Perimeter College students continue to shine on the academic stage, and nowhere was that more apparent than at our most recent graduation.
During our three commencement ceremonies in May, we recognized the accomplishments of more than 900 graduates, each of whom has taken a major step toward their goals by earning an associate degree. The sight of them and their families was truly cause for celebration.
We also had a chance to shine a light on graduates whose personal achievements represented milestones not only in their own lives but for our college as well.
Among them were our two Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholars: Isaac King and Hoang Huynh.
Isaac and Hoang are two of just 61 community college students in the nation who received this prestigious scholarship, which offers each recipient up to $40,000 a year for three years to complete his or her bachelor’s degrees.
Both Isaac and Hoang are computer science students.
This summer, Isaac is working as an intern at Chevron in Texas and will be continuing his studies at Georgia Tech in the fall.
Hoang has an internship at Google in Arizona and will continue at Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall.
These are inspiring young men and truly a credit to their families, this college and to the faculty and staff who have supported their efforts.
If you missed the video of the surprise Jack Kent Cooke announcement, please check it out.
We also witnessed two big firsts at our May commencements:
- We saw the graduation of our first class of State Farm Scholars, who represent our wonderful partnership with State Farm and also reflect the impact of our Georgia State University LIFT program, a student success initiative on the Decatur Campus.
- We viewed our largest DeKalb Early College Academy class graduating with their associate degrees — before receiving their high school diplomas.
Many of these students will continue their undergraduate education at our Atlanta Campus.
And, I would be remiss not to include our three commencement speakers: Bekah Adamson, Anthony Molina and Yash-yee Logan — all Perimeter College alumni. It is gratifying to know they view Perimeter College and the faculty and staff who supported them as the foundation of their success.
Summer semester is almost half over, but I know many of you are in the classroom or in your offices or back from teaching study abroad.
From mid-May to June, Perimeter College faculty taught English and biology in the Bahamas; English and Spanish in Costa Rica; religious studies, Spanish and critical thinking in Ecuador; English and film studies in England; and economics and political science in Romania. These trips provided our students a wider world view and represented the first overseas journey for many of them. What a great opportunity, and what an experience for everyone.
I also want to recognize our dental hygiene program for its impressive service project this summer.
Recent dental hygiene graduates and faculty traveled to Moultrie, Ga., to provide preventative dental care to migrant farmers and their families as part of the Farmworkers Health Program. This program has been in existence for more than 25 years and has been a benchmark for the collaboration of multiple university health care programs.
In addition to Perimeter’s dental hygiene team, health care providers included Georgia State’s physical therapy department, Emory University nursing and the University of Georgia’s pharmacy program.
During the week, our contingent treated more than 250 adults at farms and about 150 children at a local elementary school.
Students and volunteers reported how humbled they were by the hard work of these farming families and how grateful they were for the opportunity to provide health services to this population. Chances are, the fruit and veggies on your table are from a south Georgia farm, provided by the toil of these workers.
As I finish up my first semester at Perimeter College, I also am grateful — grateful for the welcome you have given me as dean and the level of commitment you — our faculty and staff — have shown to student learning.
I hope you are able to enjoy some summer fun before our fall semester begins.