Belmont College

Belmont College Holds 42nd Commencement Ceremony

Dr. Rebecca J. Kurtz, Vice President of Learning & Student Success (left) and President Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski applaud the Class of 2013.
Dr. Rebecca J. Kurtz, Vice President of Learning & Student Success (left) and President Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski applaud the Class of 2013.

St. Clairsville, OH (May 17, 2013) - Officials at Belmont College conferred degrees upon a multitude of graduates as part of the College’s 2013 graduation ceremony in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Hundreds of parents, extended family, faculty, and staff were present to congratulate the Class of 2013.

President Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski welcomed the graduates, “Tonight you become proud alumni of Belmont College and will be going out to make your mark in the world just like those who have preceded you.”

He went on to say, “I encourage you to never stop learning. Whether this means earning an advanced degree, obtaining certifications in your field, or taking continuing education courses, it is imperative that you stay on the cutting edge of your profession. Dedicate yourself to a lifetime of learning. You will never regret it.”

Belmont College Class of 2013 valedictorian Tanya Burgess from Jewett, Ohio.

The Class of 2013 valedictorian Tanya Burgess of Jewett, Ohio received her degree in Information Technology Programming. She earned a grade-point-average of 3.97, graduating with honors and as a member Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Tanya has plans to transfer her credits earned at Belmont towards a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron.

“My experience at Belmont College was a rewarding one,” she said. “I am excited to take the next step in my educational journey as I have enrolled in the Teaching and Training Technical Professionals degree program at the University of Akron. While attending Belmont I learned the benefits of hard work and diligence and I feel that earning this degree has helped me to become a strong role model for my children.”

The class salutatorian, Mark DelGuzzo of Martins Ferry, Ohio earned his degree in Industrial Electronics. He achieved a grade-point-average of 3.96 and graduated with honors.

Graduates from the following programs participated in the commencement ceremony held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013: Associate Degree Nursing; Child Development; Emergency Medical Services; Firefighter/Paramedic; Medical Assisting; Medical Coding; Medical Transcriptionist; Mental Health; Practical Nursing; and Radiologic Technology.

Ms. Laurie Labishak delivered the keynote address to the Tuesday evening graduates; she is currently the Corporate Director of Community Relations, Marketing & Public Relations for Ohio Valley Health Services & Education with Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) and East Ohio Regional Hospital (EORH). Her background includes over 25 years in healthcare management including extensive work in the field of gerontology and grass roots development for non-profit organizations. Ms. Labishak is a nationally recognized motivational speaker having presented for professional organizations across the country.

In her keynote address to the graduates Lasishak said, “What you have learned will now be shared with others, who perhaps, have been in the healthcare field for some time. You will have the opportunity to teach new ways and techniques that can possibly help save time, save money, and maybe even save lives. You will be a part of history making as medical records become electronic and telemedicine becomes the norm. With the knowledge you have gained at Belmont College, you will, no doubt, help change the way healthcare is delivered and also help others embrace that change."

Graduating with the class of 2013 were 45 medical assisting students; 100% of these students received a passing score on their RMA (Registered Medical Assistants) exam.

Business Management graduate Lily Zheng (left) from Woodsfield, Ohio with Mr. Bill Knox (right), Assistant Professor & Program Chair of Accounting/Business.
Business Management graduate Lily Zheng (left) from Woodsfield, Ohio with Mr. Bill Knox (right), Assistant Professor & Program Chair of Accounting/Business.

Graduates from the following programs participated in the commencement ceremony held on Wednesday, May 15, 2013: 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; Real Estate; Small Business; and Welding.

The keynote speaker at the Wednesday evening graduation was Mr. Rich Milleson, Economic Development Coordinator for the Village of Cadiz. Mr. Milleson and his team were responsible for the agreement with Mark West Energy to install a growing gas processor within the village’s industrial park. For more than 20 years Mr. Milleson has run his family’s Nationwide Insurance Agency in Freeport, Ohio. He recently retired as a principal agent, and currently works as an associate agent for his son Dan, culminating in a fourth generation partnership with Nationwide.

Speaking to the graduates Mr. Milleson said, “Graduates your part in this moment has been challenging, rewarding, and a tribute to perseverance.”

Continuing on he said, “Belmont College and its faculty have empowered you to go out and promote your individual talents to the growing list of employers across the valley. We hope that you can build upon the opportunities that will be presented to you to become productive employees earning a living wage and at some point fulfill the dreams that you have cherished.”

Accounting graduate Emily Hawthorne (right) from St. Clairsville, Ohio with her mother Marge Hawthorne (left) 1973 Belmont College alumna and current Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Belmont.
Accounting graduate Emily Hawthorne (right) from St. Clairsville, Ohio with her mother Marge Hawthorne (left) 1973 Belmont College alumna and current Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Belmont.

At the Wednesday evening ceremony accounting graduate Emily Hawthorne from St. Clairsville had the unique privilege of receiving her diploma from her mother and Belmont College alumna, Marge Hawthorne, who works at Belmont as Executive Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development. Marge is a 1973 Belmont College (then Belmont Technical College) graduate with a degree in business. Emily has already begun working on her bachelor’s degree in accounting with DeVry University.

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 2013 recipients of this award were: Marianne Clouston, Instructor of Nursing; and adjunct faculty members Todd Henry and Bonnie Warren.

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