JCC to hold Fall Commencement Ceremony on December 20, 2022
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JCC to hold Fall Commencement Ceremony on December 20, 2022

Published: December 19, 2022

Image of Leilani Garcia
Dr. Leilani M. Garcia, Hospitalist with Apogee Physicians at Samaritan Medical Center, to Deliver the Keynote Address at Fall Commencement

Jefferson Community College (JCC) will hold its Fall Commencement Ceremony for December candidates for graduation on Tuesday, December 20, 2022. The ceremony will take place in the Robert R. and Jean S. Sturtz Theater at 6:00 p.m. and will be video-streamed on the College’s website. Approximately 108 students will be eligible to graduate from Jefferson in December upon successful completion of degree requirements. 

Maintaining a strong relationship with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, 44% of JCC’s Fall 2022 graduating class are active duty military, or military-related students. Thirty-three (33) candidates for graduation are participants of JCC’s concurrent enrollment program, EDGE, and started college with credits already on their transcript. Ten students will be recognized for joining Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two year colleges. One student will be recognized for participating in JCC’s Honors Program. Seventeen (17) students graduated from high school in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sixty (60) students are first-generation, meaning neither of their parents, or guardians, hold a bachelor’s degree. Roughly 52% of the graduating class are students ages 24 and under; roughly 48% of the graduating class are students ages 25 and older. The youngest graduate is age 18, and the most senior graduate is age 64. 

Participating in Jefferson’s commencement exercise are two candidates for graduation from Jefferson Higher Education Center (JHEC) partner SUNY Potsdam. JHEC candidates for graduation will receive their diplomas from their respective institution. 

The College is honored that Dr. Leilani M. Garcia, Hospitalist with Apogee Physicians at Samaritan Medical Center, will deliver the keynote address at the commencement exercises. Dr. Garcia began volunteering in hospitals, starting at the age of 17 in Samaritan Medical Center’s ambulatory surgery unit. She attended JCC from 2000-2002 where she had the opportunity to participate in a National Institute of Health 2+2 Biomedical Research Program at Clarkson University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology (pre-med) from SUNY Albany and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from The American University of Antigua College of Medicine. She was awarded a Doctors Across New York Grant, given to students who commit to serve underserved areas in New York State, which brought her back to the North Country and a new position at Carthage Area Hospital (CAH). During her CAH tenure, Dr. Garcia served first as an Internal Medicine Hospitalist, later as Hospitalist Director and, until its closing, as the Skilled Nursing Unit Director. In addition to serving the healthcare needs of the North Country, Dr. Garcia proudly serves as a New York State Trooper Surgeon with the Police Benevolent Association.

Student Trustee, Gianna M. Donahue, Watertown, will give congratulatory remarks to the Class of 2022. Donahue is an allied health major at Jefferson who was elected to serve as student trustee on the JCC Board of Trustees for the 2022-2023 academic year. Prior to her elected position as student trustee, she held office as secretary of the Student Government Association. 

Tickets are required for admission to the Sturtz Theater. Overflow seating for those without a ticket is available in Jules Center, Room 6-002. The commencement exercises will be video-streamed through the College’s website beginning at 5:45 p.m. Parking is available in Lot D. Sturtz Theater doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

A reception for graduates and guests will be held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony. Graduates and guests are encouraged to take advantage of the photo area in the Jules Center Commons. Additional commencement information for students and guests is available online or by calling 315-786-2234.



Story by:

Pamela Dixon

Additional Information:

Public Relations Department, Jefferson Community College, (315) 786-2392, Email Public Relations

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