Jefferson Community College (JCC) held its 57th annual spring commencement ceremony virtually on Friday, May 21, 2021 for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and DiplomaPalooza! on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
DiplomaPalooza!, a drive-through diploma presentation, celebrated graduates as they walked across the stage and received their diploma from College President Ty A. Stone. Family members drove alongside their graduate to share in their celebration.
JCC’s Class of 2021 is comprised of 144 students who graduated in December 2020, and 289 spring 2021 and summer 2021 candidates for graduation. Nine students earned more than one degree and/or certificate bringing the total number of degrees and certificates awarded to 442.
Jefferson continues to be a strong educational partner to Fort Drum with 29% of graduates being active duty soldiers and family members, veterans, retirees and members of the Army Reserves. Jefferson’s active duty and veteran students wore red, white and blue cords during DiplomaPalooza! in recognition of their service to our country. Fifty candidates for graduation were members of JCC’s Tau Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, and 10 candidates were Honor’s Program participants.
During the virtual Commencement Ceremony, Jefferson distinguished alumnus Nathaniel J. Chapin, Mountainview, California, delivered the keynote address. Chapin is a senior software engineer at Google. He holds an associate degree from Jefferson and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he graduated cum laude.
The student commencement speaker was Logan A. Laisdell, Adams Center. Laisdell earned her associate in applied science degree in individual studies in December.
During the virtual Commencement Ceremony, three students were recognized for receiving SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence. Chancellor’s award recipients are Jeremy Dening, Lowville, associate in science degree in mathematics, John R. Phelps, Watertown, associate in science degree in business administration, and Lachlan T. Rees, Bellevue Heights, Australia, associate in science degree in accounting.
Two JCC students were recognized for being named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic team, Jammie R. Minaya, Carthage, associate in science degree in criminal justice and associate in science degree in homeland security, and Ashley N. Young, Copenhagen, associate in arts degree in childhood education.
Five faculty and staff members were recognized for receiving 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Marc M. Davis, Watertown, adjunct instructor, received a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award in Adjunct Teaching. Dr. Christina Ebey, Watertown, assistant professor of lab sciences, received a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Gail A. Patrick, Theresa, secretary, received a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Dr. Christine D. Pristash, Sackets Harbor, assistant professor of English, received a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Gabrielle M. Thompson, Watertown, director of access and opportunity programs, received a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
Jefferson Community College alumni now total over 24,000. The College’s virtual commencement ceremony and the DiplomaPalooza! event will be available on the College’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SUNYJefferson.
Featured Honors Program Student Khwezi Pezisa
Khwezi L. Pezisa, Watertown, is the featured Jefferson Community College (JCC) Honors Program student for the month of March 2024.