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JCC Celebrates Fall Commencement Ceremony on December 18

Jefferson Community College celebrated the College’s Fall Commencement Ceremony on Friday, December 18, 2015 in the Robert R. & Jean S. Sturtz Theater.  

Jefferson’s class of Fall 2015 graduates is comprised of 213 students who are candidates for graduation in December 2015 pending satisfactory completion of coursework. Seven students will receive two degrees each bringing the total number of degrees and/certificates awarded to 220.   This year, in another special component of the evening’s ceremony, three college students received their baccalaureate degrees through Jefferson’s Higher Education Center partners.  SUNY Cobleskill awarded two students degrees in Early Childhood: Birth to Age 5 and Bryant and Stratton College awarded one student a degree in Health Services Administration.

Approximately 46% of Fall graduates were active duty soldiers, military dependents, veterans, retirees or members of the Army Reserves.  Jefferson’s active duty and veteran students and faculty and staff veterans participating in the ceremony were distinguished by the red, white and blue cords worn in recognition of their service to our country.

Distinguished professor, Raymond E. Petersen, gave the keynote address at the commencement exercises. Dr. Petersen, professor of political science, joined Jefferson in 1984. He has served numerous roles on campus including advisor, delegate, master teacher, leader, advocate, director of the Center for Community Studies and the list goes on. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from SUNY Oswego, and both a master of arts and doctorate of philosophy in political science from the City University of New York.  In 2012, to honor and recognize his extraordinary service at the community, regional and State levels, he was granted Distinguished Service Professorship, the highest faculty rank established by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Recently, Dr. Petersen concluded a 5 year engagement as director of the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson. Since 1999, he has been instrumental to the Center in developing programming and setting up a lecture series that focused, over the years, on topics ranging from understanding world cultures, to sustainability to community social and economic issues like wind farms, gun control, and minimum wage. While serving as Jefferson’s delegate to the Faculty Council of Community Colleges, Dr. Petersen helped to further initiatives to strengthen student transfer, academic standards and integrity, and shared governance at all the community colleges within the State University of New York (SUNY).

The student speaker was Cedric L. Baggett, Watertown, current president of Student Government and a Fall 2015 graduate. Baggett is completing his degree in liberal arts-humanities and social sciences at Jefferson. As a veteran student, he is actively involved in the JCC veterans club and volunteers his time to assist the Feed Our Vets program locally. Previously, Cedric served as marketing manager for student government participating in numerous campus, and new student services, events.  During the fall semester at JCC, Cedric completed his goals for the National Society of Leadership and Success and will be inducted in the spring. Baggett plans to transfer from Jefferson to SUNY Plattsburgh to pursue a bachelor’s degree in audio-radio production.

A reception for graduates and their guests was held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony.  The commencement ceremony will be available at the end of December to watch on Jefferson Community College’s You Tube channel,