Northwest State Community College virtually celebrated the December 2020 graduating class at a Dec. 14 ceremony held as a pre-recorded e-Commencement on the college’s YouTube channel.
The ceremony recognized the awarding of 126 degrees and/or certificates to 118 students from the following divisions: Arts and Sciences; Business and Public Services; Nursing and Allied Health; Science and Technology, Engineering Technology, and Math (STEM) and Industrial Technologies.
NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson announced Michael Borton as the President’s Outstanding Student. Borton graduates magna cum laude with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Maintenance Technician/Mechatronics, and has earned multiple certificates at the college.
Lana Snider, NSCC vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, provided a statistical snapshot of the graduating class. Snider noted that 80% of the graduating class lives in the college’s six-county service area, the average age of the graduates is 27, and the class grade point average is 3.40.
Of the 126 awards, 89 were associate degrees and 37 were certificates. Graduates by academic division included four in Arts and Sciences; 22 in Business and Public Services; 34 in STEM and Industrial Technologies; 51 in Nursing and Allied Health; 29 in Registered Nursing; and 22 in Practical Nursing.
The keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony was Bryan, Ohio’s first female mayor, Carrie Schlade, a 1999 NSCC graduate with an associate degree in paralegal studies. Schlade recalled her NSCC student experiences and how they shaped her future, both personally and professionally.
“The pandemic has caused change in many areas of our lives, including your education,” she told graduates. “You have risen through those hardships and earned your degree. You should take a breath, be proud, and relish in your accomplishments… You have already proven adversity cannot stand in your way.”
The college recognized eight individuals at the ceremony who were awarded Emeritus status, an honorary title awarded for distinguished service to the academic community. Faculty recipients were Steve Dick, Dianne Wendt, and Gary Kadesch; administrator recipients were Dr. Cindy Krueger, and Tom Wylie; Board of Trustees recipients were Darrell Handy, Michael Faber, and Darrell Jones.
Of the faculty recipients:
• Dick served as a faculty member in Industrial Technologies from 2003-14. He was instrumental in the joint venture between Four County Career Center and NSCC for high school students to earn college credit by taking fluid power courses.
• Wendt served as faculty in the nursing division for nearly 30 years, starting in 1986. She was initially the only full-time faculty in the Practical Nursing program, and single-handedly developed curriculum, taught courses, and participated in committees.
•Kadesch served as a faculty member in the Engineering Technologies division from 1985 to 2017. He was an integral part of the design and layout of the E building.
Of the administrator recipients:
• Dr. Krueger initially joined the college as a nursing faculty member in 1989, and was a founding member of the current nursing programs. She also served as Dean of Allied Health and Public Service, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success, Vice President for Academics, and Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success.
• Wylie joined NSCC in 2000 as Dean of Engineering Technologies /Business & Industry Training. In 2006, he was promoted to Vice President for Innovation. He retired in 2013, and was rehired as Associate Vice President for Special Projects. Wylie pioneered and introduced the hybrid models currently used in the Industrial classes.
Of the Board of Trustees recipients:
• Handy served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2005. In addition, he served several terms on Defiance City Council and is currently an adjunct instructor at the college.
• Faber served as a trustee from 1985 to 2011. His career in Human Resources was a valuable resource to the Board of Trustees during his tenure.
• Jones served as a trustee from 1988-97. His commitment to public service included the American Association of School Administrators, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Defiance County Farm Bureau, among others.