Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege hosts 52nd com­mence­ment

A to­tal of 1,404 stu­dents grad­u­ated dur­ing Blue Bell cer­e­mony

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane VanDyke

BLUE BELL >> Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege cel­e­brated its 52nd Com­mence­ment on Thurs­day, May 16, dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony held at its Cen­tral Cam­pus in Blue Bell.

“All of us at Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege are com­mit­ted to the suc­cess of our stu­dents — it is the core of our mis­sion. It’s what we do,” MCCC Pres­i­dent Kevin Pol­lock said dur­ing the cer­e­mony. “Stand­ing at 1,404 grad­u­ates who col­lec­tively earned 1,417 de­grees and cer­tifi­cates, the Class of 2019 is proof of our com­mit­ment.”

The class, rang­ing in age from 18 to 69 years, in­cludes 91 Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice Academy grad­u­ates, 44 vet­er­ans/ac­tive mil­i­tary per­son­nel, 29 Culi­nary Arts In­sti­tute grad­u­ates, and 26 in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ates. Four­teen stu­dents grad­u­ated from the Hon­ors Pro­gram, 256 grad­u­ates are mem­bers of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor So­ci­ety and three grad­u­ates are mem­bers of Mu Al­pha Theta, the math honor so­ci­ety. Forty grad­u­ates have a 4.0 GPA and 670 stu­dents grad­u­ated with hon­ors.

MCCC Board of Trus­tees Chair­man Frank X. Custer con­grat­u­lated the grad­u­ates and en­cour­aged them to con­tinue the next steps in their jour­ney.

“Tonight marks a won­der­ful mile­stone for all of you, but it is not an end. That is why this is called a com­mence­ment – a be­gin­ning,” Custer said. “Your sto­ries will have many more chap­ters, and I hope that all of us have played at least a small part in giv­ing you the tools to write chap­ters filled with ac­com­plish­ment and hap­pi­ness.”

This year’s Com­mence­ment

Speaker was MCCC’s Vice Pres­i­dent of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy and Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer Celeste M. Schwartz of Am­bler. A grad­u­ate of MCCC, Schwartz is be­gin­ning the 50th year of her ca­reer at the Col­lege, start­ing in the data pro­cess­ing depart­ment and work­ing her way up to her cur­rent po­si­tion.

Along the way, she con­tin­ued her ed­u­ca­tion, earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion from Saint Joseph’s Uni­ver­sity, a mas­ter’s de­gree in Com­puter Science from Vil­lanova Uni­ver­sity, and a Ph.D. in Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion from Walden Uni­ver­sity. In ad­di­tion, she taught Com­puter Science classes as a part-time in­struc­tor at MCCC for more than 20 years.

In 2018, Schwartz re­ceived the na­tional EDUCAUSE Lead­er­ship Award, which rec­og­nizes ex­em­plary lead­er­ship that has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on ad­vanc­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in higher ed­u­ca­tion. Schwartz is one of only three com­mu­nity col­lege lead­ers in the coun­try to re­ceive this award. Lo­cally, she was hon­ored with the 2018 Growth Award at the Women’s Life­style Con­fer­ence as an in­spi­ra­tional achiever in her pro­fes­sion. In 2002, she was in­ducted into the col­lege’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

Dur­ing her speech, Schwartz talked about the im­por­tant role of men­tors in her life and how she, in turn, men­tored stu­dents, em­ploy­ees and col­leagues. At the end of her speech, she asked the grad­u­ates to take a mo­ment to think about the peo­ple who helped them reach their goals and to thank them with a text or tweet.

“When you leave this even­ing’s cer­e­mony, I hope you carry with you the mes­sage that you have the power to pos­i­tively im­pact the lives of oth­ers — one in­di­vid­ual at a time,” said Schwartz, en­cour­ag­ing the Class of 2019 to reach out and help oth­ers.

This year’s Stu­dent Com­mence­ment Speaker was Lo­gan Bri­anne Har­ri­son, a Hu­man Ser­vices ma­jor from Pottstown. She spoke about her ex­pe­ri­ence at MCCC, which started with the Gate­way to Col­lege Pro­gram — a pro­gram for high school stu­dents who are at risk of not grad­u­at­ing.

“Once I learned what I was ca­pa­ble of, I wanted more for my­self,” said Lo­gan, who had some health con­cerns and fell be­hind in high school. “I turned my grades from D’s to A’s and grad­u­ated early from high school with awards, a high GPA and a strong sup­port sys­tem.”

She then con­tin­ued her stud­ies at MCCC, while work­ing two part-time jobs and vol­un­teer­ing with a lo­cal non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, In Ian’s Boots. Her plans in­clude con­tin­u­ing her ed­u­ca­tion at Ch­est­nut Hill Col­lege and work­ing in a ca­reer field where she can help oth­ers.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, MCCC’s Vice Pres­i­dent of Aca­demic Af­fairs and Provost Vicki Bastecki-Perez pre­sented the 2019 Chris­tian R. and Mary F. Lind­back Foun­da­tion Award for Teach­ing Ex­cel­lence to As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Ac­count­ing Heather Thomas for her ex­cep­tional teach­ing. Ac­count­ing Se­nior Lec­turer Frank Bucci and Ex­er­cise Science and Well­ness Se­nior Lec­turer Michelle Dono­van re­ceived the Part­Time Fac­ulty Teach­ing Ex­cel­lence Awards in recog­ni­tion of their work and ded­i­ca­tion.

In cel­e­bra­tion of her 50 years of ded­i­ca­tion to stu­dents and their suc­cess, MCCC’s Foun­da­tion cre­ated the Dr. Celeste M. Schwartz Legacy Fund for stu­dent schol­ar­ships in STEAM — Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Arts and Math­e­mat­ics. For more in­for­ma­tion and to make a do­na­tion, visit www.mc3.edu/lega­cy­fund.

List of 2019 grad­u­ates Abing­ton: Car­los Avia, Kan­dis Brown, Ge­selle Car­doso-Ro­jas, Jared Clay­brook, Ian Dock­stader, Miles Dut­ton, Zachary Far­rell, Carolyn Feeney, Mar­i­anne Heath, Colleen Hunter, Gena Jean, Al­bert Jombe, Joseph Kali­noski, Jen­nifer Kings­berry, Ash­ley Melvin, Maura Nolan, Re­becca O’Neill, Tim Pham, Matthew Ren­ner, Rosolin Sin­gle­tary, Jacine Wright-Boykin

Am­bler: Sina Ab­basi Kam­ma­sai, Charles Adams, Joshua Bag, Kiana Basta, Michael Bis­sig, Renee Blatt, An­toinette Bre­sadola, Erica Bush, Colleen Cameron, Jes­sica Car­roll, An­gad Chan­ney, Ethan Drakely, Heather Ear­lin, Jen­nifer Gamboa, An­drew Guar­nac­cia, Amanda Gullo, Stephen Ham­berg, Eun­sung Han, Ash­leigh Jensen, Julie Kelly, Kenneth Las­siter, Kaylin Miska, Lo­gan Moloshok, Jen­nifer Moon, Evan Mor­gan, Viet Nguyen, Adam Oehrle, Eu­gene Park, Mimi Petrova, Cather­ine Quiroz, Mar­cus Ram­sey, J. Blake Rem­ley, Clarice Schillinge­r, Mag­gie Si­mon, Amy Spitko, Cait­lyn Thomp­son, Terry Tuckey, Shivam Verma

Ard­more: Lovena Bent­ley, Sanita Carter, Ch­eryl Jones, Steven Scimeca Ard­s­ley: Kelly Bren­nan Ar­ling­ton: Han­nah Fritch­man

At­glen: Ryan Well­come Audubon: Rosanna Avra­ham, Jef­frey Ba­con, Bradley Costa, David Hag­ner, Michael Karmin­ski, De­laney Miller, Jaime Min­nick, Mor­gan Perry, James Quigg, Cooper Re­ich­wein, Ty­rone Till­man, Trevor Varano

Bala Cyn­wyd: Jor­dyn Ehrich, Manase Vigli­etta Ban­gor: Alexa McMaster Barto: Julie Howell, Con­ner Leap, Jonathan Mel­chior, Melissa Meyer, Christa Shel­don, Jonathan Stro­bel, An­ge­los Var­daxis, Ou­ra­nia Car­daxis, Ali­cia White

Bech­telsville: Brian Mi­hal­cik, Anna Min­nicks

Bel­mont Hills: Daniel Hudecki

Ben­salem: Shannon Glea­son

Bess­mer: Matthew Green Birds­boro: Kyle Ben­jamin, Bran­don Hultz, Colin Miller, Alexander Olen­gin­ski

Blue Bell: Rachel Aubrey, Cae­sar Belchez, Robert Boehme, Lor­raine Byer, He­len Cho, Leon Clem­mer, Michael Daule­rio, Martin De­laney, Jeremiah Diaz, Lynn Fo­ley, Ye­ogyeong Gim, Ja­nine Hall, Se­bas­tian Hol­labaugh, Theresa Jun, Brian Kashon, Roula Khaldi, Dongjoon Kim, Si­won Kim, Sa­man­tha KimBro­phy, Ash­ley McGro­gan, Ti­ne­sha Moore, Re­becca Saunders, Brit­tany Trz­nadel, Scott We­in­feld, Juae Yuh, Re­becca Zim­mer­man

Boy­er­town: Bran­don Beck, Ash­ley Ben­der, Jonathan Gon­cus, Heather Graber, Kelly Gracely, David Kreis, Ni­cole Lott, Kait­lyn Mancini, Danielle Saviello, Sara Sha­ef­fer, Kyra Sick­ler, Friedrich Specht, Zachary Wede­meyer, Zachary Weisel, Paul Za­haria

Brent­wood: Alexis Black­s­hear

Bridge­port: An­drea Be­tan­court, Kaitlin Bren­nan, Hope Daniel, Yas­min Gant, Jes­sica Gross­miller, Amy Groves, Pa­tri­cia Hart, Bran­don Sch­les­man, Marina Wassef Brig­an­tine: Grace Emig Broad Axe: An­gela Lutz Brook­lyn: Philippe Le­spinasse

Broomall: James Martin Bryn Mawr: Jack­son Api­celli, Richard Ham­mond

Cen­ter Val­ley: Ja­son Knier

Chal­font: Sophia Bilotta, Jef­frey Boesch, James Bur­ton, Jen­nafer Clark

Chel­tenham: Joseph Ben­nett, Dorothea Bowen, Brian De Rivera, Larry El­lis, Me­gan El­lis, Stephanie Hill, Khalid Houm­madi, Kristina Kout­souros, Is­abel Loy­ola, Melissa Martinez, Jen­nifer Nguyen, Ezinne Ot­tih, Loymi Per­alta, Jade Sim­pler, Cailtin Wal­lace

Ch­ester Springs: Zane Fasel, Tamar Haut, Ni­cholas Tum­millo

Coatesvill­e: Adam Co­hen, Kes­lie Het­zel-Cas­tro

Col­lege Park: Lola Christie

Col­legeville: Vic­to­ria Adams, Nathan Alle­bach, Naira Bakar, An­drew Brewer, Kath­leen Bullen, Alexan­dra Carr, Stephanie Colucci, Ch­eryl Cortes, Ai­dan Dean­ge­les, Rus­sell Doughty, Mor­gan Ernst, Ju­lia Gal­lagher, Bryan Gonzalez Moy­ano, Richard Gramm, Adrian Grow, Ben­jamin Higley, Ri­ley Himes, Ali­ak­sandr Hlad­kou, Lynn Ho, Gas­pare In­ter­rante, Matthew Kehm, Re­becca Knight, Erica Lein­hauser, An­drew Lesin­ski, Jen­nifer Lou, Jes­sica Mandik, Matthew Mikesic, Maria Goretti Osei-Bonsu, Bret Perry, Chelsea Ra­m­age, Naveen Ra­man­julu, Casimir Rankowski, Quin­ton Rusin­ski, Rose Sch­miedicke, Kyle Skelly, Shane Staret, Natalia Toscano, Court­ney Waslo, Ni­cholas Waslo, Mitchell We­ber, Ray­mond We­ber, Maria Woy­den, Binli Wu, Jef­frey Wynne, Jes­sica Zuczek

Col­mar: Tyler Di­et­terich, An­thony Keo, Brenda Krissinger, Melissa Krissinger, Deb­bie Nguyen, Kather­ine O’Brien, Jen­nifer Wal­ton, Whit­ney Wil­liams, Cas­san­dra Wit­ner

Con­shohocken: Ny’elle Ar­ri­eta, Este­fany Bis­sell, Emily Bohner, Kristina Brooks, Fiona Car­da­mone, Jeo­vana Ibarra, Kanikah Jones, Jes­sica Lawder, Ja­son Mal­lon, Kathryn McArthur, Hisham Mo­hammed, Samir Panah, Zamir Panah, David Seidenberg, Steven So­lis, Stephanie Tam­many, Ak­i­lah Wil­liams Coop­ers­burg: Britt Tagg Coud­er­sport: Pa­tri­cia Jones

Cream­ery: Ti­mothy Nestor

Croy­don: Kayla Lux Darby: Ade­joke Ag­boola Den­ver: Michael Mor­ris Douglassvi­lle: Alyssa Cuesta, Kayla Gar­reaud, Joseph Gib­son, Al­li­son Skin­ner, Mau­reen Sul­li­van, Kim­berly Trois

Dover: Holly Spencer Down­ing­town: Lisa Moloney, Olivia Slup­ski

Doylestown: Theresa Durkin, Carine Stu­art

Dresher: Daniel Aquino, Kayla Co­bette, Matthew Cozen, Daniel Miller, Kathryn O’Don­nell, An­drew Wirstiuk

Drexel Hill: Me­gan Parker Dublin: Sarah Bauer Ea­gleville: Ash­ley Allen, Deb­o­rah Bar­nett, An­to­nio Chiar­aval­loti, Shayla For­nal, Crys­tal Lee-Patch­ett, Hum­mad Mirza, El­iz­a­beth Perez, Is­abella Ri­vard, Kelsey Rivera, Sam Tat, Tosha Tay­lor

East Greenville: Alisa Blevins, Jac­que­lyne Bohn, Noah Di­mar­cello, Marisa High­lands, Dy­lan Hur­rey, Re­becca Klau­men­zer, Alex Motto

East Nor­ri­ton: Amira Ab­dul-Rashid, John An­dreoni, Ma’lissa Blair, Re­becca Hoover, Austin Ig­nas, Bri­anna Kel­ley, Mon­ica Losota, Elseba Nyag­wegwe, Raj Rawal, Nia Smith, James Wayne, Hazel Zook

Elkins Park: An­drea Bes­tul, Au­tumn Blakeney, Hathaichan­ok Chanklang, Au­tumn Costanzo, Mi­lan Davis, Ter­rae For­tune, Bri­ane Freeman, Grant Heath, Melody Heath, Kayla Hen­schel, John Laud­erdaleSmit­h, Jeke­niah Leonard, Joyce Mais, Sharon Over­ton, Meriel Schutkof­sky, Shamell Slade

Elver­son: Ni­cholas Mal­com, Charles Panos, Jerod Silva

PHOTO BY MATTHEW WRIGHT

Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege grad­u­ates are all smiles as they an­tic­i­pate re­ceiv­ing their diplo­mas.

DAVID DEBALKO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

MCCC’s Class of 2019, rang­ing in age from 18 to 69 years, in­cludes 91 Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice Academy grad­u­ates, 44 vet­er­ans/ac­tive mil­i­tary per­son­nel, 29 Culi­nary Arts In­sti­tute grad­u­ates, and 26 in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ates.

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