Montgomery College to Celebrate Student Graduation on May 20 President of the University of Maryland, College Park to Deliver Address

Montgomery College will celebrate its annual commencement festivities on Friday, May 20 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will honor graduates from the College’s three campuses in Montgomery County, Md.—Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring—along with apprenticeship graduates in Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs. Of the more than 2,800 students who have completed graduation requirements for associate’s degrees, apprenticeships or certificates this academic year, more than 800 students will participate in the ceremony, which will be held on the Rockville Campus athletic field.

“Watching the smiles, laughter, and expressions of joy on our graduates’ faces, as they cross the stage, will undoubtedly be the one of the highlights of my first year as president,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “As an open-access institution of higher education, Montgomery College prepares students for the next journey in their lives, whether transferring to a four-year institution or going to work.”

Dr. Wallace Loh—newly inaugurated president of the University of Maryland, College Park, the largest public institution of higher education in Maryland—will deliver the commencement address. Dr. Loh formerly served as the executive vice president and provost of The University of Iowa. Born in Shanghai, China. Dr. Loh immigrated with his family to Peru, graduated from high school there, and immigrated to the United States in 1961. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, an M.A. in psychology from Cornell University, and a B.A. in psychology from Grinnell College.

Four Montgomery College Students Selected to Address Fellow Students

The commencement ceremony will also feature speeches by four graduating students who have been selected as the College’s Board of Trustees Scholars. The scholars, who earn an award for future tuition or educational costs, represent each of the three campuses and Workforce Development and Continuing Education. This year’s Board of Trustees Scholars are:

Myshelle Robinson, a Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus student and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Upon graduation, Robinson will attend Pace University in New York City, where she will major in sociology. From her own personal experience, she developed a passion for helping others and intends to pursue those desires by working with families in need and people experiencing homelessness.

Steven Duggan is completing a four-year apprenticeship program as an HVAC/R technician. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average in his apprenticeship with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, National Capital Chapter (ACCA/NCC) program. Duggan is employed by Mallick Mechanical Contractors, a division Mallick Plumbing and Heating, where he earned both a journeyman’s and a master’s license in plumbing/gas fitting.

Janet Burke, a Germantown Campus student and member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Upon graduation, she will attend Smith College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and environmental studies. An honors student, Burke worked during her education. Independent since her high school graduation, Burke helped her younger sister attend and graduate from college.
Whitley Dowling, an art major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. While studying at the Rockville Campus, she worked on a large project for the community with Arts on the Block. She works as a production assistant at Photo Communications, Inc., and plans to continue working after graduation while she launches an online store to sell original artwork. While attending Montgomery College, she married fellow student Gilbert Roca, who is also graduating from Montgomery College.      Honorary Degrees Will Go to J. Henry Montes, George Dang, Rebecca Wagner and Dr. Loh Montgomery College will award honorary degrees to J. Henry Montes, George Dang and Rebecca (Becky) Wagner. Dr. Loh will also receive an honorary degree as the commencement speaker. Mr. George Dang is the president of Acacia Financial Advisors, LLC. He has been an executive in the financial services business for more than 25 years. An ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, he is also is a partner with Meiwah International, an international consulting company. Prior to his financial career, he opened several restaurants, and was involved with real estate development.

Dang serves on the Maryland Governor’s Commission of Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Advisory Board of the Maryland State Attorney General, and on the Comptroller’s Business Council. He is the co-founder and board member of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors of the Universities at Shady Grove.

Mr. J. Henry Montes possesses more than 35 years of experience in the field of public health. He helped develop and publish “Healthy People: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,” a first of its kind, developed the first Hispanic Cancer Prevention and Control program at the National Cancer Institute and initiated the Resource Center of the U.S. Office of Minority Health. He also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and became a member of the federal Senior Executive Service.

Now retired from public service, he has been a consultant to various businesses and academic institutions. His volunteer work includes serving as a member of the Latino Health Steering Committee, co-chairing the Montgomery County Executive’s Latin American Advisory Group and serving on the Board of Directors for Identity, Inc.

Rebecca (Becky) Wagner is the executive director of Advocates for Children Youth (ACY) in Baltimore. Prior to her experience at ACY, Wagner led Interfaith Works (formerly Community Ministry of Montgomery County) in Rockville for 12 years. Early in her career, Wagner founded Rainbow Shelter, Montgomery County’s first shelter for homeless women. She then served on the staff of U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and worked at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

A respected coalition builder, she has also had leadership roles in Maryland and Montgomery County community organizations. She is an elder at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church. Having just moved to Kent County, Maryland, Wagner lived in Bethesda for 40 years.

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