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JCC holds 2016 Fall Commencement

(l-r) Jefferson Community College fall 2016 commencement student speaker, Reganne H. Smith, president Carole A. McCoy, and fall commencement keynote, Joel F. LaLone.

Jefferson Community College celebrated the College’s third annual Fall Commencement Ceremony on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Robert R. & Jean S. Sturtz Theater. 

Jefferson’s class of Fall 2016 graduates is comprised of 204 students who are candidates for graduation in December 2016 pending satisfactory completion of coursework. Five students will receive two degrees and/or certificates each bringing the total number of degrees and/certificates awarded to 209.  Jefferson’s active duty and veteran students along with 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 Joel F. LaLone delivered the keynote address at Friday evening’s commencement exercises. LaLone, professor of mathematics, has been a member of the Jefferson faculty for 31 years.  He holds an associate degree from Jefferson, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam, and a master’s degree from Syracuse University. In 1991, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and then in 2010, he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship & Creativity. Then, this year, he was one of three faculty members from two-year colleges in New York State to be bestowed the prestigious Distinguished Service Professorship, the highest faculty rank established by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Professor LaLone has been deeply involved with the Center for Community Studies since 1999, when he played an integral role in the Center’s formation. Whether interacting with students or presenting research findings within the community-at-large, LaLone’s passion and enthusiasm for mathematics and statistical analysis is infectious, keeping students engaged and providing community leaders with the understanding to make informed, data-based decisions. He has been part of 150 research studies with a diverse range of community research objectives and he is a pioneer in applied learning at Jefferson by engaging students in nearly every stage of the research process, from survey design to data collection, to data analysis.

Student member of the Board of Trustees, Reganne H. Smith, spoke on behalf of the student body. Smith is majoring in mathematics and science with a concentration in science at Jefferson and anticipates graduating in May 2017 with an associate in science degree. During her freshman year, Smith worked as a front desk clerk in the College’s residence halls and was a member of Jefferson’s first ever cross country team where she and her teammates became National Junior College Athletic Association conference and regional champions. Currently, she is a resident assistant (RA) in East Hall and a member of Student Government.

Eleven candidates for graduation from Jefferson Higher Education Center Partners SUNY Potsdam and Bryant and Stratton College participated in JCC’s fall commencement exercises. Five students completed their master of science degree in organizational leadership and five students completed their master of science in teaching, childhood education, from SUNY Potsdam and crossed the stage to receive their diplomas from SUNY Potsdam. One student completed their health services administration bachelor’s degree from Bryant and Stratton College.

A reception and photo area for graduates and their guests was held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony.