(Cartersville, Ga. – Dec. 16, 2016)
As hundreds of Chattahoochee Technical College graduates prepare for the next step in life — whether it’s entering the workforce or pursuing even higher education — one college instructor delivered an important message at commencement: strive for imperfection.
“There are three flaws many successful people have developed and those are an eye problem, a hearing problem and a walking problem. When you see a problem in your job, say ‘I will take that on.’ You can be the agent of change; be willing to make a difference,” said Shari Szalwinski, the college’s 2015 Rick Perkins Award winner. “Also, have a hard time hearing the word ‘no.’ If you are passionate about it, refuse to lose it. Lastly, I want you to enjoy walking crookedly down your career path. There is no such thing as an unsuccessful job if you take something from it.”
Chattahoochee Technical College honored the more than 500 students who petitioned to graduate from the state’s largest technical college during a commencement ceremony held Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Clarence Brown Center in Cartersville. Representing students from the fall semester, about 137 graduates from the college’s six-county service area walked across the stage to receive a technical certificate of credit, diploma or an Associate of Applied Science degree.
The most popular area of study for graduates was Healthcare Sciences. This was followed by programs in the area of business, including Accounting, Business Technology, Business Management, Marketing Management and programs in the field of public and professional services, including Cosmetology, Criminal Justice Technology and Early Childhood Care and Education.
“I am so gratified, inspired and moved when I see these students come across the stage,” CTC President Dr. Ron Newcomb said. “Our students made a decision to show up and stick with it. They came back each semester, persevered and here they are today. I am so proud of their determination. Today is a celebration of what our graduates have accomplished as well as a celebration of the skills and knowledge required for the credentials that they have earned.”
Twenty-seven students completed an Associate of Applied Science or diploma program with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and those in attendance wore gold honor cords to signify their accomplishment. Environmental Technology student Doug Hanna was one of seven military veterans who participated in the commencement ceremony. Veterans proudly wore red, white and blue honor cords during graduation.
“Graduating from Chattahoochee Tech means a great deal to me. I never graduated from high school so this is my first graduation ever, aside from basic training,” said Hanna, an Alpharetta resident and Army veteran. “I now have an opportunity to pursue an even brighter future.”
Jeremy Doan of Marietta shared a similar sentiment.
“This is the first time I have completed an educational path. Graduating from Chattahoochee Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program has set a foundation for a fantastic future,” he said.
Paulding County resident Stephanie Sweat, who earned a certificate in Health Care Science, said she was setting an example for her children.
“I can now show my children that anything is possible if they just put their minds to it,” Sweat said. “Graduating also shows me that I can achieve any goal that I set for myself.”
Cherokee County twins Wesley and Nathan Newman earned their degrees in Automotive Technology and will continue to pursue degrees in Business Management from Chattahoochee Technical College. The Canton residents said graduating will propel them toward a brighter future.
Cosmetology student Kristen Cantrell of Jasper and Diesel Equipment Technology student Jay Tidwell of Cartersville both said graduating from CTC will open many doors as they continue to follow their dreams.