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International community college honor society leader to address graduates at the 25th commencement of St. Charles Community College

May 07, 2013

Rod Risley, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college, will be the keynote speaker at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, for the 25th annual commencement exercises of St. Charles Community College. The ceremony will take place in the gymnasium of the College Center on the SCC campus. A reception will follow in the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building.

International community college honor society leader to address graduates at the 25th commencement of St. Charles Community College

Rod A. Risley, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two-year college

More than 840 students are eligible to graduate, including students who meet the completion requirements for certificates or degrees as of last December or for March, May and August of this year, according to Kathy Brockgreitens-Gober, dean of enrollment services. 

There are 103 candidates eligible to receive the Associate of Applied Science degree, 80 eligible for the Associate of Science degree, another 58 to receive the Certificate of Achievement, 555 to receive the Associate of Arts degree, and 50 to receive the Associate of Arts in Teaching degree. Others who are finishing up requirements as of this summer were also eligible to apply for spring commencement, Brockgreitens-Gober said.

More than 240 graduates will receive the “honors,” “high honors” or “highest honors” distinction, and many of them are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of community colleges.

The seventh annual Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Dr. Natalie Greene, resident physician at Mercy Hospital. Greene, of St. Peters, was involved in Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa while she was a student at SCC.

The student speaker will be Kimberly Sorden, an Associate of Arts degree graduate and member of Phi Theta Kappa. She currently is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at the University of Central Florida. Sorden chose to attend SCC after an accident on a four-wheeler and complications from her first surgery left her unable to walk for seven months. She hopes to someday work as a nurse, to pursue a doctorate and eventually travel the world educating people about health.

William Griffin, SCC professor of anthropology and archaeology and faculty member of the year, will serve as the commencement marshal. 

This year’s commencement speaker, Rod Risley, Ph.D., is the executive director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. In 2010 Risley, along with CEOs from the five leading national organizations in the community college arena, made history by collectively signing an agreement, “Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action,” committing to increase the number of community college students completing a degree or credential by five million by 2020. Risley’s editorial, “Establishing a Culture of Completion,” is available online.

Risley is a community college graduate and a former national president of Phi Theta Kappa. He has served as executive director since 1985. As a longtime advocate for community college students, Risley led efforts to establish the Community College Completion Challenge and the Community College Completion Corps. For more information about Risley, visit www.stchas.edu/risley.

St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu

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