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19 December 2017

HACC Celebrates Graduates in Fall 2017 Commencement Ceremony

HARRISBURG, Pa. – More than 300 students walked across the stage to receive their associate degrees, certificates or diplomas during Commencement for HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, on Dec. 19, 2017, at the Giant Center in Hershey. They were among the more than 800 students who completed their associate degrees, certificates or diplomas during the fall 2017 term.

Commencement student speaker Gloria Stoudt of Lancaster addressed the students reminding them, “When I received a recent virtual award from my professors presented to me by the hands of the President – Dr. Ski – himself, a man of true character who truly invests in the lives of each student at HACC, I had renewed excitement and motivation in my education to push toward my own graduation … to finish a race that started so long ago, but one that I was finally able to see the finish line. It inspired me to do my very best.”
Among the graduates were:
  • Lydia Birhanu of Lancaster, who graduated with an associate degree in radiology informatics. “I already had a degree and was working, but I was not happy. I didn’t feel like I was reaching my full potential,” Birhanu says. Now, she’s walking away with an associate degree and a job at Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine as a technical support analyst.
  • Matthew Cellucci of Gettysburg, who graduated with an associate degree in business administration. “HACC offered me an accessible and affordable education close to home … I am so grateful that the Gettysburg Campus is located so close to home. I've also met so many great people – instructors, fellow students, co-workers – that have made a big difference in my life.” In 2018, Cellucci will serve in AmeriCorps and then return home to attend HACC for one more term or transfer to another institution.
  • Bridget Horn of Mechanicsburg, who graduated with an associate degree in paralegal studies. She says, “I am a person in long-term recovery from heroin addiction who has gone from hopeless and what seemed like helpless to a college graduate.” Horn hopes to find employment in a government agency and focus on criminal law after completing her bachelor’s degree in crime and justice at Albright College.
  • Carl Mallory of York, who graduated with an associate degree in business administration. “(HACC) gave me a new view on life,” says Mallory, who plans to expand his priorities now that he has graduated.
  • Courtney Marietta of Camp Hill, who graduated with an associate degree of applied science in technology studies and a certificate in welding. “HACC has helped me achieve goals I’ve never thought possible and how to be an effective leader.” Marietta plans to look for employment as a welder and further her education.
  • Wesley Nace of Lebanon, who graduated with an associate degree in business administration. “(HACC) has impacted my life in many ways. New opportunities have opened, showing my children a path to follow.” Nace will use his degree to find employment in his major area and plans to continue his education at Albright College for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Garrett Robinson of Steelton, who graduated with a certificate in welding. “HACC has been a huge part of my life and my family’s life. I don’t know what I would have done without it. I have become a better leader.” Robinson plans to find a welding job and pursue further education.
  • Chaya Terranova of Lancaster, who graduated with an associate degree in elementary education. The single mother of three children started at HACC seven years after graduating from high school and didn’t let personal challenges, including putting school on hold for two and a half years, stop her from reaching her goal. The dean’s list student says, “HACC has allowed me to attend college…take classes that fit my crazy schedule as a mother. HACC has had such a positive impact on my life.” Terranova is transferring to Millersville University to complete her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

A full list of fall 2017 graduates will be available soon in our online newsroom.

Additionally, the College received support from its first-ever Commencement sponsor, AAA Central Penn.

About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers over 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 19,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), like us on Facebook ( and use #HACCNews.

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