Commencement Recognizes 286 Graduates

Northwest State Community College celebrated the 2019 graduating class at its 49th Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony recognized 286 graduates who completed an associate degree or certificate program with the College during fall, spring or summer term, comprising a total of 323 awards (249 associate degrees and 74 short-term certificates). Dr. Cindy Krueger, NSCC vice president for institutional effectiveness and student services, noted that 91% of the graduating class lives in the six county service area of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams Counties, and that there were 41 members graduating with honors – 12 cum laude, 10 magna cum laude and 19 summa cum laude.

Dr. Michael Thomson, NSCC president, congratulated the graduating class, noting, “I commend you for your dedication and persistence that have led to this remarkable achievement. You balanced work, family and other obligations in order to complete your education.” Thomson also noted a slight change in the events’ featured speakers, remarking, “This year, the commencement committee decided that the student voice would provide the inspirational address for our graduates.” Brittany Opsomer of Deshler, Ohio, and Mark Oliphant of Edgerton, Ohio, were the morning and afternoon featured studentspeakers.

Opsomer graduated magna cum laude with an associate of applied science in nursing and was president of Alpha Delta Nu nursing honor society and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. A young mother raising two small children apart from her husband, who is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Opsomer relayed the joy of completing this portion of the journey, noting, “I knew the distance (apart from her husband) was temporary and the reward of becoming an RN would be worth the struggle. This is the moment we have been waiting for, and we have become stronger from our sacrifices.” Opsomer, who was also selected to receive the President’s Outstanding Student Award in the morning ceremony, plans to continue her education at Indiana Wesleyan University in the bachelor of science nursing program.

Oliphant graduated magna cum laude with an associate of applied science in industrial technology, and was an All-Ohio Academic Team member, president of the NSCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and an Award of Merit recipient as the top graduate in the Industrial Technologies Division. Oliphant shared his story of substance abuse and imprisonment with the audience and how his determination helped him turn his life around. “I could have blamed everybody else and just dwelled on my failures, but I chose not to. I was determined to make things right, for not only myself, but for my family and become a positive influence in society,” he said. Oliphant then noted he is four years and eight days clean and sober.

Rachel Buell was named the President’s Outstanding Student in the afternoon ceremony. Buell graduated summa cum laude and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She earned a certificate in industrial maintenance and plans to continue her students in mechatronics. NSCC faculty members Marty Phillips and Pam Donaldson served as grand marshals for the morning and afternoon ceremonies respectively.

Students Recognized in Honors Ceremony

Northwest State Community College recently held an Honors Ceremony, recognizing students earning induction in to Phi Theta Kappa, Kappa Beta Delta, and Alpha Delta Nu, as well as those students earning Award of Merit distinction. In total, eleven students were inducted in to Phi Theta Kappa, six students were inducted in to Kappa Beta Delta, and ten students were inducted in to Alpha Delta Nu. Twenty students also earned Award of Merit status. 

Phi Theta Kappa: Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918 to encourage academic achievement for two-year college students. Its mission is to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.3 million members.

Kappa Beta Delta: Kappa Beta Delta was established in 1997 as a specialty honor society for two-year college students in business programs. Its purpose is to recognize student scholarship and accomplishments, as well as encourage personal and professional improvement and service to others.

Alpha Delta Nu: Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society aims to recognize the academic excellence of associate degree nursing students and encourage students to pursue advanced nursing degrees. In order to qualify, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, with at least a B in all nursing classes.

Award of Merit: For over 25 years, Northwest State has recognized graduates within the degree programs for their academic achievements.  Award of Merit recipients are chosen by faculty from the respective divisions based on leadership involvement, special talents or abilities in their academic field, and significant contributions to Northwest State.

Three Students Named to All-Ohio Academic Team

Three Northwest State Community College students have been named to the 2019 All-Ohio Academic Team. Caleb Davila of Defiance, Jacob Klopfenstein of Paulding, and Mark Oliphant of Edgerton were named to the All-Ohio Academic Third Team, placing them among the top thirty community college students in the state. The students were honored at a recognition luncheon on April 25 in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse.

Three NSCC students were named to the All-Ohio Academic Team and were honored at a recognition luncheon in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse. Pictured L to R: Ron Scozzari, NSCC dean of Industrial Technologies; Kaitlyn Rohrs-Cordes, NSCC academic advisor and Phi Theta Kappa representative; Jacob Klopfenstein, student; Mark Oliphant, student; and Lori Robison, NSCC vice president for academics. Caleb Davila (not pictured) was also honored at the ceremony.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of Caleb, Jacob and Mark,” said Lori Robison, vice president for academics at Northwest State. “They have set tremendous examples in the classroom and in their community.” Robison also praised NSCC faculty and staff for their ongoing contributions to student success.

Davila is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and will graduate in May with an associate of science. He plans to attend the University of Toledo to major in public administration.

Klopfenstein is a College Credit Plus student who will graduate from NSCC before he graduates from high school. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and will graduate in May with an associate of applied science in electro-mechanical engineering. He plans to attend Miami University in Oxford.

Oliphant is the president of the Alpha Omicron Mu chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. He will graduate in May with an associate of applied science in industrial technology. He plans to enter the workforce in a tool and die department and would like to begin an apprenticeship program.

Created in 1997, the All-Ohio Academic Team provides recognition to outstanding students in Ohio’s public two-year colleges.