Clovis Community College will confer a record number of 779 graduates and award medals to its top students during its 3rd Annual Commencement Ceremony this Friday.
To put that number in perspective, the college conferred 471 Associate’s Degrees in May 2017 and 403 at its inaugural graduation in May 2016.
At Friday’s graduation ceremony, Edna Rodriguez will receive the President’s Medal while four of her colleagues representing each of the college’s four departments will be awarded the Dean’s Medal of Distinction.
Edna Rodriguez, 2018 President’s Award recipient
The President’s award is given to a student who has demonstrated leadership at the college, given back to the college and community, and still maintained high academic achievement during their time at Clovis Community College.
Rodriguez was born in Fresno but moved to Mexico when she was very young. Following her parents’ divorce at age 5, she moved back to the United States with her mother. She calls her mother her greatest inspiration. Rodriguez learned English as a second language and struggled with reading and writing throughout school. However, it was not only her studies that made college difficult as personal issues put barriers in her way. The pressure she put on herself to succeed was exhausting. Still, Rodriguez persevered.
She found her passion for Communication Studies while taking classes at Clovis Community College. Her instructors say that she has grown from a quiet, unsure student to one who is strong-willed, solid, and a team player with a growing curiosity in academia who brings new Latina insights to course concepts.
As a first-generation Latino college student, Rodriguez strives to be a role model for her family and peers.
Rodriguez earned an Associate Degree for Transfer in Communication Studies and will transfer to Fresno State this fall where she will major in Communication.
2018 Dean’s Medal of Distinction graduates
Four students have been selected to earn the Dean’s Medal of Distinction. This medal is presented to exemplary students for their academic accomplishments and positive impact on Clovis Community College. There are four Dean’s Medal of Distinction recipients representing each of the college’s four departments:
Anthony Aquino, Student Support Services
Aquino is the oldest of three children and the first in his family to ever attend college. He took on an authoritative role at the young age of 6 years old after his father was incarcerated and he had to help his mother care for his younger siblings. Growing up, Aquino focused on school and playing baseball until he was old enough to start working. He and his younger siblings were placed back in their father’s care during high school when his father would drive him from Clovis all the way to Selma so he could finish high school where he started. After graduating from Selma High School, Aquino began attending Clovis Community College and soon got a job as a student aide in the counseling office. While going to school full- time, working part-time, and being active in his church, he continued to play an important role in his younger siblings lives by dropping them off and picking them up from school each day, taking them to doctor’s appointments, and helping them with their own schoolwork.
Aquino is graduating with a 3.2 GPA and earned an Associate Degree for Transfer in mathematics. He will either attend Cal Poly or Fresno State this fall to continue his studies and become a civil engineer.
Marie Barr-Ramsey; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Barr-Ramsey has earned Associate Degrees for Transfer in physics and in mathematics, and an Associate Degree in computer science, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. This fall she will attend the University of California, Berkeley as a joint-major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She credits the Clovis Community College Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) faculty for shaping her interests in STEM and a future career in engineering. In addition to coursework, Barr-Ramsey has worked in the tutorial center and has served as an embedded tutor. Her advice for future graduates is to never get discouraged, even if you feel like other students are ahead of you, because you can achieve if you put in the work.
Julianna Sonkoly; Humanities, Social Sciences, and Athletics
Sonkoly is a first-generation college student, and a Leon S. Peters Honors student. Her 4.0 GPA has earned her a scholarship to the University of California, Santa Cruz where she will major in linguistics. Sonkoly has made an impact on Clovis Community College students by serving as a tutor in both the communication lab and the tutorial center. Her tutoring work led her to be a presenter at the Northern California Writing Centers Association (NCWCA) Writing Conference in Santa Clara where she spoke of the collaborative benefit of linking the communication lab with the tutorial center. In March, she served as a moderator for the college’s 2017 Oxford Debate which is organized by the honors students. Sonkoly earned an Associate Degree in Communication Studies, and thanks her communication professors Martinez and Ross for their guidance and support and encouragement while a student at Clovis Community College.
Alexa Perricone, Career Technical Education
Perricone is a native of Fresno and attended Clovis North High School. She is heading to her first-transfer university choice – University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – this fall as an economics major with plans to become a Certified Public Accountant. Perricone participated in a school field trip to UCLA when she was in sixth grade, which made a lasting impression. It was then she set a goal to study hard to bring her dream to reality of attending UCLA. She first became interested in business after taking the Business Administration 10 class with Professor Matthew Alanis. Perricone earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration and Economics. She also volunteers with various community organizations in the Clovis area.
Clovis Community College’s graduation ceremony will be held Friday, May 18 at CrossCity Christian Church located at 2777 East Nees Ave. in Fresno. The ceremony can be watched via livestream on YouTube or Facebook.