Graduates Celebrate their Successful Journey

"New Horizons. A Bright Future."

The Pinnacle of Higher Education!

Friday evening on August 19, as the rains swept through Geauga County, sixty-three graduates received their diploma from Kent State University.

The celebration began in mid-afternoon with a Pinning Ceremony for the Bachelor Degree in Nursing graduates. This tradition symbolically represents the dedication and effort the student has put into their academic journey. At this event, each graduate recognizes a special person that has supported them and encouraged them along the way. Their heartfelt thank you is read while that person pins them. This is always a very emotional experience and, as always, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Newly appointed Interim Dean Susan J. Stocker gave a warm welcome to the graduates and their families at both the Pinning and Commencement Ceremonies. Stocker stated, “Commencement is the highlight of the academic year. It’s always such an honor to present the students with their diplomas.” 

As keynote speaker, Senator Capri Cafaro began her address by confessing she had a difficult time coming up with what to say to the graduates. Cafaro set a scene in her commencement address entitled, “New Horizons. A Bright Future.” of how she was finally inspired.

Her idea came while hiking on what was supposed to be a moderate trail at Acadia National Park. During her hike, rain and fog rolled in making the hike very challenging. She realized “the only way out is through,” Cafaro said. “That’s when it hit me, that this trail hike was a bit of a metaphor for life” and certainly for the graduates.

She said that the decision to embark on an academic journey inevitably is made more challenging by life’s storms. The graduates stayed the course and made it to the finish line. They became tougher, smarter and better at balancing those challenges. “Now there are new horizons” she said, and when other “storms roll in, they’ll be ready to stay the course.”

For over fifty years, the Geauga Campus has witnessed this journey in each and every student. Many of these are first generation college students and members of our workforce, who often share that if the regional campuses didn’t exist, they may not have had the opportunity to commit to higher education. Once again, we are reminded of the importance of higher education, of how it shapes lives and makes a difference in our communities. We are inspired by each story of dedication and determination.

Congratulations August 2016 Graduates!

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies -Performance

Stephen Robert Michael Bundy ~Magna Cum Laude

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies

Clayton Richard Smith ~Magna Cum Laude

Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management

Candice D. Bower

John A. Bull ~Summa Cum Laude

John Pieter Fox Sr.

Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing

Alyssa R. Roach ~Cum Laude

Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies

Emma Shahimanyan

Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management

Brain Michael Yurko

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Hallie Morgan Anderson

Sarah Christina Boeke

Amber Dawn Flanagan

Laura Jeanette Francis

Ryan Thomas Green ~Cum Laude

Thomas Avery Green

Elaine Marie Hill

Andrew John Hospodor III

Amanda Laureen Jackson ~Cum Laude

Nancy Rebecca James

Danielle Nicole Lombardo

Megan Alison Mehicic ~Summa Cum Laude

Brittiany Dawn Ochsner

Brittany T. Paratore

Katherine Therese Phillips

Ashley Marie Pratt

Alexa Teresa Rimback ~Cum Laude

Jenice Teena-Mecole Roberts

Racquel Robinson ~Cum Laude

Jenna Marie Seibert

Janna Jeanne Stefanko ~Cum Laude

Kristen Danielle Valentino

Grace Anna Wyatt

Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies in Computer Technology

Paul Joseph Panehal ~Summa Cum Laude

Timothy Ryan Tupta

Justin Mathew Woodward

Associate of Applied Business in Accounting Technology

Joshua L. Badovick

Associate of Applied Business in Business Management & Related Technology

Jessica Jane Plesz ~with Distinction

Associate of Applied Business in Computer Technology

Cody Edward Eagan

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing –LPN to RN

Laura Louise Bitter

Angela Noel Bonaiuto

Lidiya A. Brown

Jessica Byerly

Gwendolyn Duchaine ~with Distinction

Robin Lynn Isabella

Marquisha Jackson

Candace Q. Jones

Kathy A. McKee

Angela Marie McManus

Dianna Minear

Crystal K. Olinger

Kelsey D. Pratt

Keli R. Ruff

Melinda L. Ruggeri

Alison Elisabeth Scheiman

January Lee Seikel

Tracy L. Suarez

Renee Charlette Wells

Ashli N. Woods

Associate of Arts

Dominique A. Braxton

Dawn R. Hauser

Miles James McDaniel

Associate of Science

Alicia Elizabeth Szemon

Sylvesta T. Turner

Jasmine T. Vaughan

POSTED: Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 4:10pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 24, 2016 - 2:48pm