2022 Garrett College Commencement Presidential Address
President, Garrett College
Commencement is always a special occasion. This commencement is . . . well, especially special. This marks Garrett College’s first in-person commencement since 2019 – and while technology is wonderful, I’m thrilled that we can once again honor Garrett College’s graduates with traditional, in-person commencement exercises.
Today’s commencement is also particularly special as it celebrates our 50th graduation class. Class of 2022 . . . think about that for a moment. Your class finishes out a half-century of students who came to Garrett College to pursue higher education, prepare for a career, and begin planning for their future. I’m proud of the role Garrett College’s faculty, staff and administration have played in supporting the hopes, dreams and ambitions of every student who’s passed through our doors. And I’m grateful to the long line of county commissioners and state legislators who have advocated for the financial resources necessary for Garrett College to meet its educational mission.
I believe today’s commencement is also special because it so clearly focuses on the Class of 2022. Both of our main speakers are members of this year’s graduating class, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they wish to share with each of you and all of our guests.
I want to congratulate each of our graduates on the success represented by today’s conferral of degrees and certificates. While the honors you’ve earned today are impressive achievements, I know they will not be your only achievements. You have the talent, the tools, and the tenacity to reach the goals that are most important to each of you. Please remember that going forward.
The last two years have not been easy for our county – or our country. And, frankly, we have no assurance that the future will get any easier. The good news is that the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence you’ve gained at Garrett College will help you address whatever challenges you face moving forward. I’m confident that the Class of 2022 will be every bit as impressive as Garrett College’s first 49 graduating classes.
While saluting our students, I also want to express my deep gratitude to the family, friends and mentors who supported our students in reaching this point. We all need the help and support of those we love and respect. This is a wonderful day not only for our graduates, but for all who were there to provide that crucial support.
Congratulations, Class of 2022!
2022 Graduate Awards & Recognition
Hometown: Oakland, MD
Major: Teacher Education: Elementary Education
Future Plans: Continue my education at Frostburg State University this fall to complete my degree in Elementary and Middle School Education.
In her own words:
On what made her pursue a career in teacher education: I decided to pursue a degree in Elementary Education to inspire future generations and show them they are capable of achieving their dreams. I’ve always wanted to be an elementary school teacher since I was very young.
On how attending GC worked to her advantage: Through being a county resident, I have been able to attend Garrett College with a significant reduction of stress. I have been able to attend college for my first two years with my main costs being through scholarships, which I am very grateful for. I have also completed many classes that will benefit me in the future whenever I am attending Frostburg State University.
On helping her get where she is today: I would like to give a shout-out to Dr. John Taylor. Throughout my educational journey at Garrett College, he has been there to support me along the way. Through taking his classes, I have learned so much, and I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done to help me throughout my time at Garrett College. He has inspired me in many ways through taking his courses, and I will never forget those classes!
On her advice to others considering attending college: Garrett is a great start to a college education, and it allows individuals to begin making connections. Everyone I encountered at GC was always very helpful and cared about my education. I would highly recommend attending GC to other students in the future because the opportunities at Garrett are endless.
Hometown: Barton, MD
Major: Paramedic Studies
Future Plans: I plan to continue working for Allegany County Department of Emergency Services where I hope to gain valuable experience and grow within the department. I would also like to complete my master’s degree in Emergency Management from UMGC that I am currently enrolled in.
In his own words:
On why he chose Garrett College: Garrett College just made sense. The tuition is affordable and my program of interest is highly regarded and nationally accredited. The atmosphere is welcoming and provides students with an excellent opportunity to learn and excel.
On what made him pursue a career in paramedic studies: From my first day on an ambulance, I knew that I have found the career that “clicked” for me. The combination of serving the citizens of the community and being in the medical field was appealing. Pursing a Paramedic Studies degree was a critical step in earning the satisfaction of having a rewarding career in EMS.
On how the paramedic studies program has prepared him for the next step: The program has provided me with the knowledge and skills necessary to earn my National Registry Certification, including real-life scenarios in a lab setting using tools such as Sim Man and iSimulate monitors to better prepare me to provide high quality patient care in my career field.
On helping him get where he is today: I would like to take the time to thank the support instructors that came to the campus throughout our program and shared their knowledge and experiences in the career field. Doing case studies, hearing about experienced paramedics calls throughout their career, and learning from these instructors will hopefully make me a better paramedic. A special thank you to Doug Beitzel, program coordinator, for keeping things organized and Josh Hook for taking on his new role at the college as the lead instructor for the program.
Highest GPAThis award acknowledges the student earning the highest cumulative grade point average while completing at least 60 hours in residence at Garrett College. Garrett College (GC) supports the Garrett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) mission to promote college-readiness and as such credits earned via a GCPS/GC articulation and credits earned through Advanced Placement testing are considered in residence.
Hometown: Swanton, MD
Major: General Studies
Future Plans: I just finished my first year at the College of William & Mary in Virginia as the first year in a joint-degree program with the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I’ll spend two years at each institution and receive an international baccalaureate from each.
In his own words:
On why he decided to enroll as a dual-enrolled student in high school: Since I was a child, I have always had a profound respect for Garrett College as our community’s greatest steppingstone into the larger world beyond. Both of my parents attended Garrett and, in doing so, were able to provide my brothers and I a life with incredible opportunities. I knew that I wanted to continue this legacy and support an institution that opens the promise of higher education to so many.
On helping him get where he is today: I must give my sincerest thanks to my dear advisor and friend Melissa Wass. She has been an infallible and invaluable resource over these few years, and I could not have done it without her help and guidance. All my professors were excellent, but if I may, I would like to give my thanks to Dr. Terry Lynn Kasecamp, my professor of psychology, for her famously (or infamously, depending on your source) rigorous and enlightening course, which as my final credit, provided a timely bridge to my studies at William & Mary.
On his advice to students considering GC: To anyone who is hesitating to take advantage of this opportunity—go for it! On your first dive into higher education, you will be met with proverbially open arms with professors willing to give their all to you, if you do the same for them. You will receive an excellent education in both subject matter and training for life beyond. I am incredibly grateful for my opportunity to have joined this community of scholars.
George C. Edwards Outstanding Transfer Student
The George C. Edwards Outstanding Transfer Student is one of the top academic awards announced at commencement. Voted by the faculty for classroom excellence and qualities of leadership, this award recognizes a student receiving an Associate's degree as preperation for transfering to a four-year institution.
Hometown: Grantsville, MD
Major: Elementary Education / Special Education
Future Plans: In the fall I will be attending Frostburg State University to complete my bachelor’s in elementary education, likely remaining to complete my master’s in special education. I love the way that young children’s minds think and look forward to helping them learn to discover and discern the truth, something I value very highly.
In her own words:
On why she chose Garrett College: Garrett College provided me with the unique opportunity to attend tuition free through its Garrett County Scholarship program, giving me a financial head start as I pursue higher education. In addition to this amazing benefit, Garrett College is also near to my home and has very welcoming staff and faculty who want to give their college students the best experience they can.
On her involvement on campus: I was first introduced to the campus group CRU while dual enrolling in high school, and then whenever I became fully enrolled, I became a consistent member. I grew to really love and appreciate CRU because it supported and encouraged my core values through pursuing Christ. I got to meet other individuals whom I otherwise would not have and mutually share growth and understanding of our Savior and His design for our lives.
On helping her get where she is today: From the moment I declared my major, Dr. John Taylor has supported and encouraged me in my pursuit of being a teacher. He cultivated a learning environment where I wanted to be and taught much from his own extensive experience as a teacher. I pray my future professors at the university will be as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as he is.
Wendell R. Beitzel Outstanding Career Advancement Student
The Wendell R. Beitzel Outstanding Career Advancement Student is one of the highest academic awards at commencement voted by the faculty for classroom excellence and qualities of leadership. This award recognizes a student receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree with plans to immediately enter a career.
Hometown: Oakland, MD
Future Plans: My future plan is to have a family and provide for them the best I can by using the degree I have to do the job to the best of my ability.
In his own words:
On why he chose Garrett College: I chose to attend Garrett College because I have grown up in this area and I thought it would be a great opportunity to jumpstart my career in Cybersecurity.
On how Garrett College has worked to his advantage: Garrett College has allowed me to earn my degree in a affordable manor. I am thankful that Garrett College was close to home so I could work and do my schooling at the same time.
On helping him get where he is today: I would like to thank Ashley Ruby for the internship she had us do. Because of that internship, I have a full-time job in the field of my study.
Inspiration and Excellence Award
In the quest for a college education there are students who encounter and overcome many different obstacles. Sometimes such a student persists in attaining these goals not only with dedication but with cheerfulness, a positive attitude, and an irrepressible spirit of enthusiasm that is an inspiration to other students and faculty.
Leadership and Excellence Award
The student has been selected for displaying the qualities of a leader among their contemporaries. Leadership activities include peer mentorship, college/community service, and/or civic engagement.
Hometown: Bruceton Mills, WV
Major: Natural Resources & Wildlife Technology
Bucknell University Scholar
As a part of its commitment to expanding access to talented and dedicated scholars in the region, Bucknell University has established a scholarship program in cooperation with Garrett College. The two-year, highly competitive scholarship is needs-based and is awarded to community college scholars who have attained high academic achievement. Award recipients receive a full two-year transfer scholarship to the prestigious Bucknell University.
Hometown: Swanton, MD
Future Plans: I plan to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue my education in a civil engineering program.
In his own words:
On why he chose Garrett College: As a lifelong Garrett County resident, I chose to attend Garrett beginning in September 2020 due to its proximity and affordability. Two of my siblings also attended Garrett, so I was very familiar with the quality of education I would receive.
On how Garrett College worked to his advantage: Even though the last several semesters have been different, the opportunity to learn has still been present. Attending Garrett College has given me an advantage in that it allowed me to continue my education during the pandemic. I would like to thank the faculty for making continued learning possible!
Scholar Athlete of the Year
Garrett College is proud of its student athletes who combine excellence in competition with excellence in the classroom. Each year we recognize graduating student athletes that have obtained the highest GPA.
Hometown: Frostburg, MD
Major: Business Administration
Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference 2021-22 All-Academic Student Athlete Team
To receive high honors students must have a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.00.
Hometown: Mountain Lake Park, MD
Major: Computer Science
National Wrestling Coaches Association NJCAA 2022 Scholar All-American Athletes
To receive this honor a wrestler must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2 for the previous academic year or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher.
Hometown: Johnstown, PA
Major: Social & Behavioral Science
Hometown: Hagerstown, MD
Major: General Studies
Hometown: New Alexandria, PA
Major: Physical Education & Health – Teaching & Coaching
Campus Advisory & Activities Board Graduates
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Graduates
Also graduating Phi Theta Kappa: Keele Flanigan, Destiny Jackson and Kaylin Paugh.
Associate of Arts Degree
Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts ConcentrationKaitlyn Rose Humphrey; Grantsville, MD
Lynette Alice Marie Jones; Owings Mills, MD
Jay Christopher McFadden; Swanton, MD
Mathematics/Science ConcentrationTia Lynn DeGiovanni; Oakland, MD
Hailie Jade DeWitt; Oakland, MD
Kaitlynn Dawn House; Grantsville, MD
Tavon Janeil Knibbs; Baltimore, MD
Emily Grace Mayles; Friendsville, MD
Alexandra Leigh Schofield; Mtn Lake Park, MD
Isaiah Christian Skipper; Mtn Lake Park, MD*
Brandon Scott Wood; Oakland, MD
Alex Lamar Yoder; Swanton, MD
Nathan Ray Yoder; Swanton, MD
Psychology ConcentrationLeah Elizabeth Dix; Salisbury, PA
Keele Alece Flanigan; Oakland, MD
Jennifer Ruth Knox; Grantsville, MD
Social & Behavioral Sciences ConcentrationDeja Alexander; Rockville, MD
Kyree Jevon Jones; Pikesville, MD
Cameron Ray King; Berkeley Springs, WV
Noah Robert Charles Korenoski; Johnstown, PA
Dana Christine Wille; Morgantown, WV
Abbrielle Brook Wilson; Oakland, MD
Business AdministrationPatrick William Bart; Shinnston, WV
Breshai Macayla Bundy; Baltimore, MD
Andrew Taylor DeWitt; Deer Park, MD
Erica Ellen Hook; Friendsville, MD
Robert Michael Lawson; Grantsville, MD
Destiny Faith Lloyd; Kitzmiller, MD
Tyrell Eugene Maust; Accident, MD
Sheri Lynn Sechler; Grantsville, MD
Kobe Hezekiah Tigney; Winchester, VA
Brennan Vincent White; Frostburg, MD
Harleigh Maddison Wildesen; Mountain Lake Park, MD
General StudiesLuke Jesse Adams; Oakland, MD
Nayomi Lynn Arnold; Frostburg, MD
Isabella Elizabeth Bilello; Oakland, MD
Bradley Kole Bozic; Weston, WV
Tarrence C Brooks; Washington, DC
Makayla Dawn Gank; Terra Alta, WV
Regan Elizabeth Harvey; Oakland, MD
Darius Elijah Jones; Richmond, VA
Sophie Danielle Lewis; Frostburg, MD
Haley Nicole Livengood; Oakland, MD
Brandon Nathaniel Lucas; Kitzmiller, MD
Sarah Jane Maust; Accident, MD
Brandon Daniel Mersing; Oakland, MD
Jarrett Michael Miller; Swanton, MD
Brandan Joseph Myers; Hagerstown, MD
Cheyenne Noelle Reckart; Apex, NC
Aaron Douglas Rodeheaver; Accident, MD
Tiara Alexis Sliger; Oakland, MD
Emilee Grace Tasker; Oakland, MD
Kaden Mark Taylor; Oakland, MD
Lettie Ann Welch; Thurmont, MD
Malik Bernell Whitaker; Humble, TX
Dalton Andrew Wiles; Oakland, MD
Early Childhood Education ConcentrationAmy Lynn Roy; Swanton, MD
Elementary Education ConcentrationCasandra Ann Kinzey; Oakland, MD
Kristen Nicole Massey; Oakland, MD
Amy Lynn Roy; Swanton, MD
Physical Education & Health/Coaching ConcentrationTrey Michael Weinell; New Alexandria, PA
Secondary Education ConcentrationDylan Michael McCartney; Harpers Ferry, WV
Kaylin Faith Paugh; Oakland, MD
Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree
Elementary Education / Special EducationNatalie Jane Lehman; Grantsville, MD
Emilee Grace Tasker; Oakland, MD
Associate of Science Degree
Computer ScienceDaniel Tyler Bower; Grantsville, MD
Allison Catherine Gidley; Oakland, MD
Kaelyn Nicole Glotfelty; Oakland, MD
Caleb Michael Marsh; Oakalnd, MD
Tyler Fields Rodeheaver; Mountain Lake Park, MD
Associate of Science in Engineering Degree
Electrical EngineeringParker Loman Wilt; Grantsville, MD
Associate of Applied Science Degree
Addictions CounselingTenisha Rose Thomas; Oakland, MD
Glenn Wilson; Upperco, MD
Adventure Sports ManagementElizabeth Daisy DeMonte; Nottingham, MD
Christopher Martin Montgomery; Olney, MD
Business & Information Technology
Business Management & Entrepreneurship ConcentrationKevin Edward Creegan; Swanton, MD
Clay Austin Frazee; Friendsville, MD
Jessica Nicole Schreck; Oakland, MD
Myrna Alfar Sharpless; Oakland, MD
Kayleigh Elizabeth Tomblin; Friendsville, MD
Graphic/Web Design ConcentrationEmma Nicole Bowser; Grantsville, MD
CybersecurityLandon Coit Custer; Oakland, MD
Ty Brady Sisler; Oakland, MD
Natural Resources & Wildlife TechnologyKaden Labanna Hebb; Swanton, MD
Colten Wesley Plum; Bruceton Mills, WV
Cody Andrew Spring; Stonewood, WV
Christian Joseph Stanton; Hagerstown, MD
Curtis Devin West; Mt Lake Park, MD
Atlee William Wise; Deer Park, MD
Outdoor Leadership & Adventure EducationMiles Greyson Bowlin; Morgantown, WV
Noah B Wadsworth; Mt Airy, MD
Paramedic StudiesBrooke Ashley Croston; Cumberland, MD
Danielle Nicole Hardman; Cumberland, MD*
Destiny Dawn Jackson; Oakland, MD
Michael Stephen Ringler; Salisbury, PA
Christopher David Shue; Oakland, MD
Brett William Thomas; Barton, MD
Karen Marie Tingle; Frostburg, MD
Sport ManagementLamar Zekeil Haskins; Morgantown, WV
Skylar Jacob Kanacsky; Saint Joseph, MO
Baron Lee Swiger; Shinnston, WV
Adventure Sports ManagementCharles Merrill Shoup; McHenry, MD
CybersecurityEthan Robert Paul Crowe; Lonaconing, MD
Christopher Cameron Durst; Oakland, MD
Brooks Lamary Hanks-Sison; McHenry, MD
Timothy Edward King; Oakland, MD
Christopher Freeman Upole; Terra Alta, WV
Press & Media
Class of 2022 by the numbers
- Graduates: 106
- Youngest: 19
- Oldest: 62
- Average Age: 23.5
- Average GPA: 3.25
- % Garrett Co. Residents: 65%
47 graduates attended with the support of the Garrett County Scholarship Program, at a cost of $271,670.
35 graduates are graduating with honors (19 Cum Laude, 7 Magna Cum Laude, 9 Suma Cum Laude).
11 graduates are members of the Garrett College Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.