AACC graduates largest class

| May 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

aaccAnne Arundel Community College graduated its largest class ever at its 52nd Commencement on 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, on the Arnold campus.

This year, 2,357 members of the Class of 2014 received a total of 1,858 degrees and 1,065 certificates. That is 300 students above the previous record of 2,057 set in 2012. Some students received more than one award. The 2,965 total of degrees and certificates is 678 more awards than the previous record of 2,245 set with the Class of 2012.

“We have initiated a number of innovative programs to help more students be successful and complete their programs of study,” said Dr. Dawn Lindsay, president of AACC. “We also saw the largest increase in enrollment – double digit figures – when the economy dipped a few years ago as more people went back to school to retrain and improve their job opportunities. We are seeing more and more of those students graduate, which benefits them and our local economy.”

She pointed to programs such as the Student Success Initiative in the School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education, which won the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Career and College Readiness Outstanding Change Agent – Postsecondary Career and Technology Education Award of Excellence for a team that included a mentor and student coach that worked with students to boost retention. Then, another team of people in the Registrar’s office and in Counseling, Advising and Retention Services checked students’ graduation records and applications and then notified students if they had earned – or were close to earning – additional awards. These efforts are in addition to the teams and programs that provide counseling and additional resources to help students succeed.

In addition to the greater number of graduates and awards earned, the college also had 48 students who had perfect 4.0 grade-point averages, the highest number of perfect scores ever reported. Fourteen of those applied to be valedictorian. This year’s choice is Daimei Li of Linthicum, who earned an Associate of Science in Business Administration Transfer degree and is planning to continue her studies in accounting and finance. The Presidential Scholar, traditionally a student who finishes within two years, is Zachary J. Yokel of Greenbelt, with an Associate of Arts in Transfer Studies. The other high-achieving students are the Student Marshals. The Student Marshals and the degrees they earned are:

·         Holly L. Brook-Cotton of Millersville, Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant.

·         Leigh M. Emerson of Lothian, Associate of Arts in Fine Arts – Music Option, Associate of Arts in Transfer Studies.

·         Casey Lynn Fitzpatrick of Arnold, Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant.

·         Frances C. Grady of Edgewater, Associate of Applied Science in Business Management, Certificate in Business Office Management, Certificate in Business Communication Concentration.

·         Matthew P. Greeley of Glen Burnie, Associate of Science in Nursing Transfer.

·         Christi M. Hahn of Baltimore, Associate of Applied Science in Architecture and Interior Design – Interior Design Option, Certificate in Architecture and Interior Design – Interior Design.

·         Beth M. Haneke of Annapolis, Associate of Arts in Transfer Studies.

·         Marcel L. Martin of Baltimore, Associate of Applied Science in Homeland Security Management-Intelligence Analytics.

·         Melissa Hope McKenna of Middle River, Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts Option, Associate of Applied Science in Hotel/Restaurant Management – Culinary Arts Option.

·         Mackenzie Webbert Pendry of Annapolis, Associate of Arts in Art – Film Studies Option.

·         Samantha J. Simmons of Crofton, Associate of Arts in Transfer Studies.

·         Barbara J. Wales of Odenton, Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology, Certificate in Medical Coding.

The college had additional honor graduates, with 212 associate degree recipients (including the 48 with the perfect 4.0) with a grade-point average between 3.8 through 4.0, graduating summa cum laude; 203 associate degree recipients with grade-point averages of 3.6 through 3.79, graduating magna cum laude; and 230 associate degree recipients with grade-point averages of 3.4 through 3.59, graduating cum laude.

Faculty Grand Marshals are faculty are chosen by seniority from among those retiring this year and include: Wayne Ehler, professor, mathematics; Darlene Mallick, J.D., professor, homeland security and criminal justice institute; Lee Ann Moore, associate professor, computer technologies; and Gary Thomas, Ph.D., professor, business management.

Faculty Marshals are the John and Suanne Excellence Award winners representing each school. From Arts and Sciences are Nancy Chell, associate professor, mathematics; Beth Hufnagel, Ph.D., professor, astronomy; and Heather Riordan, associate professor, mathematics. Representing Business, Computing and Technical Studies are Robert Beatty, adjunct professor, business, and Gretchen Mester, Ph.D., professor and department chair, economics. From Continuing and Professional Studies is Hannah Barger, EBS specialist, language learning and adult education. From the Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education is Joann Oliver, associate professor, nursing.

Kurt Schmoke, recently appointed president of University of Baltimore and current general counsel and interim provost at Howard University, was the Commencement speaker.

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