. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice, Health Systems Leadership, from Vanderbilt University in 2014. She is also certified as a Nurse Executive, Advanced; a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing; and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow; was inducted as a Fellow into the National Academies of Practice in March of 2017 and completed the National Baldrige Executive Fellowship in 2017. Wadsworth serves on several boards, including serving as immediate past-president of the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania, and she is a member of the Immaculata University Master of Science in Nursing Advisory Board. She is the current vice chair of the Gift of Life Board of Governors and previously served six years on the Medical Advisory & Policy Board. She is chair of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Center Board Nursing Leadership Committee and is serving on the Montgomery County Board of Health for a second term. She was appointed to the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of PA Board in 2017. Wadsworth has also served on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Board in 2014 and their executive leadership team in 2015. Wadsworth lives with her family in Blue Bell, Pa.

Pat Haggerty:
Beginning his career in the auto sales industry at Faulkner Toyota, Haggerty has worked his way up through the organization and is currently the general sales manager of Faulkner Infiniti. There, he oversees the new, used, finance, and internet departments and all lots and facilities. He focuses not just on numbers and outcomes, but emphasizes people and process. Haggerty also recently implemented a new management style that emphasizes attitude, energy and effort.

As an assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach for his alma mater, Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, Haggerty recognizes the similarities between businesses and basketball programs. With this in mind, he created a blog, CoachHaggerty.com, where business leaders can discover ways that basketball teams are successful and implement some of these desirable components in their own business models. In addition, business leaders can learn from coaches who are successful at recruiting, training and motivating players and developing their talent. Haggerty returned to college as a working professional to earn a bachelor’s degree. He graduated in 2016 from Immaculata University with a business management degree. Along with the leadership of a dynamic coaching staff, Haggerty helped the varsity boys’ basketball team from Archbishop Wood win their first-ever Pennsylvania State Championship and their first Philadelphia Catholic League Championship in 2017. Haggerty lives in Montgomery County, Pa.

Patricia Knecht, Ph.D., MSN, RN, ANEF:
Serving as vice president of integration services for Assessment Technologies Institute since 2017, Patricia Knecht is helping future nurses reach their career goals. With 40 years of experience, she knows what it takes to be a successful nurse in today’s health care field. Working with 2,000 clients nationwide, Knecht leads four areas of integration service that maximizes collaboration and focuses on client needs. In this capacity, she oversees over $100 million in business where her team maximizes the use of data analytics, providing solutions to their clients aimed at achieving excellent program outcomes. Prior to her role at ATI, Knecht was the chair of the Division of Nursing at Immaculata University where she had oversight of the pre-licensure BSN, RN to BSN and MSN programs. She began her nursing career at Bryn Mawr Hospital and then Reading Rehabilitation Hospital before transitioning into the academic side of nursing. Knecht taught nursing courses, including classes at Immaculata, while focusing 17 years of her career on administrative duties, serving as director of practical nursing for the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU).

Knecht received her associate degree in nursing at Gwynedd Mercy University, followed by a BSN from Immaculata University, an MSN from West Chester University and a PhD in nursing from Penn State University. Throughout her career, Knecht has been recognized for her many contributions to the field of nursing including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Gwynedd Mercy University, the Achievement Award for Excellence (in field of health) from the March of Dimes, the Chester County Golden Apple Award and induction into the CCIU Hall of Fame. She also serves as a fellow for the National League for Nursing Academy for over a decade. Generously supporting her community, Knecht has served on numerous advisory boards and committees including previous appointments as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Practical Nursing Administrators, chair of the Chester County Health Care Task Force and co-chair of the leadership council for the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers. She currently serves on the Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital Board and is the co-founder of a 501 C3 non-profit, Holiday Hope Chest. Knecht lives with her family in Downingtown, Pa.

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