Northwest State Community College celebrated the December 2021 graduating class at their fall ceremony Monday, held as an in-person ceremony in the Voinovich Auditorium. The ceremony recognized the awarding of 146 degrees and/or certificates to 137 students from the divisions of Arts & Sciences; Business & Public Services; Nursing and Allied Health; and Science, Technology, Engineering Technology & Math (STEM) and Industrial Technologies.
NSCC President Dr. Todd Hernandez announced the President’s Outstanding Student: Brianne Young. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Arts degree.
Lana Snider, NSCC Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs followed Hernandez, and provided a statistical snapshot of the graduating class. Snider noted that 81% of the graduating class lives in the College’s six-county service area of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams counties. Also, the average age of the graduates is 28, and the grade point average of the class is 3.25.
Of the 146 awards, 100 were associate degrees and 46 were certificates. Awards by academic division included Arts & Sciences (7), Business & Public Services (36), STEM & Industrial Technologies (51) and Nursing & Allied Health (52).
The student speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony was Michael Waite of Wauseon. Waite graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Waite reiterated the College’s mission statement, noting “the time I spent here at NSCC has made me an individual who wants to make a difference in my community.” He thanked numerous faculty and staff at Northwest State, and implored all the graduates to pay it forward.
“We will all treasure the personalized learning, teamwork, and student camaraderie we’ve gained here. I encourage my fellow graduates to go and serve with their newfound talents, strengths, and confidence. My wish to you all is to make a difference and empower others to do the same,” he said.
The keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony was Dr. Patrice McClellan, President and Lead Strategist of The Ronald Group in Toledo.
The College also recognized one individual that was awarded Emeritus status, an honorary title awarded for distinguished service to the academic community. The lone recipient was a previous Board of Trustees member, Sue Derck.
Derck served as a trustee on the Northwest State Board of Trustees for over 20 years as a representative for Paulding County. During her four terms on the Board, Derck held the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Representative to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges Governing Board as both a delegate and an alternative.
Derck currently serves as President of the Paulding County Carnegie Library Board, and has also served on the Community Improvement Corporation of Antwerp, Payne and Paulding County Board of Trustees for nearly 30 years, and also the Paulding County Hospital Board for 10 years. One unique note about Derck is she hired four different presidents of Northwest State.