PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County conferred
degrees, certificates and diplomas on more than 500 graduates at
its 51st annual commencement ceremony held
Thursday, May 17, at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland. A
gathering of approximately 3,000 students, family members, faculty,
staff and other guests attended to recognize the participating
graduates. A total of 2,318 CCAC students were candidates for
"Today is the day that we-CCAC's faculty, staff and board
members, along with many family members and friends-recognize and
celebrate the 2,318 graduates who, through hard work, persistence,
motivation and determination, have earned a credential they will
carry with them for the rest of their lives-the gift and reward of
a college education," said CCAC President Dr. Quintin Bullock
in his welcoming remarks.
Mariann Do, student reflections speaker, spoke of her
experiences at CCAC as a child of Asian immigrants who grew up in
poverty. Despite working three jobs while attending school full
time, Do became a North Campus Student Ambassador and repeatedly
made the Academic Dean's List. She will transfer to Canisius
College in Buffalo, New York, to pursue degrees in Digital Media
Arts and Music Technology.
"I knew I had to prove the world wrong. No one would expect
the daughter of two immigrants who barely had enough to get by to
go to college and graduate," stated Do. "But I stand
before you, a CCAC graduate! I came to find that at CCAC my story
is not unique. So many others work hard and push hard to find their
way as well."
Rich Fitzgerald, county executive, introduced Stefani Pashman,
CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, who served as
the college's 2018 Commencement speaker. Pashman delivered an
inspirational message to the graduates, in which she exhorted them
to continue the efforts of civic leaders who strove to make
Pittsburgh a better place, showing what's possible when people work
together to find common ground.
"I encourage each of you to think about your future; it's
more than a job-it's the impact you can have as a part of the
community," said Pashman. "Be a lifelong learner and
keep working hard. Each obstacle will teach you something. Be
resilient and keep moving forward."
Faculty speaker Dr. Srujana Kanjula, professor of Political
Science and Sociology at North Campus, urged the graduates to grow
and develop both academically and morally.
"As you move on, you must continue to take advantage of all
opportunities and challenges of life to build your character on
sound lines," said Kanjula. "Respect yourself with
self-confidence. Respect others with compassion. Respect
differences with an open mind and an open heart. Become all that
you are capable of becoming in life by utilizing your talents and
capacities to the fullest extent. Above all, use your education as
a tool to leave the world a better place than you found
Other speakers included Frederick Thieman, chair, CCAC Board of
Trustees and member of the CCAC Educational Foundation Board of
Directors, and Jesse Campayno, member of the CCAC Educational
Foundation Board of Directors and CCAC alumnus, class of
Among the Class of 2018 are 154 students graduating Summa Cum
Laude (with highest honors), having achieved a 3.9-4.0 GPA. One
such graduate is Tiffany HaThanh Hoppe, who earned
an Associate of Science in Medical
Laboratory Technician and also graduated with an Honors Degree.
Hoppe, who emigrated from Vietnam four years ago, was among nine
CCAC students selected for the 2018 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team.
She was very active in Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society
and served as the PTK Middle States Region Pennsylvania State
President (2017-2018). She received the PTK Regional Officer
Scholarship for Leadership, and as PR Secretary of the South Campus
chapter, she helped the chapter to achieve a prestigious 5-Star
Award. Hoppe also served as an ambassador for the CCAC Student
Ambassador Program and the CCAC Honors Program, and she was named
an Honors Leadership Scholar. Her other leadership roles include
president of the CCAC South Campus Student Government Association
(2015-2017). Hoppe plans to transfer to a four-year university to
pursue a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology with the goal of
becoming a pathologist.
To view CCAC commencement photos or videos, go to facebook.com/CCAC.edu or