On Thursday, May 23, Harford Community College held its Sixty-first Annual Commencement in the APGFCU Arena. In a traditional cap and gown ceremony, graduates of the Class of 2019 received an associate degree and/or certificate at the event. Approximately 320 of the 1,025 Harford Community College graduates crossed the stage during Thursday evening's ceremony.

Assistant Professor J. Ryker Hughes, Faculty Marshal, and Professor Dorothy E. Miller, EdD, Student Marshal, led the processional. The ceremony began with a welcome from Dianna G. Phillips, PhD, President of Harford Community College. Amanda Bohlen sang The National Anthem. Richard D. Norling, Chair, Harford Community College Board of Trustees, gave opening remarks.

Dr. Jacqueline S. Jackson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, presented the candidates for degrees and certificates, and Dr. Phillips conferred the degrees and certificates. The HCC Class of 2019 includes August and December 2018 graduates and May 2019 candidates for graduation.

Steven Rawlings, a dual major graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology, delivered the Student Graduate Address. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and Psi Beta National Honor Society in Psychology Harford Community College Chapter. In his closing remarks, he discussed a quote by Dale Carnegie that has impacted his life, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Steven said, “Yesterday, many of you were likely nervous about today’s commencement, yet here we are, gathered together, celebrating a beautiful moment. Do not let the fear of tomorrow stop you from seizing the moment that is right now. Fear is a temporary feeling; it is an emotion that is all too often a hindrance to our success. Strive to truly exist in the present, as yesterday is history, and we cannot control what tomorrow may bring. Enjoy and appreciate every moment given to you. Cherish the good and do your best to learn from the bad. Tomorrow will certainly bring a new set of problems, but today we celebrate a wondrous accomplishment. Congratulations to all of you, my fellow students, friends, the class of 2019 at Harford Community College.”

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award was presented to Michelle T. Ramsahoye by Dr. Jackson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness. This award recognizes a student who has made significant overall contributions to the College and community where personal time, effort, and dedication are evident. The student must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0. Michelle, who is a dual major graduate with an Associate of Science in Physics and Biology, will be transferring to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was named the recipient of the MARC U*STAR scholarship, which awarded her full tuition and housing at UMBC. Michelle plans to major in physics and eventually pursue a PhD or MD-PhD in Biophysics. During her time at Harford Community College, Michelle has been an extremely involved student. The recipient of several scholarships, she was one of the 2019 Harford Dream Scholars under the College’s Achieving the Dream initiative, served as President of the Honors Program Student Council, been part of My College Success Network, and worked as a math/science learning assistant in the College’s Learning Center. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society and the Math Club. Michelle has presented her research projects many times, both on- and off-campus. Last year, she participated in a paid summer research internship at Howard University that afforded her the opportunity to work on a project for which she studied the various genes connected to Type 2 diabetes, specifically in African Americans. This summer she will intern in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at the University of Kentucky. Her hard work, perseverance, and passion for learning are an inspiration to students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Phillips presented Kristy Breslin-Klevinsky with the 2019 Harford Community College Distinguished Alumni Award. An accomplished media professional, Kristy has more than 20 years of broadcasting experience and is the current traffic anchor for WJZ TV. She also serves as president of the Harford Cable Network Foundation, which allows her to bring her expertise to local television and further the network’s mission of offering informative and quality programming to the residents of Harford County. The award honors the achievements of former students who have attained outstanding success in their chosen profession, demonstrated a commitment to the community, and maintained an interest in and service to Harford Community College.