GNTC honors Spring 2022 graduates

May 6, 2022
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More than 150 Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students crossed the stage of the Dalton Convention Center on Thursday, May 5, to the cheers of their families, friends and instructors.

Dr. Heidi Popham, president of GNTC, welcomed guests, congratulated the graduates and introduced Drafting Technology student William Robert Rutledge, GNTC’s 2022 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner, as the keynote commencement speaker. Dr. Popham called Rutledge a “wonderful ambassador for GNTC and technical education, representing all of the positive qualities of our student body.”

“Reaching this goal this evening was the result of a different path taken by each of you. Some of you had an easy journey while others struggled each semester,” Dr. Popham said. “No matter the route you took or the challenges that you faced, each of you sits here tonight having surpassed each and every one of those barriers.”

While serving 17 years in prison for leading police on a high-speed chase, Rutledge overcame drug addiction and worked at the Georgia Correctional Industries (GCI) metal fabrication plant. He designed a reception desk for the Governor’s Office in the Georgia State Capitol Building while he was in the transition phase towards the end of his incarceration. Upon release from prison, he immediately signed up for classes at GNTC and was hired by GCI as a CAD draftsman. He was onsite at the State Capitol during the installation of the desk.

“I am proof that rehabilitation can work and what better addition to a successful reentry than technical education,” Rutledge stated.

“I cannot change my past, but I can change how I move forward in my life from this moment on,” he said. “I’m very grateful there are people in this world who see the changes in me and love me for who I am and do not judge me for who I was in the past.”

Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs at GNTC, recognized High Honor graduates with a 4.0 grade point average and Honor graduates with a 3.5 to 3.99 grade point average. Phillips also led a special recognition for graduates that are veterans, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members and Student Government Association members.

Dr. Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, presented the graduates, and Dr. Heidi Popham conferred the graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

The ceremony concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Popham in which she challenged the graduates not to let this graduation be the end of their educational journey.

Allison Patnode, dean of Nursing and Allied Health, administered the GNTC Alumni Association Oath.

Rajohnae Hames relaxes before the ceremony. She earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice Technology.
Rajohnae Hames relaxes before the ceremony. She earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice Technology.

Listed are graduates who participated in the 2022 Spring Commencement Ceremony  showing (from left) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students who have graduated, but did not participate in the ceremony, or students who registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:

Associate of Applied Science degree     

  • Josi E. Adcock, Business Management
  • Jillian Marie Alspaugh, Business Healthcare Technology
  • Bridget N. Badon, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Kelvin Bales, Business Management
  • Andres Beltran, Construction Management
  • Krista M. Benton, Accounting
  • Jade B. Bishop, Health Care Management
  • Catherine Angela Bowers, Marketing Management
  • Elwin Bucariza, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Colton M. Burkhalter, Respiratory Care
  • Jessica Carnes, Business Management
  • Kali Clark, Business Healthcare Technology
  • Cesar Cornejo Lopez, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Brooke Cornette, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • James Tristan Cotter, Computer Support Specialist
  • Taylor S. Council, Business Management
  • Amanda N. Crowder, Business Technology
  • Ashley Crowley, Respiratory Care
  • Corey Curtis, Business Management
  • Isaiah S. Curtis, Construction Management
  • Shaticia Renado Curtis, Respiratory Care
  • Justin M. Davis, Cybersecurity
  • Cassidy Jordan Dobbs, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Heidi Dougherty, Respiratory Care
  • Harrison Fraire, Construction Management
  • Joshua A. Fromm, Business Management
  • Andrew Kelley Fuller, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Kaitlyn H. Fuller, Business Management
  • Caterine Ivonne Galicia Baez, Business Management
  • Jocelyn Diana Garcia, Business Management
  • Sabrina Luz Garcia, Business Management
  • Jessica Marie Gibson, Respiratory Care
  • Emily Gilbreath, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Paige N. Goldsmith, Accounting
  • Lupita Guzman, Business Management
  • Rajohnae A. Hames, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Jarred Randall Harrison, Accounting
  • Brock Alexander Hart, Business Management
  • Tonya Nicole Henderson, Business Technology
  • William Judson Holden, Construction Management
  • Cadence Hughes, Accounting
  • Kristin Leah Johnson, Business Healthcare Technology
  • Ethan Douglas Kitchen, Culinary Arts
  • ArielL.Lewis,Horticulture                                                                    
  • Tara L. Linville, Business Management
  • Samantha Lynn Longacre, Accounting
  • McKenzie Caroline McCluskey, Business Management
  • Leslee Yohari Menjivar, Business Management
  • Francisco J. Molina, Business Management
  • Denna A. Morgan, Business Management
  • Ronaysia Shileice Moseley, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Luis Eduardo Oliva, Respiratory Care
  • Leticia M. Olvera, Business Management
  • Taylor B. Pittman, Health Information Management Technology
  • Ciera W. Pitts, Respiratory Care
  • Hannah Elizabeth Raines, Respiratory Care
  • Carlos M. Rodriguez, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Juan D. Ruiz, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Anthony Wayne Sanders, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Matthew William Shuff, Respiratory Care
  • Ashley Clare Simmons, Business Technology
  • Amber N. Stapley, Respiratory Care
  • Spencer Alexander Stewart, Automotive Technology
  • Michael Stoker Sr., Business Technology
  • Kolby T. Sullivan, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Amilee Mae Sutherland, Respiratory Care
  • Nermina Terzic, Accounting
  • Megan L. Thomasson, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Rebecca Nicole Tomlinson, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Raquel Torres, Business Management
  • Jennifer Triana, Business Management
  • Aslyn N. Truett, Respiratory Care
  • Luis A. Vasquez, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Alexia T. Waits, Business Management
  • Payton B. West, Instrumentation and Controls Technician
  • Findley C. White, Construction Management
  • Sigmund D. White, Business Management
  • Darby S. Whitmire, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Harrison Hunter Wrisley, Industrial Systems Technology

Associate of Science in Nursing degree

  • Laura Annette Anaya, Nursing
  • Summer D. Boyer, Nursing
  • Danielle L. Brown, Nursing
  • Brittany N. Chambers, Nursing
  • Peyton Leigh Cothran, Nursing
  • Daisy Espinoza, Nursing
  • Jennifer Esquivel, Nursing
  • Katrina J. Martin, Nursing
  • Maria Isabel Nunez, Nursing
  • Heather M. Penno, Nursing
  • Yulivet Perez Rios, Nursing
  • Margarita Rangel, Nursing
  • Channel A. Salazar, Nursing
  • Mayra J. Salazar, Nursing
  • Rosaangelica Sandoval, Nursing
  • Ashley Brooke Turner, Nursing
  • Mary Willis, Nursing


  • Katherine Joyce Basham, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Matthew Gregory Bryson, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Erica Dionne Caldwell, Business Management
  • Fleur DeMeester Coffman, Business Management
  • Zachary C. Costlow, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Arcilia A. Escalante, Business Healthcare Technology
  • Daniel Kent Franks, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Tia R. Harris, Business Technology
  • Kaley E. Hill, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Braden Gregg Johnson, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Mariano Alberto Juan, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Regina A. McKin, Social Work Assistant
  • Jesus Medina, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Amanda Mohon, Business Healthcare Technology
  • Henry Pacheco, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Kevin J. Payne, Networking Specialist
  • William Ramiro Roblero, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Luis Fernando Rodriguez, Automotive Technology
  • Isidro A. Tapia, Automotive Technology
  • Derrick L. Williams, Air Conditioning Technology             

Technical Certificate of Credit   

  • Danna Sherlyn Balcarcel Hernandez, Medical Front Office Specialist
  • Bailey Jarrett Blankenship, Industrial Electrician
  • Yesenia Maria Brito, Health Care Assistant
  • Madeline S. Burgan, Technical Specialist
  • Angel Dawn Butler, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Markesha L. Dammond, Clinical Office Assistant
  • Nathan Alex Dooley, Emergency Medical Technician
  • Vanessa J. Flores, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Katherine E. Foley, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Joshua Perry Foster, Gas Tungsten ARC Welder
  • Ja'Viyah Syncier Gooch, Medical Front Office Specialist
  • Cheyenne M. Graham, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Erika Guzman Hernandez, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Nathan Graham Hannigan, Electrical Contracting Technician
  • Carla A. Harris, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Alondra Janet Huerta, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Savannah Leigh Johnson, Human Resource Management Specialist
  • Samantha N. Jones, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Shanique D. King, Central Sterile Supply Processing Technician
  • Olivia Jae Langham, Clinical Office Assistant
  • Natalie N. Matthews, Health Care Assistant
  • Rebekah Moore, Health Care Assistant
  • Jorge Peinado Segura, Industrial Electrician
  • Kelsey B. Quick, Clinical Office Assistant
  • Kaylyn Mackensie Reed, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Noe Reyes Garcia, Health Care Assistant
  • Ashley Lavolia Richardson, Nail Technician
  • Keila Rivers, Clinical Office Assistant
  • Dominique Robinson-Epps, Healthcare Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Chelsey LeAnne Selman, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Terri Candra Thompson, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Shakela Thornton, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Frances Deanna Tidwell, Human Resource Management Specialist
  • Zaida Niomi Torres, Health Care Science
  • Brittany Tzoy, Healthcare Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Bryan Verdel, Diesel Truck Maintenance Technician
  • Javien Lemar Williams, Clinical Office Assistant
  • Emily Anne Williamson, Nail Technician
  • Anna Marie Wilson, Healthcare Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Laura Faith Wilson, Medical Coding
  • Kylie Marie Womack, Clinical Office Assistant


Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,134 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,528 students and an additional enrollment of 2,606 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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