HERSHEY, Pa. – More than 650 students walked across the stage to receive their associate degrees, certificates or diplomas during Commencement for HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, on May 9, 2019, at the Giant Center in Hershey. They were among the more than 1,020 students who completed their associate degrees, certificates or diplomas during the spring 2019 term.
HACC provides students with the skills and knowledge to immediately enter the workforce upon program completion or to transfer their earned credits to four-year institutions. Spring 2019 HACC graduates will enter the workforce in varied careers, including nurses and automotive technicians, while many will continue their education at institutions across the country, such as Alfred University in Alfred, New York; Millersville University in Lancaster; and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Among the graduates were:
- Student speaker Jacqueline Bleich of Lancaster, who graduated with an associate degree in communication, attended HACC’s Lancaster Campus. Bleich encouraged the graduates, “Tell your story of why you chose HACC. Congratulations to you for choosing HACC and for accomplishing your goal to pursue your career dreams. We will always be a part of the HACC family!” She plans to attend Millersville University and obtain a bachelor’s degree in media and broadcasting.
- Ariana Bronson of Duncannon, who graduated with an associate degree in art, attended HACC’s Harrisburg Campus. She served as president of the ceramics club for two years and doubled the number of bowls donated to the local food bank’s Soup and a Bowl event. Bronson will continue her studies at Alfred University, where she was awarded the Art Portfolio Scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in ceramics. She said, “The professors at HACC have made all the difference in my life and education. I’ll never regret my decision to come to HACC because of them.”
- Joanna Candelieri of Lebanon, who graduated with an associate degree in environmental science, attended the Lancaster Campus. “HACC has strongly impacted my life by showing me how much I can accomplish.” Candelieri plans to work in the field, and eventually become an environmental engineer.
- Yadira Cupeles of Lebanon, who graduated with high honors with an associate degree in business studies, attended the Lebanon Campus. “[HACC] has given me the knowledge to run my business wisely.” Cupeles, who participated in the Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) Program, said, “HACC helped me become a better person and to reach for my goals.” She hopes to expand her business and later pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
- Jesse Lenton of Lebanon, who graduated with an associate degree in general studies, also attended HACC’s Lebanon Campus. “HACC has been valuable to my life by offering an education at a competitive rate,” said Lenton. He received his diploma from his mother, Peggy Lenton, who is executive assistant to the campus executive director at HACC’s Lebanon Campus.
- Jose R. Padilla-Santiago of York, who graduated with a certificate in automotive technology, attended HACC’s York Campus. “[HACC] has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Padilla-Santiago. He plans to work as an automotive technician and try to travel as much as he can.
- Michael Riggs of Cashtown graduated with honors with an associate degree in general studies before earning his high school diploma from Gettysburg Area High School. Riggs, who also attended HACC’s Gettysburg Campus, enrolled in HACC’s Dual Enrollment Program as a high school junior. Riggs serves as treasurer for the Battlefield FFA chapter at Gettysburg Area High School and plans to run for Pennsylvania State FFA Office after graduation. If he is not elected – or after his one-year of service concludes, he will transfer to Oklahoma State University, to pursue a dual major in animal science and agricultural education. Due to his credits earned at HACC, Riggs hopes to obtain his bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years. Riggs, who works at McDonald’s on Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg, received a scholarship from McDonald’s to continue his education.
- Gibson Theobald of Lancaster, who graduated with highest honors with an associate degree in social sciences, attended HACC’s Lancaster Campus. Theobald is a member of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges’ 2019 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, which includes two years of tuition at any of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools. He also is a 2019 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar, which includes a $1,250 scholarship. Theobald plans to attend Millersville University to obtain his bachelor’s degree in social work. Theobald also plans to earn his fixed wing aviation certification this summer.
- Monica Wronski of Carlisle, who graduated with an associate degree in nursing, attended HACC’s York Campus. Wronski went to HACC as “a way to help support my family.” She plans to work as an emergency room nurse.
Photos of these graduates and more are available online. A full list of spring 2019 graduates is available here.
Additionally, the College received support from its Commencement sponsor, AAA Central Penn.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 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 hacc.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HACC64) and use #HACCNews.