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SGTC hosts 2016 Fall Commencement ceremony

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) hosted its 2016 fall commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at the James S. Peters Gymnasium on the Americus campus in front of a capacity crowd.
Approximately 250 students, 30 of which were either Presidential Honor or regular Honor graduates, received awards of either an associate degree or a diploma during the 2016 fall commencement ceremony. Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.9 or higher to qualify as a Presidential Honor graduate and a grade point average of 3.70 to 3.89 to qualify as an Honor graduate. National Technical Honor Society members were also recognized.

A large crowd attended the SGTC Fall graduation ceremony.

A large crowd attended the SGTC Fall graduation ceremony.

Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers presided over the graduation ceremony and introduced the Rev. Bill Dupree who gave the invocation. SGTC President  John Watford, Ed.D., welcomed graduates and their families and recognized special guests. Janet Siders, chair of the SGTC local board of directors, introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, Andrea Ingram, SGTC 2016 Instructor of the Year who teaches computer information systems for the college.
Ingram challenged graduates to remember that there is a whole world starving for new ideas and innovative leadership; a world full of opportunities and challenges.
“South Georgia Technical College adopted a new slogan this academic year, ‘Making it Happen.’ Graduates, tonight is evidence that you have made it happen here at South Georgia Tech. You have earned your degrees and diplomas, but I hope that you will continue to ‘Make it Happen’,” said Ingram.

Racarda Blackmon of Americus was presented with his networking specialist associate of applied science degree by President Watford.

Racarda Blackmon of Americus was presented with his networking specialist associate of applied science degree by President Watford.

The 2016 Instructor of the Year then shared some life lessons including the phrase, “as a man thinketh, so is he,” and challenged them to remember that their thoughts create who you are and who you become. She also encouraged the graduates to live in the moment and celebrate victories, and last but not least, she asked them to “know you why” or the purpose or reason that you are doing what you are doing. “Live the best you in the moment and Make it Happen,” concluded Ingram.
Watford and Kuipers then had a special presentation for the family of Jacob Anderson, a high performance engines-motorsports student who lost his life earlier this semester in an automobile accident. His parents were presented with a motorsports vehicle technology diploma in his memory. Joy Anderson, his mother, accepted the diploma on her son’s behalf. Scott Baker, Beth Anderson, Nance Seifert, and Lorraine Smalley were also present.

Jamie Campbell of Americus, a Presidential Honor Graduate, earned an associate of applied science degree in accounting. She is shown receiving her diploma from President Watford.

Jamie Campbell of Americus, a Presidential Honor Graduate, earned an associate of applied science degree in accounting. She is shown receiving her diploma from President Watford.

Following that special presentation, Watford, Kuipers, and the SGTC Deans for Academic Affairs, presented the diplomas to the graduates. Sixty-seven students received an associate of applied science degree and 181 unduplicated diplomas were awarded.
SGTC students who earned the distinction of graduating as Presidential Honor graduates and their respective fields of study, from the Times-Recorder’s coverage area, were Jamie Campbell of Americus, accounting (AAS); Eric Ronald Lane of Andersonville, air conditioning technology (diploma);  Michael Shane Cook of Americus, aviation maintenance technology (diploma); Casey Pitts of Americus, early childhood care and education (AAS); and David Thomas of Plains, welding and joining technology (diploma).
SGTC students who earned the distinction of graduating as Honor graduates (3.70 – 3.89 GPA) and their respective fields of study from the Times-Recorder’s coverage area  included: Feng Jie of DeSoto, air conditioning technology (diploma); Mattie Barrio and Tracey Lynn White of Americus, cosmetology (diploma); Jessica Gutierrez of Oglethorpe and Alma Reyna Perez of Americus, culinary arts (diploma); James Warren Stroup of Americus, diesel technician (diploma); and Racarda Blackmon of Americus, networking specialist (AAS and diploma).

Austin Crook of Smithville earned his associate of applied science degree in agricultural technology. President Watford is shown presenting his diploma.

Austin Crook of Smithville earned his associate of applied science degree in agricultural technology. President Watford is shown presenting his diploma.

Twenty students also earned the distinction of being a member of the National Technical Honor Society. Listed below are the programs of study and the names of the students who received this distinction from the Times-Recorder’s coverage area.
Air conditioning technology (diploma), Feng Jie of DeSoto; aviation maintenance technology (diploma) Michael Shane Cook of Americus; computer support specialist and networking specialist (diploma), Christina Evans of Ellaville; early childhood care and education (diploma), Alyssa King of Americus; networking specialist (AAS and fiploma), Racarda Blackmon of Americus.
Sixty-seven students earned associate of applied science degrees.  The programs of study and the students who achieved this honor in the Times-Recorder’s coverage area included: accounting, Jamie Campbell of Americus; Agricultural technology, Austin Crook of Smithville; business technology, Jasmine Kearse, Gladys Peavy, and Mary Alice Thomas of Americus; criminal justice technology, Myeishia Biggins, Walter Dennard Jr., Bradley Pritchard, and Markell Stone of Americus, Charmin Rashenna Harvey and Jennifer Lovette of Leslie, Ernest M. Josey of Buena Vista, and Cortez Williamson of Montezuma; culinary arts, Percillia Arnett of Americus; early childhood care & education, Kimberly S. Davis of Oglethorpe, Sonia Mechelle Galloway, Norma Hardester Evans, Naquesha Hurley, C’era Danyelle Nathan and Casey Pitts of Americus; marketing management, Jeremy King and Christopher Reddick of Americus; networking specialist, Racarda Blackmon of Americus; and recreation and leisure management, Deandre Harper of Americus.
After each graduate had received their award, Kuipers declared to Watford that each graduate had completed the requirements for graduation as set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Afterwards, the Rev. Bill Dupree gave the benediction and the graduates recessed to the music of Pomp and Circumstance.