News Massey Selected As Co Student Speaker For Gcs 50th Commencement - Garrett College
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Campus News

May 10, 2022

Massey selected as co-student speaker for GC's 50th commencement

"Garrett is a great start with endless opportunities"


Kristen Massey

Kristen Massey, Southern Garrett High School graduate and Oakland resident, has been selected as one of two student speakers for Garrett College's upcoming 50th Commencement Ceremony on May 21.

"I feel very honored and overjoyed to have been selected as one of the student speakers for GC's commencement ceremony," remarked Massey, a soon-to-be graduate in elementary education. "I am very grateful for this opportunity."

For Massey, GC's teacher education program was the deciding factor in starting her education at Garrett.

"Garrett College has definitely been a great start to my education," said Massey, who's wanted to be an elementary school teacher since she was very young. "I decided to pursue a degree in elementary education to inspire future generations and show them they are capable of achieving their dreams."

Massey credits GC's associate professor of education, Dr. John Taylor, for who she is today.

"Throughout my educational journey at Garrett College, Dr. John Taylor has been there to support me the entire way," she stated. "Through taking his classes, I have learned so much and I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for me. He has inspired me in so many ways and I will never forget his classes."

Taylor remembers the first time she presented in one of his education courses.

"I was so impressed with her presentation skills. I knew right then she was going to be an excellent teacher," remarked Taylor. "I waited to speak with her after class to tell her just how impressed I was. Her skills have only grown since then."

Massey plans to attend Frostburg State University this fall to complete her degree in elementary and middle school education, a stepping stone for which she is well prepared.

"The design of Garrett's teacher education program has thoroughly prepared me for continuing my educational journey in more ways than I initially would've realized," added Massey, who was able to attend GC nearly tuition-free through the Garrett County Scholarship Program and receiving other scholarships.

"I have gained more experience and had many opportunities to prepare me for my next steps, including building my portfolio and student teaching through the College & Me program," she remarked.

From the very beginning, GC's faculty and staff continued to demonstrate their investment in Massey's education and success.

"Everyone I encountered at Garrett College was always very helpful and cared about my education," said Massey. "Staff would go out of their way to make sure my questions were answered, and I had many professors who did whatever they could to help me out when I needed it – even if it was just to talk on a stressful day.

"One time my car broke down at the college. The day that occurred, one of my professors was very quick to help me out," added Massey. "Once my professor realized he would not be able to get my car started, he immediately called campus security. Security was able to get my car started right away and helped me tremendously!"

Being a member of the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has also added to her college experience.

"My involvement in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has allowed me to connect with other students and complete service projects for our community," noted Massey. "Along with other PTK members, we made cards for the residents and staff at the Dennett Road Manor Nursing Home as one of our service projects. The cards were very uplifting for the residents and staff during the challenging times of COVID-19."

"Ms. Massey is an exceptional student, a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar in Phi Theta Kappa, and is extremely dedicated to educating the future generations as an elementary teacher," remarked Dr. Ryan Harrod, GC's dean of academics. "I am excited that she will be sharing words of inspiration at this year's 50th commencement ceremony."

As she looks to the future, she reflects on her time spent at Garrett College.

"Garrett College was a great fit for me personally, and I know it could be for many other individuals as well," said Massey. "Garrett is a great start to a college education with caring staff and faculty, and allows individuals to begin making connections that will benefit them in the future – the opportunities are endless!"

Garrett College's 50th Commencement exercises will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21st in the Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex Gymnasium.