GNTC’s 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony held at the Forum River Center in Rome

May 14, 2018
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Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students donned their caps and gowns as family and friends gathered at the Forum River Center in Rome for GNTC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 10.

The college awarded graduates with associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates during the ceremony, which recognized student’s from GNTC’s nine county service area.

After students, administrators, and faculty marched into place during Processional, the Pledge of Allegiance was conducted by Dick Tanner, director of the Instrumentation and Controls program at GNTC. Invocation was be led by Donny Holmes, director of the Construction Management program at GNTC.

Melvin Mitchell, of Cartersville, earned a diploma in Electrical Systems Technology. Mitchell was part of the Career Pathways team that won the gold medal in the 2017 SkillsUSA Georgia competition and the bronze medal in the national 2017 SkillsUSA competition. He also was a bronze medalist in the Job Demonstration contest in the SkillsUSA Georgia 2018 competition.
Melvin Mitchell, of Cartersville, earned a diploma in Electrical Systems Technology. Mitchell was part of the Career Pathways team that won the gold medal in the 2017 SkillsUSA Georgia competition and the bronze medal in the national 2017 SkillsUSA competition. He also was a bronze medalist in the Job Demonstration contest in the SkillsUSA Georgia 2018 competition.

Heidi Popham, executive vice president of GNTC, began the evening’s proceedings by welcoming everyone and congratulating the graduates.

“You are a diverse group of graduates; the youngest of you is 16 and the most mature is 71,” said Popham. “Reaching this goal was the result of a different path taken for each of you and some struggled every semester. However, you’re here tonight having surpassed every hurdle.” 

Stephanie Kinman, GNTC’s 2018 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year, was the keynote commencement speaker for the evening. Kinman praised the graduates and said hard work is the most important aspect of success.

“Be proactive, take responsibility and initiative for your life,” said Kinman. “Remember that your future is a product of the choices you make every day.”

Stuart Phillips, vice president of Student Affairs at GNTC, recognized High Honor and Honor graduates. A special recognition for graduates that are veterans was also led by Phillips.

There was also a special “participation” recognition for students that were a part of Phi Beta Lambda, SkillsUSA, and the Student Government Association at GNTC.

Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, presented graduates with associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

Listed are graduates that participated in the 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony showing (from left to right) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students that have graduated, but did not participate in the ceremony, or students that registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:

Associate of Applied Science

  • Kelly Marie Adams, Business Management
  • Yakelin R. Alvarado, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • Joseph Angeles, Automotive Technology
  • Viridiana Armstrong, Respiratory Care
  • Martin Mauricio Arredondo, Business Management
  • Brittany T. Bailey, Health Information Management Technology
  • Kassidy F. Barnes, Business Management
  • Hanna D. Bedwell, Respiratory Care
  • Carson Danielle Bilbrey, Respiratory Care
  • Linsey E. Boatwright, Respiratory Care
  • Dalton Evan Brackett, Construction Management
  • Charles Burns, Construction Management
  • James Cargle, Business Management
  • Derrika C. Carroll, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • William D. Costlow, Instrumentation and Controls Technician
  • Gerardo Cruz Fonceca, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Michaela Davenport, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Amber N. Dobson, Health Information Management Technology
  • Ricardo Dominguez Gaytan, Construction Management
  • Edward E. Dover, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Faustino Espinosa Padron, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Donna Ford, Respiratory Care
  • Cynthia Baley Fuqua, Paramedicine
  • Angelica M. Gonzalez, Business Management
  • Maria S. Gonzalez, Business Management
  • Betty Jo Grant, Health Information Management Technology
  • Elisha M. Hall, Computer Support Specialist
  • Sierra Jade Hartshorn, Health Information Management Technology
  • Miana Hawkins-Tomkinson, Business Management
  • Timothy James Hayes, Computer Support Specialist
  • Christopher Andrew Hooker, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Alesha RaeAnn Hughes, Business Management
  • Christopher Hayes Hutchins, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Sarita Cammon Jackson, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • William Parker Johnson, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Lorie Jane Jones, Accounting
  • Chelsey L. Keasler, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Misty P. Long, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Emily McKenzie Maddox, Business Technology
  • Lisbeth Maldonado, Business Management
  • Chauney Mason, Health Information Management Technology
  • Christian Garrett McDonald, Computer Support Specialist
  • Alexander Moody, Computer Support Specialist
  • Chasta Moss, Respiratory Care
  • Madison P. Ohlman, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Edgardo D. Ortiz, Industrial Systems Technology
  • MiKayla M. Owens, Computer Support Specialist
  • Michelle Louise Oxford, Business Technology
  • Tesslie B. Parker, Surgical Technology
  • Daniel J. Parrish, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Cindy Ziomara Pellecer, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Richard B. Peterson, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Courtney D. Pittman, Business Management
  • Lindsay Renee Pope, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • Adela M. Ramirez, Business Management
  • Andres A. Ramirez, Construction Management
  • Bradley Ramirez, Business Management
  • Christopher D. Reddish, Networking Specialist
  • Marisela A. Reyes, Health Information Management Technology
  • Rodrigo Reyes-Cruz, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Dereck William Roberts, Networking Specialist
  • Walker T. Rogers, Web Site Design/Development
  • Tiffany N. Romine, Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Brandon T. Ross, Construction Management
  • Juan D. Ruiz, Construction Management
  • Cassandria Nycole Rutledge, Social Work Assistant
  • Emily F. Slade, Respiratory Care
  • Christy J. Smith, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Jacqueline Michelle Smith, Respiratory Care
  • Melinda Ann Spires, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Pepper Kay Stanfield, Business Management
  • Leslie B. Sullins, Respiratory Care
  • Amber L. Uptain, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Andres D. Valencia, Business Management
  • Rebecca Ann Vass, Health Information Management Technology
  • Celestia A. Waits, Business Management
  • Keiyana L. Ware, Respiratory Care
  • Haley N. White, Respiratory Care
  • Sheri A. Yapko, Business Technology

Associate of Science in Nursing

  • Crystal Anderson
  • Jennifer Armellino
  • Ashley Bruce
  • Courtney Cochran
  • Nicholas A. Cochran
  • Gabriela Ramirez Diaz
  • Emily Edgeman
  • Seth D. Gamblin
  • Elizabeth Martinez Gomez
  • Gwendoloin Denise Hannah
  • Jennifer Carol Henry
  • Angela Pearle Jeffers
  • Amber Nicole Johns
  • Laura Ray Long
  • Randall C. McDonald
  • Jennifer LaChristia Parham
  • Dana Nichole Phy       


  • Caris A. Barton, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • Irma G. Chavez, Business Technology
  • Rhonda K. Coker, Business Technology
  • Sierra D. Crew, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • James L. Daniel, Paramedicine
  • Stacy Lane Daughtry, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • Andrew H. Denmon, Paramedicine
  • Justin Lee Ditlefsen, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Josie Caroline Forson, Cosmetology
  • Joshua Cody Godwin, Networking Specialist
  • Emily K. Hall, Business Technology
  • Leslie Harris, Networking Specialist
  • Tony R. Ingram Jr., Air Conditioning Technology
  • Bronson C. Jones, Air Conditioning Technology
  • Robert Wade Kimmel, Cosmetology
  • Leslie Michael Lay, Social Work Assistant
  • Isaac J. Long, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Edwin D. Lopez, Computer Support Specialist
  • Lacey C. Lummus, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Melvin Mitchell, Electrical Systems Technology
  • Holly N. Nichols, Neuromuscular Therapist
  • Dylan James Perry, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Kimberly D. Riddle, Business Technology
  • Tiffany Ann Rosales, Criminal Justice Technology
  • Aiseh Smith, Business Management
  • Mitchell Sean Towns, Industrial Systems Technology
  • Justin Kyle Wallace, Welding and Joining Technology
  • Anna Winnette Wilkins, Cosmetology
  • Billie Wright, Industrial Systems Technology
  • David L. Yarbrough, Industrial Systems Technology

Technical Certificate of Credit

  • Ashland Andrea Adams, Medical Coding
  • Alexis Brooke Bennett, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Skylar M. Boyken, Hair Designer
  • Jessika A. Branam, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Veronica L. Cameron, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Peter Carrera, PC Repair and Network Technician
  • Candy Jean Cason, Human Resource Management Specialist
  • Madison M. Combs, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Emilee Elizabeth Crane, Hair Designer
  • Kristen Brooke Dobbs, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Jenifer Liset Escalante Morales Medical Front Office Assistant
  • April N. Gray, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Sarah R. Guffey, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Kristen Nikole Hernandez, Health Care Science
  • Alexis L. Jackson, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Alexis R. Lewis, Hair Designer
  • Jessica Grace McElwee, Hair Designer
  • Leslie A. Meza, Phlebotomy Technician
  • Antavia Ragine Moten, Child Development Specialist
  • Mequitta S. Owens, Central Sterile Supply Processing Technician
  • Evangelina Perez, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Lauren A. Pike, Microsoft Excel Application Professional
  • Brittany S. Poole, Hair Designer
  • Avery Grace Ramos, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Dedra R. Roberson, Medical Front Office Assistant
  • Toni Ashley Rogers, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Adriana H. Silva, Health Care Science
  • Ambar Velazquez, Supervisor/Manager Specialist
  • Nicole L. Wilkerson, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist
  • Ciera Danielle Witcher, Phlebotomy Technician


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 business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 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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