By Denise Dick
By DENISE DICK
Today’s commencement ceremony will be a family affair for a Columbiana mother and daughter.
Terry Hutson and her daughter, Elizabeth Hutson, or Liz as she commonly is called, will earn their degrees from Kent State University in the ceremony at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.
Terry, who works as a nursing academic adviser at both Kent’s Salem and East Liverpool campuses, is getting her master’s in education. Liz is receiving a bachelor of science in nursing.
Liz, 24, who graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in psychology in 2008, was working as a research assistant at a hospital in Rhode Island when she decided to go back to school.
“I saw what the nurses were doing and what the psychologists were doing and decided I like what the nurses were doing better,” she said.
That was a dream come true for Terry, who had been encouraging her daughter to pursue nursing.
Terry, 52, lobbied for Liz to follow that plan with the accelerated nursing program at Kent.
“If you already have a bachelor’s degree, in 14 months, you can earn a bachelor of science in nursing,” Terry said. “They use your past credits.”
Liz is graduating magna cum laude, her mother proudly explained.
Terry, who graduated from Youngstown State University in 1987, already was taking classes toward her master’s when her daughter enrolled at Kent.
“We were always joking, and I told her that I was going to get my master’s before she does,” Liz said.
So Terry sped up.
“Once she came back, I started taking extra classes so we could graduate together,” Terry said.
Terry plans to continue to take classes, and Elizabeth, who works as a nursing associate at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, is looking for a job as a psychiatric nurse working with children.
Mother and daughter went to get their caps and gowns together too.
“I just graduated about two years ago, so I wasn’t all that excited about the graduation ceremony, but my mom is all gung ho about it,” Liz said.
Mother and daughter also decorated their graduation caps together.