The ceremony, which was presided over by MxCC President Dr. Anna Wasescha, opened with an inspiring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by Aja Wilson, MxCC employee. Dr. Wasescha then addressed the students, calling on them to “take what you have learned here and flourish in your lives and in your work.”
Meriden Mayor Michael S. Rohde and Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew welcomed students and families, congratulating them on their successes. Nicholas Reyna, MxCC student poet, read an original piece titled, “Essence of Existence: My Ode to MxCC.” Reyna credited MxCC with providing him with “infinite inspiration” to write and create.
The keynote commencement address was given by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal who complimented the graduates for being part of a generation that “rejects the notion of fitting in to one mold or one pattern” and instead being “ceiling breakers.” He also challenged the audience to leave a better America for all who follow, a mission he says is “uniquely American.”
During the ceremony, Paul Gudelski of Meriden and Dorota Klukowski of Newington were announced as class valedictorians. MxCC Foundation Chairperson George Eames presented the Pritchett-Taylor Scholarships to Paul Gudelski of Meriden, Flavia Bird of Meriden, and Leisa Allen of Branford who each had the highest cumulative GPA in the class, and who completed the majority of their degree at MxCC. Additionally, MxCC presented the MxCC Distinguished Service award to the Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education (MILE) program.
Dr. Wasescha conferred an honorary degree upon Hugh Cox, a tireless supporter of community colleges in Connecticut and MxCC in particular. For more than 40 years, Mr. Cox dedicated his time and talents to support the community college system, helping to improve countless lives.
Dr. Wasescha also conferred the status of professor emeritus on Greg Horne, professor of psychology and human services who will be retiring from teaching at MxCC after 41 years of service. It is estimated that Professor Horne has taught more than 10,000 students during his distinguished career.
The graduating class consists of a truly diverse group of individuals from throughout the region who attend the College at all stages of life: right after high school, after serving in the military, after time in the workforce, or after retiring from one career and starting another.
“Our graduates exemplify what can happen when talented students take advantage of the academic and career programs at Middlesex Community College,” said Dr. Wasescha. “Every year at graduation, we are reminded of the positive impact of small classes, early connections with students, and a faculty dedicated to teaching. That is what we hear from students. And what we celebrate, and want our community to know, is that our students are talented, energetic, curious learners who have the capacity to make a positive difference in the world. All of us at Middlesex are proud to have had a hand in the success of our graduating students.”
Middletown residents and their degrees are:
Agnieszka Drozd, radiologic technology Amanda Byrd, general studies
Amanda Colavito, human services Amanda Durno, general studies
Amelia Pramuka, general studies Ana Sanchez, accounting
Andrew Carducci, fine arts graphic design Artha Slade, therapeutic recreation (certificate)
Audrey LaRosa, business administration Awilda Lopez, early childhood education
Brett Kummer, criminal justice Brittney Edwards, human services
Charlene Hill, business administration Corey Robinson, general studies
Courtney Braccioforte, general studies Daniel Skurat, human services
David Fortuna, general studies Diamond Indino, business administration
Enid Butts, human services Floyd Warmsley III, manufacturing machine technology
Halima EL idrissi, biotechnology Heidi Jolon, accounting
Hendrik Sorensen, accounting Ingrid Campos, ophthalmic design and dispensing
Jacsen Cummings, communications Jaimie Shaw, general studies
Janet Suquilanda, early childhood education Jason Goetz, general studies
Jill Montinieri, general studies John Damboise, accounting
Jonathan Wright, manufacturing machine technology Kellie Robbins, therapeutic recreation (certificate)
Leeanne Deleon, general studies Lisa Gangone, business administration
Maureen Thomas, accounting Meghan Watson, fine arts: graphic design
Melissa Kowaleski, human services Michael Sullivan, criminal justice
Naomi Yiadom, biotechnology Olivia Nimani, liberal arts and sciences
Pamela Barbee general studies R. Scott Morley, marketing
Rachael Woolard, accounting Renae LaCoss, business administration
Rose Mbanugo-Etuka, general studies Sam Chichester, communications
Samantha Corsini, general studies Sanila Hossain, accounting
Shaina Owens, human services Shirley James, therapeutic recreation (certificate)
Stephen DiCarlo, general studies Suolang Jie, general studies
Thomas Artesani, manufacturing machine technology
Thomas Shea, general studies Thomas Elem, general studies
Trevor Honer, general studies Tyler Schoffstall, general studies
Victoria Buttaro, general studies Samantha Cyr, general studies
Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College (www.mxcc.edu) is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. In all it does, Middlesex Community College strives to be the college of its community. By providing high quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, the college enhances the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. MxCC, recently named a "Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education, offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at the main 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, and online.
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