Donnelly Commencement Recognizes Academic Achievements

Donnelly Commencement Recognizes Academic Achievements

After months of studying, exams, lectures and more, 61 students completed their studies for Gateway to College, Practical Nursing, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Applied Science degrees.

Donnelly College’s 2015 commencement ceremony — held Saturday, May 9, at the Jack Reardon Civic Center — brought together families, friends and graduates to celebrate these accomplishments.

Graduate candidates Liz Medina (AS) and Nathan Johnson, Sr. (BAS) shared inspiring stories of perseverance along their journeys to graduation day.

"My dad and I don't have a relationship anymore," Medina said. "One day, my dad got sick, and it broke my heart. My dad was a healthy, strong man. This shouldn't have happened to him. The reason he is still alive is because of the nurse who helped him. Because of her, I want to become a nurse. I want to help out the sick and injured and have that same feeling the nurse had when I said, 'Thank you.'

"Take a second to look at the classmates beside you. Together, we have made it this far and will continue on our journey. This is our class: class of 2015. Who would have thought we could make it this far?"

Johnson learned about the Organizational Leadership (OL) program through his wife, a 2014 OL graduate, and expressed his gratitude to Dr. Susan Keim, Director of Organizational Leadership.

"Thanks to Dr. Susan Keim, I found myself intrigued by what was being said and the method of teaching that she uses."

Irene Caudillo, in homage to her inspiring work as President of El Centro, Inc., was recognized as Donnelly’s 2015 Delta Award recipient.

"What I do is not to win awards, to claim fame or fortune," she said. "It's to share those stories of people that cannot. It's to create voices and leaders who will walk right beside me and further a cause and really create a vehicle to achieve more than I can do alone."

Donnelly alumnus Rev. Desmond C. Lamb, Sr. gave the commencement address. Using faith as a cornerstone, Lamb touched on his upbringing and encouraged graduates to fight the giants in the way of their success, including sexism, racism, ageism and classism.

"Donnelly gave me strength; Donnelly gave me the courage to go into this world and fight, and love, and give and give," he said. "It's not about me, but it's about helping others."

In addition to PN and degree candidates, Donnelly's first Gateway to College graduate joined the festivities. Gateway to College allows students behind in high school credits to earn their diploma while also earning college credit. The program, which is free, is open to those aged 16-20 who want to complete high school and are interested in going to college.

2015 Graduates

Gateway to College
Brittany Phillips

Practical Nursing
Amanda Danielle Burks
Carla A. Cantualla
Brandy Michelle Lee Coonce
Sarah Dill
Shante Ford
Rochelle Harvey-Acker
Leandra Kay Hill
Ronald Gene Johnson
Ruth Kaboe
Penny M. Lewis
Kimberly Lindsey
Addie Linebaugh
Mistre Mekonnen
Na-Keshia M. Mitchell
Candyce Moore
Mary Wanjeri Mwangi
Lucy Nganga
Eunice Mwikali Ngao
Josiah Oyaro
Cecilia Ndanu Paul
Evelyn M. Smith
Josephine Chepkoech Suge
Jennifer Teasley
Cynthia Valles
Malythip Molly Vongphrachanh
Selam Wondimu


Associate of Arts
Zulema Edith Amparan
Brenda Berenice Carrete     Arellanes
Rosalina Michel Avila
Jamaal Clayton
Taylor Leigh Copley
Veronica Duarte*
Jesus Fernandez
Christina Marie Gallegos
Miriam Paola Haro
Solmaz Hawkins
Khem Khanal
Tamia Rose McNeary
Brenda Moore
Bre’Ana Lashae Ogletree
King VanthanLian Peterson
Kya Paw
Taylor Reliford
Magali Rojas
Cing Khan Zo
Fabian G. Patino Zapata

Associate of Science
Victor Cortez Armstrong
Isamara Cortés Cruz*
Ambrosia R. Gerber*
Liz Jennifer Medina*
Alicia Rodriguez Montanez*
Victor Poroj


Bachelor of Arts
Latisha Lenea Battles
Erica Davis
Rosa Dominguez
Fran C. Wooten-Miller
Lester Young

Bachelor of Applied Science
Debra Fuller
Nathan J.D. Johnson, Sr.
Heidy Pujols


* Member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society

Note: We apologize for any omissions due to deadlines.
This release should not be used as an official record of 2015 graduates. Please contact Donnelly College's Office of the Registrar for official graduate records.