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  • Mount Wachusett Community College President James Vander Hooven addresses graduates...

    Mount Wachusett Community College President James Vander Hooven addresses graduates at commencement on May 18, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of Nia Carignan)

  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli addresses graduates...

    Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli addresses graduates at the Mount Wachusett Community College commencement on May 18, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of Nia Carignan)

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GARDNER — Mount Wachusett Community College hosted its 57th commencement on May 18 with officials and students talking about the challenges that have been overcome and the strength of spirit that the members of the Class of 2022 have shown and will be able to use to meet whatever the future may send their way.

A total of 592 students earned an associate degree or certificate — 474 degrees and 162 certificates — while eight students from the from the Class of 2020 and 28 from the Class of 2021, also shared the stage. It was the school’s first in-person commencement since 2019.

“It feels amazing to be back here with you tonight. We have waited for three years to be back in this space for this event together,” MWCC President James Vander Hooven said. “You represent the epitome of perseverance. You have risen to and overcome all the challenges placed before you to be here tonight. The importance moving forward, establishing and re-establishing human connections, relationships, and partnerships, in your future work and in your future education, must go forward with you.

“To commence means to begin, to move forward. While your educational journey with the Mount is coming to an end, it is just a beginning. This beginning comes with responsibility, the responsibility to use what you have gained for the betterment of your communities and your families,” he said.

Jennifer Gariepy, the student speaker, received her associate degree in liberal arts and sciences. In her address, she charged her classmates to hold their heads high as they take their next steps in life.

“From here on out, I want you to stand tall with your head held high, because we earned more than a degree or certificate,” she said. “We earned self-respect, self-love and self-confidence, because our perseverance overcame the obstacles that tried to get in our way.”

“We are starting the next chapter of our lives stronger than we were before,” she said.

Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Chris Gabrieli also referenced learning through the pandemic during his keynote speech.

“Every ceremony is full of pride and joy, but this one is extra special to us all because we have been through so much to get here,” he said.

Gabrieli also emphasized MWCC’s Pathways Early College Experience program. Every year, the program provides 20 students with the opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and an associate degree while completing their junior and senior year taking courses at MWCC.

“The Mount was a pioneer in this field far before I got involved, and it’s a shining star now, taking full advantage of taking what the state offers to support Early College,” Gabrieli said. “I am proud and grateful to the Mount for stepping up, as they do so often and so well, to be a leader in imagining and executing on new ways students of every age can benefit from college and the learning offered here at the Mount.”

Gabrieli congratulated the Class of 2022 and said, with degree or certificate in hand, they would go on to make the world a better place.

“Congratulations to all of you with gratitude for the opportunity to share in the joy of this day, with optimism that you will make the world a better place with your educated skills, your courage, and your proven resilience,” he said.

The graduates of the Class of 2022 are:

ASHBURNHAM

Associates: Samantha Nicole Bertrand, Amber Rose Gagne, Steven Gorrell, Toby LaRoche, Neil L. O’DonovanCertificate: Katie L. O’Brien, Edwin Alberto Perez

ASHBY

Associates: Patty Romero Brine, Ashley M. Ploskonka, Jaclyn Quigley, Leelannee Thankful Breed Welty

AYER

Associates: Eric William Gravelle, Perrin Christopher Grubb, Max Duncan Sivak, Aroara R. Spindler-Levy, Mitchell Taylor

Certificate: Ana Vitoria P. Eleuterio

BALDWINVILLE

Associates: William Michael Braccini, Christopher Read Divoll, Nicholette Ann Roy, Julie L. Wilkinson

Certificate: Joshua G. Duval, Patricia A. Magane

BILLERICA

Associates: Lindsay Nicole Mitchell

CHELMSFORD

Associates: Alexander Drake Ruehlicke

CLINTON

Associates: Christine Ann Burzenski, Brittany A. Cravedi, Christian A. Maldonado, Theresa Kathleen Carraher, Orlando Ortiz, Manny Patel

Certificate: Manny Patel

DRACUT

Associates: Noah Kasirye

FITCHBURG

Associates: Hafsa Asfa, Rumana Ashraf, Samantha L. Boucher, Nichole Camelo, Damon Tyler Charette, Sarah Elizabeth Cioffi, Isabel S. Cochran, Kylee Gwen Cormier, Mario D’Angelo, Nicole Marie Diaz, Daniel J. Dow, Madison Duphily, Renatha Eubanks, Emily Julie Eubanks, Andrew Jesse Ferreira, Veronica Figueroa, Melissa L. Gaudet, Brandan J. Grossi, Jibril A. Haq, Serina Joanne Hernandez, Samantha Lauren Hill, Brittney L. Johns, Jacob Kornik, Amy Lynn Krysiak, Ashleigh Marie LaClair, Tony Lam, Demetric Donte Lavender, Kylee Ann Lawrence, Payengcha Lee, Marco Caleb Legros, Linda Lombe Metuge, Jailene Marie Lopez, Stephanie Lopez Torres, John P. MacDonald, Andrew Martinez, Danielle Alisha Martinez, Geanine A. Mazerolle, Marangelys Melendez, Amy Elizabeth Meunier, Jamal A. Michel, Nicole L. Mullin, John Patrick Newsham, Eileen Nina, Dorcas Padilla, Juan Carlos Pedraza Jr., Bryant Quinn, Rossany Sanchez, Samantha J. Sargent, Nina Elizabeth Scaficchia, Mary-Louise Ophella Shaw, Jessy Mariana Silvera Maciel, Isabel Adriana Ferrer Rodriguez, Lilli Souvannavong, Alana T. Strumberger, Emma Victoria Terho, Taniya Juanita Tucker, Celena P. Valiente, Jouan Vang, Daisy Vue, Jaelyn Hannah Wentworth, Alex G. Willie, Kristoffer Jordan Williams, Ryan M. Wilson, Robert Yang

Certificate: Mario D’Angelo, Tori Elizabeth Debeaucourt, Susan L. Deel, Tyler G. Galloway, Jessica Garay, Susan M. Haverty, Sky A. Hutchful, Livenson Joseph, Andrew Martinez, Eileen Nina, Deanna Lee Olausen, Christian J. Perez Perez, Isabel Adriana Ferrer Rodriguez, Xenia Rodriguez, Brittany M. Ruffen, Nadjalee Santos, Rebecca Rose Shosey, Natalie P. Solivan, Taniya Juanita Tucker, Amanda Southchai Vongphachanh, Jaelyn Hannah Wentworth, Alex G. Willie, Toua Yang,

GARDNER

Associates: Annastasia Anderson, Linda S. Bedinger, Terrence Edward Bennett, Natasha Marie Boudreau, Hannah Moon Burns, Robert L. Chilcoat, Nayeli Cuevas, Chloe F. Despres, Hannah Elizabeth Elbourn, Salsabil Ximena Hartley, Daniel Alejandro Hidalgo, Briana Rose Higgins, Kelly A. Johnson, Jacqueline Kyna Hobbs, Mikyoung Kim, Damary Laboy, Felicia Marie LaValley, Danielle Jane Lehtonen, Shea Mallet, Sydney Mario, Leslie Zuel Cruz-Martinez, Jose Mateo, Julianna Melko, Rachael Ann Neuhaus, Christopher P. Ouellet, Danielle Nicole Pelletier, Isabelle Marie Alexandra Poulin, Sara A. Rich, Cynthia Roy, Hannah Meghan Sadler, Sarah Beverly Savoy, Bryce A. Scott, Lindsey Taylor Smith, Charlie J. Stellato, Ian S. Stewart, Giovanni Antonio Toledo, Emily Katelyn Ulrich, Lizza Y. Vega

Certificate: Stefani Barton, Tianna Marie Caisse, Rachel Erin Courtemanche, Lisely Brianna Gracia, Justina May Johnson, Kelly A. Johnson, Felicia Marie LaValley, Leslie Zuel Cruz-Martinez, Mary L. Miller, Aimee Elizabeth Ouellet, Meredith A. Stewart, Giovanni Antonio Toledo, Myriam Vogne, Susan M. Wilson

GROTON

Associates: Kabriana T. Kien

HOLDEN

Associates: Amanda Bryson, Alli Marie Carbonneau, Vanessa Jean Chaves, Christina Garrepy, Irene J. Gulnick, Ariana Madisyn Lyons, Monica Patacchiola

HUDSON

Associates: Maggie Elizabeth moran, Heather Paige Tibbals, Stephani Eunice Hernandez Chour

LANCASTER

Associates: Cain Graber, Michael Harrison Miller, Carolyn Alyce Poch, Catherine M. Potter, Cameron J. Vettese, Emily Rose Bruley, Grace Tia Walsh

Certificates: Emily Rose Bruley, Grace Tia Walsh

LEOMINSTER

Associates: Alondra Andrea Lopez Abreu, Meghan Anne Arce, Joshua T. Armfield, Farah Nelie Auguste, Dominick Kristopher Azevedo, Katie Lynn Baia, Mackenzie Lynn Bailey, Lucia Maria Bandera, Netty R. Bazile, Nathalya Kaizer Bridi, Kayla N. Garcia-Brodie, Olivia Grace Bush, Katelyn Olivia Cameron, Joanh S. Carvajal, Leandra M. Charette, Akieeme Jaheem Clemetson, Hannah Cormier, Logan William Corrado, Caitlyn A. Curley, Cameron Dane Cutter, Yamirelys Davila Rosado, Rachel Estefania Dansky, Pamela J. Day, Brithany De La Rosa Arellano, Benjamin T. Dearden, Sarah Duodu, Elizabeth M. Evangelista, Genesis D. Ferreira, Paula Tamara Franco Gutierrez, Corey David French, Margaret Wanjiru Githengu, Fatoumata Gueye, Giselle A. Gutierrez, Kevin James Harrington, Bridget Stefania Houle, Lindsey Margaret Hughes, Emily Ann Hutchinson, Rosemary Ireni, Molly Edith Jacob, Toni Maleigh Johns, Christopher M. Johnson, Destiny Mari Joseph, Andrew David Lanciani, Zackary Thomas Lawrence, Marlena Makayla Maahs, Dante Marazzo, Melanie Marie Mason, Makenzi Mitchell, Ernest Nyarko, Megan Sidney O’Dell, Kelcie Morgan Paakki, Kellie Porter, Anita Entwi Quarshie, Alexis Michelle Reid, Neyi Zuleika Rijo, Marissa Lynn Roberts, Katie Elizabeth Santana, Maria L. Rodriguez, Erika A. Schiffer, Mariah Elizabeth Sellars, Danielle D. Thomas, Casey Robert Winand

Certificate: Katie Lynn Baia, James Barrett, Kayla N. Garcia-Brodie, Duane Brown, John S. Cetoute, Luis Angel Collazo, Stephanie Marie Constant, Rachel Estefania Dansky, Aaliah Esquilin, Nancy F. Fong, Josiah Frimpong, Fatoumata Gueye, Bridget Stefania Houle, Destiny Mari Joseph, Marlena Makayla Maahs, Angela Marie Maguire, Ramon F. Mayorga, Christina Raisdanaee, Maria L. Rodriguez, Ekaterina Michelle Santana, Katie Elizabeth Santana, Aisha Iris Santiago, Danira Toribio, Betzaida Vazquez, Sophia Diane Wenning

LITTLETON

Associates: Jennifer Ann Wilson

LOWELL

Associates: Sarah M. Nakatoogo, Angella Nanyanzi, Maria V. Quijada, Anne F. Wanyee,Certificate: Stephanie A. Barry, Joseph N. Bernardini, Robert E. Gardner

LUNENBURG

Associates: Julie Elizabeth Barrett, Amanda R. Bontempo, Meredith Kathryn Brown, Sabrina Marie Collins, Madelyn R. Dame, Alyssium Leyah Fernandez-Scherington, Jose Rene Flores, Mark Gee, Drew W. Hallisey, Lillian Bethann Holman, Stacey Marie Houle, Kristen Elizabeth Melanson, Madison Rose Pinard, Eric Scouten, Larisa Stacy, Allison Jean Staples, Chantel S. Szlosek

Certificate: Brianne Nicole Boneta, Jose Rene Flores, Drew W. Hallisey, Lillian Bethann Holman, Stacey Marie Houle, Kristen Elizabeth Melanson, Victoria Katherine Safner

PEPPERELL

Associates: Calandra Hunter Boutin, David Robert Cate

PRINCETON

Associates: Isabella Grace Ervin, Candace Mia French, Adam E. Shenk, Brittany Elaine Smith

SHIRLEY

Associates: Margaret A. Craig, Nicholas T. House, Nicole V. Kelly, Jacqueline M. Monahan, Luke Michael Pearson, Parker C. Suscavage, Zoe P. Zupko

Certificate: Joyce R. Carmona, Kevin Gary DiGregorio, Zachary A. Ehlert

STERLING

Associates: Carmen Michelle Belville, Zoe B. Coomey, Kelly Anne Devillers, Amanda DeLeon-Guimaraes, Benjamin N. Hayward, Andrew L. Vettese

Certificate: Kelly Anne Devillers, Abigail Sarante

TEWKSBURY

Associates: Gabriella Jasmin Moreno

TOWNSEND

Associates: Alban Baboci, Jeffrey M. Cormier, Amanda P. Fales, Seth R. Farley, Callum D. Hammill, Sarah J. Merrill

Certificate: Jacob A. Crandlemere, Olivia Rose Olmeda

TYNGSBORO

Associates: Becky L. Roberts

Certificate: Caroline Victoria Farrar

WEST TOWNSEND

Associates: Rachel A. King, Jonathan Moore

WESTFORD

Associates: Edith Masembe

WESTMINSTER

Associates: Ryan E. Coleman, Stephen Wayne Elliott, Nicholas S. Grossi, Bobbie Jo LeBlanc, Philippe D. Olson, Kailyn Parker, Clayton James Perior, Rebecca D. Schlier, Ivan M. Underwood, Jonathan M. Winn

Certificate: Vanessa Lee Gallant, Nicholas S. Grossi, Zachary M. Leblanc, Samantha Anne Schultz

WINCHENDON

Associates: Jacqueline Louise Bussiere, Krissiauna Shanea Chartier, Isabelle Jordan Costa, Meagan N. Cucchiara, Mollie Rebeccah Decosta, Kiley Donahue, Casey Drouin, Andrew M. Forest, Nicole A. Leeper, Emily Meyer, Matthew Ryan Perenzin, Rebekah Sawicki, Mansi Sureshkumar Prajapati, Greyson T. Suppa

Certificate: Jacqueline Louise Bussiere, Edward Bruce Coulter, Amy Marie Fasulo, Linda Hofhaug, Trevor Courtland Holland, Rubin Metellus, Emily Meyer, Joyce Rodriguez, Rebekah Sawicki, Samantha Leigh Thiers, Breanna Bethany Whittier

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