ALBANY -- Albany Technical College will hold its Spring Commencement Ceremony at 7 p.m. today at the Albany Civic Center. Preceding the ceremony, a reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in the meeting room at the Civic Center.
More than 60 students will be eligible to receive their associate degrees; almost 200 to receive diplomas, and more than 40 technical certificates of credit. In addition, more than 100 students will be eligible to receive their GED.
Several of these students will also be recognized in the program for outstanding achievements and contributions in club organizations, student organizations, and academic excellence, which includes President's List, scholarships, and other affiliations.
The guest speaker for the evening ceremony will be Lt. Cmdr. K. Moore, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Atlantic City and Coast Guard Station Small Great Egg. Moore enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1995.
A 2003 graduate of the Coast Guard's Officers Candidate School, he has served more than 16 years in an array of operational and administrative unites.
Among those graduating Friday evening are two exceptional graduates. One is Nature Malone, a student graduating with an associate's degree in business logistics management.
She is a single mother of two children and currently works as an administrative coordinator for the American Red Cross Flint River Chapter. She also is a disaster relief volunteer.
Malone credits Albany Tech with grooming her to be "work ready" because of the hands-on applications received in the classroom and labs.
"ATC's job placement rate is in the high 90 percentile because the faculty and staff are always helping students to prepare for employment by assisting them with resume writing, skills assessments, workshops and seminars, and internship and co-op positions," Malone said.
Another exceptional graduate is Jemmie Thomas, 52. Initially starting out in the Fire Science Technology program working toward an associate's degree, Thomas found herself battling cancer and losing her mother.
After putting college on hold for a while, Thomas returned and will be graduating tonight with her technical certificate in the program. She says, however, she won't stop there. She is already enrolled this summer to work toward obtaining the associate's degree she set out to obtain.
"Having the degree will open many doors for me and expand my career field," Thomas said.