Commencement 2006: Completing
N. Wilfrid, Ph.D.
Mercer County Community College's 39th annual Commencement ceremony on
May 25, we celebrated the completion of degree and certificate programs
by a marvelously diverse group of 834 graduates during the past year.
The day before Commencement, our Honors Convocation recognized scores
of graduates who had achieved distinction in their respective programs
of study. Two weeks earlier, we celebrated joyfully the completion of
James Kerney Campus-based GED, ESL and career training programs by several
hundred other individuals. For all of these students and their families,
we are celebrating both completing and beginning. A significant goal has
been accomplished, and new opportunities and challenges await.
Below, you'll find some general information on the programs that our graduates
have completed, the transfer opportunities and employment experiences
they will be undertaking. Then, I'll introduce you to a few of them individually.
I wish you could meet them all! Their talent, energy, determination and
resourcefulness are indeed impressive. They include recent high school
graduates, military veterans, and older adults pursuing new goals. They
include local residents and immigrants and international students from
around the world. They are aspiring artists, architects, accountants,
business managers, paralegals, chefs, technicians, scientists, teachers,
criminal justice professionals, airline pilots, nurses, radiographers,
physical therapist assistants, funeral directors - and more! Each story
is unique; many are heartwarming, and some are heroic.
It is incredibly rewarding to work at Mercer County Community College!
We are constantly enriched by the diversity of those whom we have the
privilege to serve, and we are energized by their individual successes.
total of 834 graduates this year were awarded a total of 882 degrees
and certificates, including:
Associate in Arts degrees
21 Associate in Fine Arts degrees
314 Associate in Science degrees
269 Associate in Applied Science degrees, and
93 Certificates of Proficiency
of these graduates took the time to complete a brief survey about themselves
and their MCCC experience. We learned the following:
Just over half of our graduates had entered MCCC with the purpose
of preparing to transfer to a four-year college, and just under half
had entered for purposes directly related to job or career. 89% said
they have achieved their objective.
of our graduates have already been accepted into a transfer institution,
and an additional 9% are awaiting action on their application. Of
193 transfer acceptances reported on the survey, the distribution
of institutions was:
to Rider University
to Rutgers University
to The College of New Jersey
to Thomas Edison State College
to New Jersey Institute of Technology
to other NJ public institutions
to other NJ private institutions
to out-of-state institutions.
Over 78% of those who are transferring are satisfied with the amount
of MCCC credits being accepted by their transfer institution, while
less than 7% are dissatisfied.
over 60% of our graduates plan to work full-time after graduation,
and another 26% plan to work part-time.
will be employed in a position related to their academic program at
have gained or will gain a salary increase because of the completion
of their MCCC coursework.
95% of our graduates indicated that they would recommend MCCC to others,
while less than 1% would not.
Urbanova studied economics and completed a master's degree
in Prague, Czech Republic, before coming to the U.S. as an au
pair in 2002. An Advertising Design major, she received the Sam
Willig Memorial award for excellence in Advertising Design at
MCCC's Honors Convocation. Marketa would now like to move to New
York City to pursue a career in design, and possibly to attend
art school to continue refining her painting skills.
Ely, left, and Chris Knoll, below, are co-recipients
of the MCCC Funeral Service award, achieving highest honors
in their program. Both are Marine Corps veterans.
represents the fourth generation of funeral service providers
in his family. He served in the Marine Corps in Iraq, and plans
to work with his grandfather at Ely Funeral Home in Neptune,
Knoll was also in the Marine Corps. He is employed by Oliverie
Funeral home in Manchester, NJ.
is the only school for funeral service education in New Jersey.
Williams is graduating with an associate degree in Radiography
at age 42. Formerly a computer technologist, the Dean's List student
chose to pursue a health-related profession because he enjoys
helping people. For the past three years he has worked full-time
as an emergency room technician while attending classes and completing
his required clinical training. Well known for his enthusiasm
and work ethic, Williams has secured a full-time position with
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton as a CT Technologist.
He plans to continue his education for a bachelor's degree in
Radiography with the goal of becoming a Radiologist Assistant.
He is the father of two.
was given the honor to be selected as student speaker for the
2006 Commencement ceremonies. He is the first student to graduate
from the college's new Entertainment Technology program. A career-changer
and father of four, he once had his own radio show. He was a member
of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Mercer, did commercials
for the society and participated in charity fundraising. He also
acted in plays at Kelsey Theatre. He will enter Temple University's
program in "Film Media Arts" this fall.
Treanor won the Troxell Communications award and the David
West award for journalism. Graduating with a 3.5 grade point average,
Michelle was editor-in-chief of the College Voice student newspaper
for three semesters, and technical director for "MCN Live,"
the student-produced TV news program which won two awards this
year. She is listed in Who's Who in American Junior Colleges.
Jones is a gifted bass player and has been an indispensable
member of the college Jazz Band. He returned to college after
a ten-year hiatus and has maintained a 3.0 grade point average.
He received an instrumental scholarship and will be attending
Rutgers University to pursue a career in music education and performance.
Read Langan won the achievement award in Radio. She completed
the Radio program part-time while maintaining a full-time job.
She has earned a perfect 4.0 average and is a member of the Phi
Theta Kappa honor society. She served as a DJ with WMCC, Mercer's
student radio station, and has been a news anchor on the student-operated
MCN Live television broadcast. She has lent her voice to the college's
radio commercials and to the video introduction of honorees at
the college's annual fundraising gala.
Milik received the Roma Federal Savings Bank Scholarship and
the Medical Laboratory Technology Award. She was chosen for her
academic achievement, leadership abilities and clinical competence.
She has worked as a lab assistant at Capital Health System for
the past year. She has been accepted to Thomas Jefferson University
in Philadelphia and will pursue a degree in Cytotechnology.
Huff received the Cynthia Schaffer Memorial Scholarship for
women's tennis and the Alpha Mu Gamma academic award for excellence
in French from the Liberal Arts Division. She was named a Distinguished
Academic All-American by the National Junior College Athletic
Association, an honor awarded to the nation's highest-achieving
student-athletes. A native of Poland, Huff majored in International
Studies and earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average at Mercer.
Huff played no. 1 singles and no. 2 doubles for MCCC's NJCAA championship
2005 team, and its 2006 team, which came in second in this year's
tournament. She is listed in Who's Who in American Junior Colleges.
Leigh Mancini received an award for outstanding achievement
in Music. She was a featured soloist with the College Chorus and
was student conductor for several performances. She was a member
of the Drama Club and has appeared in many Kelsey Theatre productions.
She is an instructor in MCCC's Tomato Patch summer visual and
performing arts camp. Kristina graduated with a 3.85 grade point
average and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Flood has juggled caring for two children, a part-time job,
volunteer work as president of her children's parent/teacher organization
and demanding course work in Nursing to achieve Highest Honors
and the distinction of serving as valedictorian for the Nursing
class. A career changer who worked in the computer field, she
has secured a Nursing position with Capital Health System at Mercer.
She is a resident of Hamilton.
Harhigh, a graduate of Hamilton High School West, attended
Mercer on a full NJSTARS scholarship, a state-funded program for
New Jersey's top high school graduates. Jessica served on the
College Voice student newspaper and worked as a volunteer with
Special Olympics. Active in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society,
Harhigh was selected as one of this year's PTK "All State
Team" members and was honored by the New Jersey Council of
County Colleges. She has transferred to Rowan University where
she will continue her studies in Communications. Her goal is to
become a news anchor.
Luisi, Mercer's other PTK "All State Team" member,
is also a graduate of Hamilton High School West, and also attended
Mercer on a full scholarship from the NJSTARS program. Marie served
as president of MCCC's Alpha Mu Gamma Foreign Language Honor Society.
Active in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, she participated
in charity fundraisers and organized a raffle for the American
Cancer Society. Luisi earned her associate degree in Humanities
and Social Science and will attend Rider University this fall
to major in psychology. Her goal is to attend law school and pursue
a legal career.
more student stories, see the related eNews items "James Kerney
Campus Celebrates Academic Achievement," and "Nursing Program
Honors 31 Grads."
Thomas N. Wilfrid, Ph.D., is the Acting President of Mercer County Community