Belmont Technical College Holds
Last Commencement Ceremony
312 students earn their degrees from Belmont.
St. Clairsville, OH (June 8, 2012) – Officials at Belmont Technical College
conferred degrees upon 312 students as part of the College’s 2012 graduation
ceremony in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Hundreds of parents, extended family, faculty,
and staff were present to congratulate the Class of 2012 during recent ceremonies
held in Horizon Hall on the College campus.
This will be the last time that the College will distribute diplomas with the Belmont
Technical College name and logo, as the College will officially change its name
to Belmont College on July 1.
Belmont President, Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski welcomed the graduates. “It is my
great honor to preside over the 41st and final Belmont Technical College commencement
ceremony. As graduates, you are now lifelong members of our Belmont family.
I wish you nothing but success and prosperity as you begin a new chapter in your
lives. You have worked hard and I wish you tremendous success.”
The Class of 2012 had three valedictorians: Jessica Boston of Shadyside, Ohio, who
received her degree in Mental Health Technology, Susan Gibson of Bellaire, Ohio,
and Michele Devore of Tippecanoe, Ohio, who both received their degrees in Medical
The class salutatorian, Heather Archer of Senecaville, Ohio earned her degree in
Also addressing the graduates was R.J. Konkoleski, Director of Development and External
Affairs. “Graduation is an achievement and certainly worthy of celebration,
but it is not by any means the end,” he said. “When you became
students of Belmont Technical College, we became committed to your success; not
only your success in class, but your success in your career, in your personal goals,
and in life. Today, we are gathered to celebrate your success in education.
But as alumni of Belmont Technical College, our relationship doesn’t end today;
as alumni, you have a friend, a resource that can help you today, tomorrow and even
years from now.”
Graduates from the following programs participated in the commencement ceremony
held on Thursday, June 7, 2012: Associate Degree Nursing; Child Development; Emergency
Medical Services; Firefighter/Paramedic; Medical Assisting; Medical Coding; Medical
Transcriptionist; Mental Health; Practical Nursing; and Radiologic Technology.
Dr. Kathleen Fox Tennant, APRN, BC, Associate Professor of Nursing at West Liberty
University addressed the Thursday evening graduates. Dr. Tennant holds an
Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) from West Virginia Northern Community College, as
well as a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree
specializing as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from West Virginia University.
She also has a Ph.D. with concentration in Higher Education Administration, Research
and Evaluation from Ohio University; and a minor in Health Services Administration.
In speaking to the graduates Dr. Tennant quoted the late Steve Jobs, Co-founder,
Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., “Your work is going to
fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do
what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what
you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t
settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find
Graduating with this year’s class during the Thursday evening ceremony were
the Jefferis twins, Hunter and Miles, from Barnesville, Ohio. They received degrees
in Associate Degree Nursing (ADN).
The twins have taken virtually every class together since enrolling at Belmont and
have enjoyed the nursing program. “It has been great to go through this experience
with my brother,” said Hunter. “We have been just as fortunate to share
this program with our fellow nursing students; I will miss them greatly as we all
go our separate ways.”
Having enrolled at Belmont through the post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO) program
during their sophomore year of high school, Hunter and Miles completed all of their
pre-requisites for the nursing program before graduating from high school. “Our
choice to enroll at Belmont was a combination of many things,” said Miles.
“Completing our pre-requisite classes through the PSEO program made it much
easier to concentrate on our nursing classes sooner. Also, our dad attended the
nursing program at Belmont Technical College and we saw all of the opportunities
that were presented to him; we wanted to take advantage of those opportunities early
Moreover, the twins were Trustees Scholarship recipients. “The Registered
Nursing program at Belmont College has been a very cost effective way for us to
achieve our degrees,” said Hunter. “We have been fortunate to receive
the Trustee’s Scholarship to pay for our tuition.” Hunter was also the
recipient of the Clay Memorial Scholarship in which helped him off-set the cost
of his books and fees.
Hunter plans to continue his education by entering the Bachelor’s of Science
in nursing program with Ohio University. “Since I am beginning my career early
in life, I feel that the possibilities for my future in the field of health care
are endless," he said.
Miles said, “I have been fortunate to have already been offered a job at an
area hospital once I pass the board exam. I plan to continue my education to the
highest level that I can, and I am proud to have had Belmont as my educational starting
The twins feel very strongly that their instructors and fellow classmates were a
large part of their success in the program. “We had so many great instructors
throughout our time at Belmont who encouraged and supported us along the way”
said Miles. “I feel that they have prepared me for a career in the medical
field; my education in the classroom and my clinical experience has allowed me to
feel very comfortable in a hospital setting, and I am excited to begin working.”
Graduates from the following programs participated in the commencement ceremony
held on Friday, June 8, 2012: Associate of Arts; Associate of Science; Accounting;
Bookkeeping; Building Preservation & Restoration; Business Management; Civil
Engineering; Criminal Justice; Cyber Security; Data Processing; HVAC; Industrial
Electronics; IT Programs; Legal Office; Library; Office Administration; Office Clerk
Specialist; OUE Joint Degrees; Power Plant Technology; Real Estate; Small Business;
Tooling & Machining; and Welding.
Speaking at the Friday evening graduation was Mr. Bob Whipp, Senior Civil Engineer
for drilling operations with Chesapeake Energy. He is responsible for roads and
transportation in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio with advisory
responsibilities in other states. Mr. Whipp is a 1977 graduate of West Virginia
University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He has a thirty-three
year career with the West Virginia Division of Highways holding the positions of
Project Engineer, Area Construction Engineer, and District Construction Engineer.
2012 graduate April Pittman who participated in the Friday evening commencement
ceremony is a mother of three from Lewisville, Ohio. She worked several jobs before
enrolling in the Accounting program at Belmont.
April decided that if she wanted a better future for her family, attending college
was important. In doing so, she also inspired her husband Michael to enroll in college
as well; he is currently double majoring in the Business Management programs Small
Business Administration & Entrepreneurship and Business Administration &
Leadership at Belmont.
According to April, “Returning to school and receiving my degree has definitely
been the most life changing thing I have ever done. I would really like to thank
all of my instructors and fellow students for a wonderful experience.” She
hopes to continue on to receive a Bachelors Degree in Accounting, and then eventually
take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
During the graduation ceremonies the Ray of Light Award was presented; this award
is given each year to members of Belmont faculty and/or staff who are nominated
by students for meeting the following criteria: the employee energized the student
in a special way; the employee motivated the student to succeed; the employee helped
promote a learning-centered environment; and the employee made a difference in the
life of the student. The 2012 recipients of this award were: Rita Fulton, Professor
of Biology; Tom Atkinson, Professor of Business Management; and Brenda Wallner,
Assistant Professor of Nursing.
# # # #
From left to right: 2012 Belmont Graduates: Jefferis twins, Hunter and Miles,
from Barnesville, Ohio. They received degrees in Associate Degree Nursing (ADN).
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