Harford Community College held its Sixty-Fifth Annual Commencement on Thursday, May 25, 2023. Two ceremonies were held this year in the APG Federal Credit Union Arena at the College. The 10 AM ceremony was for graduates of the Arts and Humanities and the Behavioral and Social Sciences divisions, and the 2 PM ceremony was for graduates of the Business and Applied Technology, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math divisions. In traditional cap and gown ceremonies, graduates of the Class of 2023 received an associate degree and/or certificate at the events. Approximately 340 of the more than 900 Harford Community College graduates crossed the stage during Thursday’s ceremonies.
Professor James M. McFarland (Faculty Marshall) led the processional at the 10 AM ceremony along with Professor Colleen Webster (Student Marshall). Associate Professor Supawan King (Faculty Marshall) led the processional at the 2 PM ceremony along with Assistant Professor Michele L. Catterton (Student Marshall). Soloist Zachery Lockwood, Adjunct Faculty, sang “The National Anthem.” Both ceremonies began with a welcome from Dr. Theresa B. Felder, President of Harford Community College. Richard P. Streett III, DVM, Chair of the Harford Community College Board of Trustees, offered greetings.
Dr. Pamela Pape-Lindstrom, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the candidates for graduation, and Dr. Felder conferred the degrees and certificates. Harford’s Class of 2023 includes August and December 2022 graduates and May 2023 candidates for graduation.
Jennifer L. Sherrick delivered the Student Graduate Address at the 10 AM ceremony. Jenny is a communications major and is a member of the Honors Program at Harford. She will be continuing her studies at Towson University in the fall.
Jessica K. Stephens delivered the Student Graduate Address at the 2 PM ceremony. A nursing major who has completed her associate degree, Jessica will be completing her bachelor’s degree at Towson University in the fall. She is a member of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society and was selected to be part of the pinning committee. Jessica also served as president of Young Life and vice president of the Student Nurse Association, was a mental health peer educator with the Owls in ACTION program, and worked in the community helping teenagers to gain valuable leadership skills. She is looking forward to working with children in the mental health field in the near future.
Noah A. Courtney and Sena Sogut were presented with Outstanding Student Leadership Awards from Dr. Hans Cooper, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management. The award recognizes a student who has earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 and has made significant overall contributions to the College and community where personal time, effort, and dedication are evident.
Noah completed an associate degree in December 2023 with a triple major in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science. Since graduating from Harford Community College, he has continued his academic pursuits at Cornell University, where he is studying Biological Science with a concentration in Genetics, Genomics, and Development. While at Harford, he was the student representative to the Faculty Honors Advisory Board, was active in the Honors Program, and was the student representative on the Academic Policy Committee. He was an officer and member of Psi Beta and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Noah was also an NSF S-STEM Scholar at HCC and received the S-STEM Research Grant to complete kelp forest research while spending a semester at the University of Alaska Southeast scientific diving program. Upon returning to Harford, he presented his research to faculty and students, where he showed the value of undergraduate research. Prior to his studies at Harford Community College, Noah served honorably in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Sena is a psychology major who has completed her associate degree and will transfer to Towson in the fall. She is a member of the Honors Program and has been on the President’s List for all of her semesters at Harford Community College. Sena is an active Phi Theta Kappa and Psi Beta Honor Society member. She started the first book club at Harford Community College and has been the president for a year. With this club, she opened a safe space for significant topics through literature. Sena is an active member at her local mosque and contributes to advancing Islamic education for children as the daycare helper. With the education she’s attained at Harford Community College, she hopes to give back to her community and, in the future, help youth with their mental health.
Eric E. McLauchlin, Chair of the Harford Community College Foundation Board of Directors, gave the valediction. He offered congratulations from the Foundation and welcomed the graduates to the alumni body of over 19,500 degreed prior Harford graduates. He urged the new alumni to stay connected and involved with the College as proud alumni have done over the years.
Dr. Felder presented Weiping Qin with the 2023 Harford Community College Distinguished Alumni Award. The award honors the achievements of former students who have attained outstanding success in their chosen profession, demonstrated a commitment to the community, and maintained an interest in and service to Harford Community College.