Carroll Community College Dr. James D. Ball Commencement 2020 – President’s Remarks Dear Class of 2020, Welcome to the 27th Commencement Ceremony of Carroll Community College. I couldn’t be more proud of our Carroll graduates who worked with steadfast determination to achieve degrees and certificates during the 2019-2020 academic year. While this certainly isn’t the setting any of us anticipated for your graduation, (More...) many things about this important day remain the same. Your tireless dedication to your studies throughout your time at Carroll is impressive and your perseverance to achieve your goals put to the test. But you made it! The encouragement of your family, fellow students, friends, as well as the faculty and staff at the College, helped you reach this significant milestone. Please be sure to thank everyone who played a meaningful role in supporting you. Where does the Class of 2020 go from here? Based on recent surveys, 60% of our graduates plan to continue their studies at transfer institutions with top choices of Frostburg, Towson and UMBC. We know the vast majority of our students need to balance school, work and family obligations while attending Carroll with 60% of you continuing to work full time and 38% part time after graduation. A resounding 64% of you will join the workforce right here in Carroll County! And 76% of you intend to work in a field related to your degree. Whether you transfer or enter the workforce immediately, we are confident your time at Carroll has prepared you for what is next and will propel you to great accomplishments in your life’s journey. But statistics don’t fully capture where the Class of 2020 is going from here – you are entering a world that has changed, where many things are no longer as they were. You have experienced first-hand the changes that a shift to the virtual classroom has brought to your learning. Some of you have told us that this experience has helped you mature and sharpen your focus. Some of you said that you have redoubled your commitment to learn and excel. As you balanced studies with other demands of life you demonstrated your resilience during uncertainty. With these challenges comes opportunity. Opportunity to change the world. You are the College’s newest ambassadors to fulfill the mission of our institution: Empowering Learners, Changing Lives and Building Community. Our graduates are vital to achieving this mission, one that helps to drive the well-being and economic vitality of Carroll County and beyond. The College, its Board of Trustees, our local elected officials, and business leaders are grateful that you chose Carroll as your institution for higher education and for your future contributions to the community. And I am grateful to them for their dedication to the College and our students. I sincerely thank our Board of Trustees, the Carroll County Legislative Delegation and Board of Commissioners, and very importantly, our donors and the numerous business leaders who support our institution in so many ways. Each of these groups of individuals have contributed mightily to the success of our students in the way of funds, advocacy, scholarships, internships, and much more. I also thank the family and friends who supported our graduates throughout their journey at Carroll. And I thank our exceptional faculty and staff who provided excellent instruction, guidance and mentoring to empower graduates to make the changes you want to see in the world. And I extend a very special thanks to our graduates who voted overwhelmingly to donate the funds we had set aside for our cancelled in-person graduation to support future student scholarships. This is a wonderful example of “paying it forward.” It will be a big part of the legacy you leave to future Carroll Community College students. Now, for the moment that is my favorite duty of all that I perform as president, the conferring of your degree. Please, take a moment, stand, and imagine I am saying this to you in person: By the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees and the State of Maryland, and as President of Carroll Community College, I confer upon you the Degrees of Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Science, Associate of Science in Engineering, or Associate of Fine Arts, as applicable, with all the honors, responsibilities, rights, and privileges thereto appertaining. You may now move your tassel from the right side to the left side of your cap signifying the attainment of your degree. I leave you with one final thought that I impart during every graduation. As you set off on the next leg of your journey always remember: The empowerment gained from asking the question “why” is only exceeded by the transformational power of asking the question “why not?” Once again, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every one of you on this monumental achievement. As you progress in our rapidly changing world, I am certain that you will use the empowerment that you received at Carroll Community College to help transform the lives of others and build our wonderful community from this day forward. You inspire me and fill me with optimism for the future. Keep reaching for those enduring Lynx stars. Let them guide you to a brilliant future filled with happiness and hope. Dr. James D. Ball President, Carroll Community College Please listen to Dr. Ball's Degree Confirmation View the Commencement Program 2020 Carroll Community College Sherri-Le W. Bream Board of Trustees, Chairperson's Remarks Hello 2020 graduates! While this may not be the way any of us expected to celebrate this important milestone in your lives, you can be assured that as a member of the Class of 2020, you will hold a special place in history. Your family, friends, and the entire Carroll Community College community is so proud of you. I can say with confidence that each and every one of you is very special. You faced challenges no other class has faced. Your perseverance to complete your studies is impressive. (More...) Please accept my thanks to you on behalf of the College’s Board of Trustees. I also want to thank those at the College who worked so quickly to introduce fully online instruction and remote working to teach and support our students. The faculty, staff and leadership team put in countless hours to provide high quality education and support to our students during these unprecedented times. I especially want to recognize President Dr. James Ball, who led the College through these swiftly changing circumstances, keeping everyone focused on the safety of our community and the College’s unwavering commitment to the quality education Carroll provides. Allow me to also thank a very special member of our community, and this year’s Commencement speaker, Delegate Susan Krebs. Delegate Krebs served in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Carroll County for 18 years, having also served on the Carroll County Board of Education for four years, two years as President. She is also a member of Carroll’s Class of 2020, receiving an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree and the College medal for her remarkable advocacy for education and the College, and her distinguished service to our County. Congratulations to all of our 2020 graduates and best wishes as you embark on your personal journey to be the change you want to see in the world. Carroll Community College Dr. Rosalie V. Mince VP of Academic & Student Affairs Remarks Dear Graduating Class of 2020, It is my privilege and honor to write this letter to you on behalf of the faculty and staff of Carroll Community College. Thank you for allowing us to bask in the joy of your accomplishments along with you. When you succeed, we succeed. We have travelled along on your educational journey with you—often leading you and showing you the way, sometimes alongside you, working with you to find the answers, and always right behind you, encouraging you and urging you forward. (More...) Even now, when you deserve to take a moment to revel in the happiness of achieving this important milestone, we are thinking about your next steps and how we can continue to support you as you transfer to a four-year institution, advance in your career, and contribute to the wonderful society of Carroll County and beyond. This past semester many Carroll alums took the time to write to their former teachers, thanking them for the roles that they played in their lives as professors, mentors, friends, and cheerleaders. It was so rewarding to read about our alums’ wonderful accomplishments, sharing their pride and joy in achieving major goals, many of which they set for themselves while they were students at Carroll. It was very kind of these graduates to take the time to thank their faculty members, and I want you to know that no matter how far you go or how long it is from the time of your graduation, we will continue to hold you near in our hearts and minds, and we always appreciate hearing about your successes. Please take a moment from time to time to think back on your time at Carroll, and recall all that you were able to realize, often despite major challenges, not the least of which was overcoming the obstacles related to COVID-19! During your time at Carroll we launched intercollegiate athletics and selected as our mascot a lynx. The name lynx originated from the root word “leuk”, which means light or brightness, in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes. A group of lynx is called a chain, and I think that is a perfect way to sum up your relationship with Carroll Community College. You will always be part of our chain, always strongly connected to our bright community of learners. Class of 2020, congratulations on your graduation! Savor your accomplishments. It’s very hard for us to say good-bye to you, and if we do so with tears in our eyes, know that they are tears of joy. Thank you for being part of our chain. With Lynx pride, wishing you all continued success, Dr. Rosalie Mince Vice President, Academic & Student Affairs Maryland House of Delegates Delegate Susan W. Krebs Keynote Speaker Graduates, As you are all well aware, the coronavirus pandemic has altered your final semester at Carroll Community College in significant and profound ways. Traditions that you, your families, and your communities have been anticipating are now in limbo and the memories can never be replaced, but hopefully, this experience will be a lifetime memory-maker. None of us are responsible for this situation, yet, I feel compelled to say I am sorry. As a parent and former school board member, I know this is disappointing. Graduation has (More...) always been a milestone that we all loved to celebrate in person. Graduating students across the nation, undoubtedly are feeling the same disappointment. You have been robbed of saying goodbye to your classmates, your teachers, and all of those who supported you up to this day. But rest assured that disappointment will pass and this new virtual commencement will mark your passage into a new and exciting phase of your life. You share a common bond with your class and graduates across our nation that is unknown to anyone living today. You are in the right place and at the right time to truly make a difference in shaping our world. The opportunities for you are endless and your education will allow you to take advantage of those new prospects. The leadership, character and empathy that distinguishes the Class of 2020 will be needed as we find solutions to the many challenges that face us. You and your class will be shaped by this experience. After you graduate, you will move on to be leaders in your collegiate, military and professional lives. Character is forged in conflict and the true test of character is how we persevere and excel through adversity. Failure does not define us- your worth is defined by being a creation of God. We are always told to have a plan, and for many of you, that plan has been interrupted. But sometimes a larger plan is in place and you will look back in retrospect and see that plan. Preparation is key. How will you use your time and your talents to benefit others? The experience of living through this pandemic has given you a unique viewpoint. You have prepared academically and now it is up to you to make a difference in the world. We are so proud of everything you have already accomplished and can’t wait to see what the future will bring. I have unending faith in you today and your successes tomorrow. Please know that we are committed to doing everything in our collective power to give you the best path forward to a future that you have worked so hard to earn and that you deserve. We are here today to begin celebrating those accomplishments. The class of 2020 will always be remembered as the one that was quarantined, but also knew how to weather the storm and the importance of dancing in the rain. The storm will end, the sun will shine and you will be well on your way to achieving great things. Congratulations to the Carroll Community College Class of 2020- keep making us proud! Carroll County Sheriff's Office Sheriff James T. DeWees A.A.S. in Law Enforcement Program Remarks 2020 has ushered in some of the most unprecedented times in our nation’s history. From the current pandemic to criminal justice reform, law enforcement must embrace and adjust to the unparalleled challenges that face our profession and the citizens we swore to protect. The phrase “education equals opportunity” rings true in every profession and trade our graduates pursue, and law enforcement is no different. With the advent of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Police Academy (More...) and our new partnership with Carroll Community College, an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement was developed to offer deputies and officers locally and from around the State the opportunity to pursue their A.A.S. degree as a Cohort while attending the Police Academy. Our graduates will be better prepared to handle and intelligently confront today’s challenges. As a law enforcement leader who started my education at Carroll Community College, I know the significant benefits of this fine institution, its professors and leadership team. The partnership between our two institutions will benefit the citizens of Carroll County by creating an intelligent workforce using the abundance of resources the College has to offer. In order to strengthen the bond and trust between law enforcement and the citizens we protect, we must continue to train and educate ourselves so police officers become better stewards of justice. Congratulations to all 2020 Carroll Community College graduates, especially the men & women of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office that chose to take on a challenge that few would be bold enough to accept. James T. DeWees, Sheriff Carroll County Maryland Carroll Community College Cody W. Miller, Class of 2020 Student Response Greetings Graduates of 2020, There is much to be said about the time we have invested, the dedication we have put forth, and the knowledge we have gained. Time is paramount, and the presence of time must be considered within every development. For it is the constraint of time that unifies us, binds us, and humbles us. It is now that we are unified by investing in our education, it is now that we are bound by the Carroll Community College experience, and (More...) it is now that we are humbled by graduation. Dedication is what brought us here. The sleepless nights, the lack of social activity, and the simple, yet complex, yearning to be something more are all common traits of the dedicated. These traits weigh on the minds of the dedicated, but not as much as the fear of non-achievement. I know this because it could only be fear that keeps us away from our families and friends, but it is also this fear that ultimately pushes us to succeed. Knowledge is the keystone to wisdom, for with one holds the other. Both can be gained and developed; however, both can also be lost. Knowledge and wisdom are gained through the listening and understanding of the masters who came before us, and they are developed only through perfect practice, but they can be lost when the knowledge of the past does not adhere with the agendas of the future. Graduates, be proud of the hard work that you have invested thus far, but also remain humble. Remain humble because as of now, no one’s hard work outshines the others. Graduation pressed the reset button on us all, and soon our next endeavors shall begin; nonetheless, I ask you all to remain optimistic and remember that with new beginnings comes new opportunities. Stay focused; embrace fear, and success will find you. To conclude, I urge you to never stop learning. Once you have resolved to become a pupil of learning it is your obligation to remain such, so that one day, your wisdom may be passed onto future generations. Congratulations Graduates of 2020. I wish you farewell. Cody Miller, Class of 2020 Carroll Community College Kaleigh G. Cecil, Class of 2020 President’s Academic Excellence Award Winner The President’s Academic Excellence Award is presented annually to a student in recognition of outstanding academic performance. To qualify, candidates must have completed a minimum of 45 credit hours at Carroll, earned a 4.0 grade point average and demonstrated stellar service to the campus and the community. A native of Westminster, Maryland, Kayleigh Cecil entered Carroll as a dually enrolled student at age 16, having been homeschooled with (More...) oversight from The Excelsior Academy. Diagnosed with Asperger’s, Kayleigh persevered to adjust to the changes of a larger academic setting, receiving support from her professors and administrators. She was so inspired during her first year she took on more classes the following year, and by the end of the Spring 2018 semester, she was accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the first of many academic achievements. Her interest in science began with her first biology course, and she was accepted into the prestigious STEM Scholars Program in the Fall of 2018. Kayleigh excelled in all of her classes, including chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and statistics, while working at the same time. At the end of the Spring 2019 semester she was accepted into the Delta Alpha Pi Honors Society. Always striving for the next achievement, Kayleigh worked with a group of fellow students on a research project this past semester that the team hopes will be published at the 6th annual Maryland Collegiate STEM conference. After graduating with her Associate of Arts, Arts & Science degree, Kayleigh will start the Medical Laboratory Science Program at Stevenson University to pursue her bachelor’s degree. What Kayleigh enjoyed most about Carroll was the tight-knit community and how easy it was to connect with faculty, staff, and fellow students. Kayleigh is a role model for all students, especially those with learning differences. Commencement 2020 - Special Recognition Honorary Associates Degree Carroll Community College awards an Honorary Associates Degree to individuals for one or more of the following reasons: to recognize preeminent support for and/or service to Carroll Community College; to recognize outstanding contributions to the community; to recognize superior leadership for the improvement of higher education; or, to recognize an exceptional scholarly, intellectual or artistic achievement. College Medal Carroll Community College awards the College Medal to an individual for one or more of the following reasons: Exceptional commitment to assuring the mission, vision, values and goals of Carroll Community College are advanced as a public trust for the Citizens of Carroll County, Superior leadership for the improvement of higher education, Preeminent support and/or service provided for the advancement of Carroll Community College, or Community Colleges in general, Distinguished service and enduring commitment to excellence in teaching-learning Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Carroll Community College awards the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Medal to a graduate of the College who has earned distinction in meeting the following criteria: Dedicated and Continuous Demonstrated Commitment to the Success of Carroll Community College Distinguished Academic Contribution within to One’s Field of Study Distinguished Achievement in Career Pursuit Significant Achievement in Civic Engagement at the County, State or National Level Significant Contributions to Improving the Quality of Life in Carroll County Maryland House of Delegates Delegate Susan W. Krebs Honorary Associate of Arts Degree & College Medal Carroll Community College awards the Honorable Susan Krebs, Carroll County Delegate representing Carroll County District 5, an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree and College Medal in recognition of her tireless work in the Maryland General Assembly and throughout her extant work representing the people and institutions of Carroll County and for remarkable public and private support of the College. Delegate Krebs has long been an active supporter of Carroll Community College. She has hired students to serve as (More...) her legislative aid, and she is a strong public advocate for College. She graciously hosted student groups from Carroll Community College visiting Annapolis during Student Advocacy Day each year since she has been in office and has joined the group for lunch when time permitted. Because of her staunch support of Carroll students, Delegate Krebs was selected to deliver the Keynote Address for Carroll Community College’s Commencement in 2020. Due to cancellation of the event, she wrote a congratulatory letter for graduates that can also be accessed through this web page. Delegate Krebs and her husband Mark have been very supportive of the College’s Investing in a Brilliant Future Campaign, and they have attended all College signature events, including Starry Night, the Penguin-Random House Book Fair, and the inaugural Lynx soccer game launching the College’s new athletics program in Fall 2019. She has also advocated for developing additional athletics facilities with the Board of Commissioners of Carroll County. Delegate Krebs earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Towson University in 1981 and completed post-graduate studies at University of Baltimore. She was elected to serve on the Carroll County Board of Education in 1999. She served as President of the Board from 2001-2002. Delegate Krebs was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2003 and continues to represent Carroll County District 5 in Annapolis. She has served primarily on the Health and Government Operations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee and has served on many important subcommittees and caucuses. In addition, she has served as a member of the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness, the Governor's Workforce Investment Board, Task Force to Study How to Improve Financial Literacy in the State, Long-Term Care Reform Work Group, the Maryland Commission on Suicide Prevention, Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland and many others. Importantly for Carroll Community College, Delegate Krebs has consistently voted to support legislation to improve funding for Community Colleges. In 2017, she sponsored House Bill 204 -Small Community College Funding, a Bill aimed at correcting an inequity in funding for small community colleges. Delegate Krebs testified in support of the Bill in the House Appropriations Committee and worked behind the scenes to ensure its successful passing. The small college legislation resulted in a funding increase of over $400,000 annually for Carroll Community College. This special legislation enabled the College to flourish while also minimizing tuition increases. Delegate Krebs is exceedingly active in community and civic organizations in Carroll County and regionally. She has served as Honorary Chair for the Board of Directors of the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, served on the Carroll Hospice Board of Trustees, served as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Carroll Lutheran Village, she is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland State Parent-Teacher Association. She also served on the Legislative Committee of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and served on the Maryland Caucus of Black School Board Members. She serves on the Freedom Area Citizens Council, is active in the Freedom District Lion's Club and many other organizational affiliations. In recognition of her exceptional commitment to assuring the mission and goals of the College; preeminent support for and service to Carroll Community College; superior leadership for the improvement of higher education; preeminent support for and service to Carroll Community College; and, outstanding contributions to the community, Carroll Community College is pleased to award Delegate Susan W. Krebs an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree and the College Medal. Maryland Senate Senator Justin D. Ready College Medal - Distinguished Alumnus Award Carroll Community College awards the Honorable Justin Ready, Maryland State Senator Representing Carroll County District 5, the College Medal for Distinguished Alumnus in recognition of his significant accomplishments in serving the advancement of community colleges and the Carroll County community through outstanding public service. Senator Ready received his Associate of Arts degree from Carroll Community College in 2002. From Carroll he went on to receive a baccalaureate degree in political science with a minor in history from (More...) Salisbury University. He received a master’s degree in business administration from University of Maryland, University College in 2018. Senator Ready’s foray into the world of politics and civic engagement began when he served as legislative aide to Delegate J. B. Jennings from 2004 until 2006. In 2006, he became Chief of Staff to Senator Janet Greenip, a position he held until 2008. Senator Ready also served as executive director of the Maryland Republican Party from 2008 until 2009, and he served again as interim Executive Director from July-December 2011. He was elected to the House of Delegates representing District 5A, Carroll County, January 12, 2011 and served in the House until February 2, 2015, when he was appointed by Governor Hogan to serve in the Maryland General Assembly as Senator, representing Carroll County District 5. Legislatively, Senator Ready has consistently voted to support Bills in support of increased funding for Community Colleges. In 2016, Senator Ready sponsored and fought for the successful passing of Senate Bill 521 Small Community College Funding Bill aimed at correcting an inequity in funding for small community colleges. His championing of this Bill in the Senate resulted in an increase of over $400,000 annually in additional funding for Carroll Community College. This special legislation has enabled the College to flourish while also minimizing tuition increases. Senator Ready is an inspirational role model for our students, and he is a strong public advocate for Carroll Community College. He has graciously hosted student groups from Carroll Community College visiting Annapolis during Student Advocacy Day each year while in Office. He also served as Keynote Speaker for Carroll Community College’s Commencement in 2012. His office has also helped coordinate visits of the Carroll County Delegation for yearly meetings with the Board of Trustees. Carroll Community College is honored to present the College Medal for Distinguished Alumnus to Senator Justin D. Ready in recognition for his unwavering support of Carroll students and the community we serve. InfoPathways and Freedom Broadband Theresa C. Bethune College Medal – Distinguished Alumna Award Carroll Community College awards Theresa C. Bethune, President, InfoPathways and Freedom Broadband, the Carroll Community College Medal for Distinguished Alumna in recognition of her support for and commitment to the advancement of student success at Carroll Community College. Ms. Bethune received her Associate of Arts degree from Carroll Community College in 1996. At the advice of her advisor, she applied and was accepted into an accelerated B.S. program at Johns Hopkins University. She would (More...) graduate from Johns Hopkins with honors, ten years after completing high school. Like so many of Carroll’s students, Ms. Bethune did not go to college directly out of high school due to a lack of financial resources. She attended Carroll part-time in the evenings earning her A.A., majoring in Business Administration in 1996. She went on to become an executive with Johnson Controls and currently is President of a company that she owns with her husband, Thom Bethune. InfoPathways and Freedom Broadband, under Theresa’s guidance is an incredible advocate of our students, bringing many Carroll students in as interns and also offering jobs to a number of our graduates. Viewed as a leader in the business community, Theresa was brought onto the Carroll Community College Foundation Board in 2015. During her tenure on the Board, she has participated in numerous fundraising initiatives. Theresa proudly shares that her educational journey started at Carroll, proving that a Carroll education can lead anywhere! Theresa, Thom, and their company have collectively donated $100,000 to the College since 2009, donating key support to Carroll’s Cybersecurity Program, our Allied Health and Nursing program, student scholarships and fundraising events (Penguin Random House Book Fair and the Starry Night gala). Carroll Community College is honored to present the College Medal for Distinguished Alumna to Theresa C. Bethune in recognition for her unwavering support of Carroll students.