Belmont College

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 Assisting.

The class salutatorian, Heather Archer of Senecaville, Ohio earned her degree in Radiologic Technology.

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 it.”

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 in life.”

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 point.”

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.

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From left to right: 2012 Belmont Graduates: Jefferis twins, Hunter and Miles, from Barnesville, Ohio. They received degrees in Associate Degree Nursing (ADN).

 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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