Graduation Ceremony

  • Wednesday May 29, 2019 | 3 pm 

    McDaniel College  |  Gill Center

    Leslie Simmons, R.N., F.A.C.H.E.
    President, Carroll Hospital
    Executive Vice President, LifeBridge Health

    Leslie Simmons As a leader at Carroll Hospital for nearly 20 years, Ms. Simmons has been instrumental in driving the hospital’s outstanding achievements in quality with a focus on accountability and transparency. In addition to her oversight of Carroll Hospital, Ms. Simmons leads Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital and LifeBridge Health’s Post-Acute Division. She has systemwide responsibility for Hospice and Palliative Care, Pharmacy, Laboratory/Pathology, Transport, Food and Nutrition, and Environmental Services divisions.

    Ms. Simmons’ strong clinical background — from her more than 30 years of experience in numerous aspects of the health care industry — has been an asset in creating a culture of patient-centered care and uncompromising commitment to high performance through increased participation in statewide collaboratives and best-practice initiatives.

    A resident of Westminster, Ms. Simmons earned her associate degree in nursing from Anne Arundel Community College and her Bachelor of Science in nursing and Master of Management Administration from the Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Ms. Simmons serves as chair of the Board of Roland Park Place, a continuing care retirement community, and is the past chair of that board's Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves as a board member for Notre Dame of Maryland University.

    She has held leadership positions in organizations including Maryland Hospital Association and Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives. She also served a five-year term as a commissioner on the governor’s Taskforce for the Nursing Commission and was appointed by the governor to the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council. Ms. Simmons was recognized as one of The Daily Record’s "Top 100 Women in Maryland" in 2018, 2016 and 2012 and was inducted into the Circle of Excellence. She was also named one of The Baltimore Sun's "Top 25 Women to Watch" in 2018.


    Student Response by Marta Cruz-Alicea

    Marta Cruz-Alicea

    Carroll Community College (Carroll) announces that Marta Cruz-Alicea, who will be receiving her Associate of Science in Nursing, will give the Student Response on behalf of her fellow graduates at the College’s 26thCelebration of Commencement.

    A 2019 nursing student, Westminster resident and mother of three daughters, Marta Cruz-Alicea, 42, will address the graduates and share the inspirational story of her journey to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse.  The dream was formed when she was 17 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “The doctors and nurses were so compassionate I knew that I wanted to do that for others. I want to become an oncology nurse and support others going through what I have been through,” said Cruz-Alicea.

    She encountered many obstacles on her six-year journey to graduation, including a recent battle with breast cancer and a brain tumor in 2016. Her perseverance and support from the College community led to this important milestone. “Carroll Community College provided me not only the education to achieve my dream, but also the most caring people who believed in and supported me,” said Cruz-Alicea.

    She wants to impart the message to her fellow graduates that suffering from defeat does not mean you are defeated, and that obstacles show us how strong we are and can serve as powerful motivators to achieve our goals.  

    President’s Academic Excellence Award presented to Noah Evan Tucker

    Noah Tucker

    Carroll Community College (Carroll) will present the President’s Academic Excellence Award, the College’s highest award to graduates, to Noah Evan Tucker, a nursing student from the class of 2019, at the College’s 26th commencement. 

    Tucker, a 32-year-old Westminster resident, was chosen by College President Dr. James D. Ball to receive this prestigious award for his academic achievements and outstanding community service. He will receive an Associate Degree in Science after completing the select admissions Nursing Program at the Ceremony.

    “In addition to his demonstrated academic excellence and exceptional recommendations from our nursing faculty, Noah showed a deep commitment to providing healthcare services to underserved patients though his volunteer activities,” said Ball. During his time at Carroll, Tucker volunteered regularly with Remote Area Medical, a non-profit organization that operates mobile medical, dental and vision clinics in rural areas where its residents do not have access to or cannot afford basic services.

    Tucker describes his experience with Remote Area Medical as the “most rewarding work of my health care career to date.” He is a core volunteer, responsible with other core volunteers for setting up and tearing down the clinics, training volunteers and ensuring smooth operations. The clinics serve as many as 1,000 patients over a single weekend. 

    Tucker chose Carroll’s Nursing Program for its reputation, affordability and hands-on training. Having worked in health care research for several years before enrolling in the program, he realized he wanted to transition to clinical care. Tucker recalls that during his third-term clinical rotation, he became “comfortable with being a nurse. I had learned so many skills, and I was putting them into practice. It was a fantastic feeling.” 

    “I am so honored to have been chosen by Dr. Ball for this award. Thanks to the financial support I received through scholarships, and the on-going support from the nursing faculty, I will achieve my goal of becoming a registered nurse,” said Tucker.  He plans to continue to volunteer with Remote Area Medical once he receives his nursing license. His long-term plans includes additional education to become a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, allowing him to provide medical care as well as nursing care to these patients. Tucker is enrolled in this Fall’s RN-BSN program at University of Maryland-Baltimore and plans to graduate from there in 2020.