Nevada State College Graduates Largest Class Ever at 2014 Commencement Ceremony

Nevada State College (NSC) was proud to graduate its largest class ever at the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony on May 10, 2014 at the Henderson Pavilion. More than 200 students participated in the ceremony, along with administrators, faculty, staff, members of the Nevada Board of Regents and the NSC Foundation Board of Trustees, other elected officials, friends, family members and the community.

Top degree programs represented by the Class of 2014 include Bachelor of Science in Nursing (36 percent), Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (15 percent), Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (13 percent), Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management (11 percent), and Bachelor of Science in Biology (5 percent). The class is 76 percent female and 24 percent male, with almost 70 percent of the population between the ages of 22 and 34.

Today is the culmination of much hard work, dedication and devotion to your college education, said Kevin Page, Chair of the NSHE Board of Regents. On behalf of the Regents, I salute you all for reaching this defining moment in your lives. Regent Page commended all of the graduates for overcoming obstacles to achieve their goals. He then presented the 2014 Regents Scholar Award to Josh Ranck, recognizing his academic achievements, leadership ability, and service contributions. Regent Page's final presentation was the 2014 Regents Teaching Award, which was presented to Dr. Gwen Sharp, Associate Professor of Sociology.

Two President's Medal Awards were presented during the ceremony. Recipients included Ande Christensen, UNLV College of Education and UNLV Foundation Advisory Boards member; and Dr. Paul Schiffman, Head of School at The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus. Each year, the award is bestowed upon distinguished local leaders and philanthropists who have shown an extraordinary commitment to the mission of NSC.

Continuing a tradition that began in 2012, the college recognized several students from each school by sharing their individual success stories with attendees.

Nevada State College is full of extraordinary students with stories of struggles, determination and persistence with a singular goal in mind .to achieve a College degree, said NSC President Bart Patterson. President Patterson then called Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Buster Neel and Provost Erika Beck to present the student spotlights.

From the Department of Social Sciences and Business, Renee Losey was in the spotlight because of her drive, passion and leadership acumen as vice president of the Nevada Society of Psychology.

Although not a native English speaker, Physical and Life Sciences Department graduate Megan Oupatiga overcame numerous challenges, scoring in the 87th percentile of the Pharmacy School Admission test and being accepted into four of the top pharmacy schools in the country.

From the Humanities department, Taylor Lewis defied the odds, immersing herself in health sciences, participating in the English Honors Society and serving as assistant editor of NSC's first literary journal, while raising a daughter with disabilities.

From the school of education, first generation college student and Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Scholarship recipient Allysa Starkweather was praised for sharing her expertise and love of math by creating a boot camp for other education students wanting math-specific practice and presenting at a national math conference last year.

Speech Language Pathology student Tania Davis undoubtedly demonstrated a persistent spirit and a can-do attitude, having worked towards her degree since NSC opened in 2002. Tania was able to maintain a GPA of over 3.6 while raising 7 children.

A dedicated medical professional from the School of Nursing, Bret Hess has worked as a pediatric nurse for the past 24 years, most recently working with nursing faculty to educate children with diabetes and continuing his involvement with the Nevada Diabetes Association.

NSC student spotlight stories highlight the courage, determination and grit of each student, all leading to a worthy accomplishment. At one point in our lives, a bachelor's degree was part of the journey in front of us, said 2014 graduate and student speaker Courtney Farese. And today, that is now a part of the journey that we have already traveled.

At the end of the ceremony, President Patterson, the NSC community, family members and friends congratulated the graduates as degrees were conferred for the Nevada State College Class of 2014. And now you are equipped with a very powerful weapon, President Patterson emphasized. Education.

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