A total of 351 graduates participated in the 65th Annual Southwest Texas Junior College Commencement Ceremony held May 12 at the Uvalde Honey Bowl Stadium. VIDEO PHOTOS
Taking part in the ceremony were December 2011 graduates, May 2012 graduates and August 2012 candidates for graduation.
"Thankfully, the rain held off and we were able to have the ceremony outside," SWTJC Dean of Admissions Joe Barker said. "My thanks goes out to all our staff whose hard work made this year's graduation a success. It was a great day."
A total of 757 graduates were listed in this year's commencement program, with 370 receiving the associate of arts degree, one earning the associate of arts in teaching and 13 awarded the associate of science degree. An additional 103 students earned the associate of applied science degree and 270 students received basic certificates and certificates of completion.
SWTJC Uvalde 2012 graduate Rochell Sanchez of Uvalde, a member of the Catholic Club, delivered the invocation. Graduates Carla Rios of Cotulla and Noe Zarate of Carrizo Springs led the singing of The National Anthem.
Dr. Ismael Sosa, Jr., SWTJC president, introduced college trustees and honored guests, and SWTJC Dean of Technology and Institutional Advancement Dr. Blaine Bennett introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Aguero, vice president for instruction and student services at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, TX.
Dr. Aguero is an alumnus of SWTJC and was also on the staff at SWTJC from 1982-1991, serving in a variety of positions including instructor, assistant to the president and dean of instruction. Dr. Aguero asked that his $750 honorarium be given as a scholarship to a deserving student attending SWTJC.
SWTJC Dean of Instruction Hector Gonzales recognized honors graduates and outstanding students from individual programs.
Gonzales recognized Tami T. Bendele and Rauni L. McClure of Uvalde, Raul L. Lopez and Amanda J. Ridley of Eagle Pass, and Nicholas Escamilla of Del Rio, for maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in earning their degree or certificate.
Outstanding students in various technical programs were also recognized including: Jesus A. Balderas of Brackettville, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology; Nicholas Escamilla of Del Rio, Automotive Body Repair Technology; Justin D. Lovince of Uvalde, Automotive Technology; Jessica M. Gonzalez of Eagle Pass, Child Development (Eagle Pass); Erika A. Valdes, Uvalde, Child Development (Uvalde); Laura P. Garcia of Uvalde, Cosmetology; Eduardo Sanchez of Eagle Pass, Criminal Justice; and Juan B. Lara of La Pryor, Diesel Technology.
Other outstanding technical program students were: Mark Anthony Rodriguez of Del Rio, Homeland Security; Tomas M. Rangel of Del Rio, Management (Del Rio); Lorena C. Barrera of Uvalde, Management (Uvalde); Ellen O'Brien of Del Rio, Registered Nursing; Maria D. Camacho of Copperas Cove, Teacher Aide; Daisy L. Mireles of Del Rio, Vocational Nursing (Del Rio); Gabriel Martinez of Eagle Pass, Vocational Nursing (Eagle Pass); Cristal F. Hernandez of Crystal City, Vocational Nursing (Uvalde); Rigoberto Arroyo of Eagle Pass, Welding Technology; and Ryan C. Hurley of Rio Frio, Wildlife Management.
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