Commencement: Completing and Beginning
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.
Marketa 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.
Michael Ely and Chris Knoll are co-recipients of the MCCC Funeral
Service award, achieving highest honors in their program. Both are
Marine Corps veterans. Ely 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, NJ. Knoll was also in the Marine Corps. He is employed by
Oliverie Funeral home in Manchester, NJ. MCCC is the only school for
funeral service education in New Jersey.
Michelle 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.
Kristina 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.
Jake 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.
Ellen 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.
Agnieszka Milik received the Roma Federal Savings Bank Scholarship
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.
Natalia 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.
" For more student stories, see the related eNews item entitled
"Something Wonderful at Commencement," and "James Kerney
Campus Celebrates Academic Achievement."
Thomas N. Wilfrid, Ph.D., is the Acting President of Mercer County