Northwest State Community College celebrated the 2020 graduating class at its 50th Commencement Ceremony on May 9. Due to the effects of COVID-19, the ceremony was presented as a pre-taped video on the College’s official YouTube channel.
The ceremony recognized 270 graduates who completed an associate degree or certificate program with the College during fall, spring or summer term, comprising a total of 280 awards (237 associate degrees and 43 short-term certificates). Three students graduated with associate degrees via College Credit Plus before they officially graduate from high school. Lana Snider, NSCC vice president of enrollment management & student affairs, noted that 87% of the graduating class lives in the six county service area of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams counties.
Dr. Michael Thomson, NSCC president, noted the 50th Commencement in his congratulatory remarks, “Today marks not only an incredible set of educational achievements, it also marks the 50th anniversary of Northwest State Community College’s Commencement. In our wildest dreams, we never thought that the celebration would be done in this way.” Thomson assured students that the College will organize a larger in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so.
Chancellor Randy Gardner of the Ohio Department of Higher Education delivered the keynote address through a recorded video message. Gardner praised Northwest State for its ability to prepare graduates for workforce readiness, noting the College has graduated 3,400 medical professionals. He also noted the 94% passage rate for national nursing exams as a symbol of excellence. “No virus can diminish what this achievement truly means,” Gardner said. The chancellor’s remarks concluded with a heartfelt congratulations to graduates.
As part of the graduate listing at the conclusion of the event, NSCC recognized its 20 Award of Merit recipients. 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.
- Kaitlin Chylinski, Criminal Justice
- Fallon Radcliffe, Human Resource Management
- Julie Eitniear, Paraprofessional
- Rebecca Addington, Pre-Kindergarten
- Ruth Baumgartner, Business Management
- Randal Shaver, Business Management
- Kristi Phillips, Human Resource Management
- Kylee Bell, Medical Assisting
- Laura Moore, LPN to RN
- Katelyn Smith, Associate of Arts
- Alexis Woods, Associate of Science
- Anna Thomas, Graphic Design
- Lee Waidelich, CAD-CAM
- Spencer Sunderland, Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Autumn Scher, Computer Science Technology
- Bradley Sampson, Electrical Engineering Technology
- Matthew Siegel, Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Justin Westhove, Industrial Technology
- Elliot Wannemacher, Computer Programming
- Christian Pena, Network Administration