Stark State College awarded 660 associate degrees at its spring commencement Sunday. Here are a few snippets from the day.
Stark State College held its spring commencement Sunday at Canton Memorial Civic Center. More than 660 degrees were awarded in business and entrepreneurial studies; education and human services; engineering, industrial and emerging technologies; health sciences; information technology; liberal arts; mathematics and sciences.
Some items of note:
• Stark State student Isaac Beal had the job of leading the graduates into the Civic Center from the McKinley Room. Dressed in a white cap and gown, he said he was a little nervous. “Gotta get this right. It’s a big day,” he said.
• Faculty members, who marched in the processional and were seated in the first few rows, looked as overjoyed as the students seated behind them. Many laughed and waved at audience members. It didn’t go unnoticed by Stark State President Para Jones, who said that excitement and pride of faculty and staff show the great connection they have with students. “This is a moment of pride.”
• Jennifer Meek Eells was recognized as the 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee and Alumna of the Year. She said Stark State prepared her well for her continuing education — she went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling studies. Advice for the graduates? “Stay motivated. Stay hungry.” She said job opportunities are out there and employers are looking for innovative applicants.
• Of the over 600 associate degree earners, 38 were Canton City Schools’ Early College High School students.
• Three programs graduated their first students: The Associate of Science program awarded its first-ever degree to Deanne Lockard. She earned also an associate of science in Computational Science Biology. She is off to Northeast Ohio Medical University in the fall.
The first graduate of the Associate of Science in Math — Pre-Actuarial Option — was Fathi Hammami, who earned a second degree in general math.
Kimberly Kendall, Alexis Moseley and Mandy Myers are the first-ever graduates of the school’s Chemical Dependency program in Applied Sciences in Health and Human Services.
• State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, gave the address, advising students to get a competitive edge by making their character their foundation. “Work well with others. Be a problem-solver, and have a strong work ethic,” he said, later adding, “Have the courage to fail. Those who don’t take chances are destined to mediocrity.
• Stark State counselor Kelly Mullane had an important job — one he has been doing for about 20 years. He helped students down the steps from the stage after they received their diplomas. He noted some of the insanely high heels on some of the students, but added, “I’ve caught a few guys falling, too.”