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Two HS Students Earn Associate Degrees and the TCSG Instructor of the Year Speaks at GNTC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony

Elizabeth Carpenter (right) of Rome High School earned an associate degree in Business Management and Dakota Finster (left) of Chattooga High School earned his associate degree in GNTC’s Social Work Assistant program.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students donned their caps and gowns as family and friends gathered at the Forum River Center in Rome for GNTC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 9. The college awarded graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates during the ceremony and recognized students from GNTC’s nine-county service area.

Highlights from the ceremony included two dual enrollment high school students earning an associate degree from GNTC before their high school graduation and a commencement speech by GNTC instructor Leyner Argueta, the 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

Elizabeth Carpenter of Rome High School earned an associate degree in Business Management and Dakota Finster of Chattooga High School earned his associate degree in GNTC’s Social Work Assistant program.

Carpenter plans to continue her education at Georgia Southern University and pursue a major in Marketing. She says that already having an associate degree gives her a great head start.

“This will definitely benefit me, look great on my resume and will help me be above where I need to be when I get into my career field,” said Carpenter.

Finster was the first student in Chattooga County Schools’ history to earn an associate degree before receiving his high school diploma. He plans to continue his education at Faulkner University.

GNTC graduates celebrate stand up and celebrate during GNTC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony.

After students, administrators and faculty marched into place during Processional, the Pledge of Allegiance was conducted by Jay Pickern, instructor of Business Management at GNTC. Invocation was led by Mark Upton, director of Marketing Management at GNTC.

Stuart Phillips, interim president of GNTC, began the evening’s proceedings by welcoming everyone and congratulating the graduates. He encouraged the graduating class to continue their education.

“Do not let this be the end of your journey,” said Phillips. “Whether you move forward to studying at another college, or you just need additional training for your career, never stop learning.”

Leyner Argueta, the 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), was the keynote commencement speaker for the evening.

Leyner Argueta, the 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), as the keynote commencement speaker for the evening.

“We all have struggles, we all have challenges and you being here is a perfect example of what victory looks like. I know that some of you have struggled to get to this place and for many of you tonight is a dream come true,” said Argueta. “I share with you that same passion and it is a dream for me to be able to address this graduating class.”

Michael Fennell, dean of Business and Industrial Technologies at GNTC, recognized High Honor graduates, who have a 4.0 grade point average, and Honor graduates, who have a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.99.

A special recognition for graduates that are veterans, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members, Student Government Association members and dual enrollment high school students was also led by Fennell.

Jocelyn Betsabe Cisneros earned a certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education Basics.


Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, presented graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Listed are graduates that participated in the 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony showing (from left to right) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students that have graduated, but did not participate in the ceremony, or students that registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:

Associate of Applied Science        

Rosa I. Aguilar, Business Technology

Crystal Rose Alday, Cybersecurity

Kelli B. Arthur, Early Childhood Care and Education

Jasmine L. Askew, Respiratory Care

Kyleigh L. Ballard, Respiratory Care

Skky Monique Barrett, Respiratory Care

Tony Alexander Barrios, Accounting

Kimberlyn Bates, Business Technology

Christa F. Beall, Respiratory Care

Lindsay A. Bearden, Business Technology

Misty Blasengame, Early Childhood Care and Education

Barbara G. Booker, Business Management

Samantha A. Bragg, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

McKenzie C. Brown, Early Childhood Care and Education

Jessica Callahan, Business Technology

Jenifer C. Camacho, Early Childhood Care and Education

Aleasha G. Cannon, Business Management

Corey L. Carlile, Marketing Management

Elizabeth Grace Carpenter, Business Management

Jennifer Ines Cervantes, Business Technology

Maegan L. Cheatwood, Respiratory Care

Summer M. Cole, Early Childhood Care and Education

Shannon M. Cooper, Business Management

Jacob Cordell, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Carmen Davis, Respiratory Care

Kayla Reece Davis-Anderson, Early Childhood Care and Education

Sherrie Dean, Early Childhood Care and Education

Grace Dunnaway, Criminal Justice Technology

William M. Elsberry, Cybersecurity

Robert B. Evans, Early Childhood Care and Education

Dakota R. Finster, Social Work Assistant

Elizabeth T. Gooch, Early Childhood Care and Education

Janell Herrera, Early Childhood Care and Education

Clarissa M. Jimenez, Business Management

Cheyenne B. Johnson, Business Management

Andrea Marie Jordan, Computer Support Specialist

Kristina Marie Keith, Business Management

Maciej F. Kozlowski, Networking Specialist

Julie P. Langford, Respiratory Care

Brandy Jean LeVan, Computer Support Specialist

Courtni Lomenick, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Allie M. Long, Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Ashley M. Long, Business Management

Jasmaine Lovelace, Respiratory Care

Haley L. Mann, Business Management

Kimberly C. Marbutt, Business Management

Teresa K. Marshall, Early Childhood Care and Education

Jose L. Martinez, Electronics Technology

Marlena Mondragon, Early Childhood Care and Education

Hannah N. Nesbitt, Culinary Arts

Jordan Bartley Newton, Industrial Systems Technology

Mary Ann Owens, Business Management

Maritza Perez, Early Childhood Care and Education

Christopher M. Pope, Marketing Management

Nya M. Powell, Business Technology

Jonathan D. Privett, Networking Specialist

Isabell Rincon, Business Management

Dallas W. Roberts, Business Management

Ashley M. Rosser, Business Management

Thomas Scott, Marketing Management

April Dawn Scruggs, Respiratory Care

Jayla Shenee Shropshire, Business Management

Michael C. Siefert, Networking Specialist

Emily M. Smith, Business Management

Charlina B. Smithers, Social Work Assistant

Myra Rutledge Stone, Business Management

Jarod Streetman, Early Childhood Care and Education

Hannah J. Taylor, Early Childhood Care and Education

Rebecca A. Thomas, Criminal Justice Technology

Alexandra R. Trotter, Respiratory Care

Matthew Vaughn, Culinary Arts

Olivia Rachel Venable, Business Management

Mariah S. Wallace, Early Childhood Care and Education

Amanda Randale Watson, Web Site Design/Development

Karah Ryan Witt, Accounting

Holly L. Wright, Business Management

Amanda L. York, Early Childhood Care and Education

Jose C. Zamora, Automotive Technology

John David Zapp, Automotive Technology

Associate of Science in Nursing     

Neva Caroline Ayer, Nursing

Santana Nicole Baker, Nursing

Kayla Denise Brown, Nursing

Blakely Campbell Burgess, Nursing

Leigha Hayes Byars, Nursing

Stephanie N. Gagliardi, Nursing

Krista Marie Hammontree, Nursing

Teresa Land, Nursing

Tina Renee Minter, Nursing

Amy Moriah Moore, Nursing

Amy B. Neighbors, Nursing

James D. Rewis, Nursing

Ashley S. Wilburn, Nursing

Diploma

Jose Alvarado, Industrial Systems Technology

Dana L. Brannon, Early Childhood Care and Education

Tevin M. Brown, Business Technology

John H. Bunch, Air Conditioning Technology

Norberto Castaneda Vazquez, Electrical Systems Technology

Daniel J. Davis, Automotive Technology

Larissa J. Douthit, Social Work Assistant

Catherine R. Edwards, Criminal Justice Technology

Malik S. Gleaves, Air Conditioning Technology

Jaweah L. Hamilton, Early Childhood Care and Education

Haley Johnson, Business Technology

John C. King, Computer Support Specialist

David Lebaron, Auto Collision Repair

Abner J. Magana, Electrical Systems Technology

Latorya F. Manning, Business Management

Erika Y. Perez, Early Childhood Care and Education

Brittany N. Thrasher, Marketing Management

Tamara Villasenor, Business Management

Felicia D. Waldon, Criminal Justice Technology

Hilliard A. Williams, Welding and Joining Technology

Technical Certificate of Credit        

Ella Butler Bennett, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Jocelyn Betsabe Cisneros, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Thomas Ray Cox, Phlebotomy Technician

Cinthia Guadalupe Dominguez Andrade, Human Resource Management Specialist

Paul L. Flurry, Commercial Truck Driving

Macy P. Forrister, Medical Front Office Assistant

Melanie Brooke Fowler, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Anna Davis George, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Drema N. Hall, Phlebotomy Technician

Holli R. Hendrix, Medical Coding

Aemy M. Lopez-Vicente, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist

Kaelyn E. Madden, Phlebotomy Technician

Jocelyn Medina, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist

Mackinzie C. Parrott, Health Care Assistant

Adrianna Nicole Resendez, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Abigail L. Sisk, Medical Coding

Kristen Ann Skramstad, Health Care Assistant

Jessica Smith, Phlebotomy Technician

Emily Anne Thompson            , Phlebotomy Technician

Ashley Adriana Vasquez, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics

Monika Yoana Vasquez-Lopez, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist

Vanessa Vega, Medical Front Office Assistant

Anna White, Phlebotomy Technician

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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