The Palau Community College held its 54th commencement exercises last May 19, 2017, with 139 graduates receiving degrees.
The graduating class finished the following programs: agricultural science (11), criminal justice (nine), community and public health (nine), early childhood education (13), elementary education (17), special education (two), environmental/marine science (one), liberal arts (four), library and information services (one), nursing career ladder (seven), STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) disciplines (two), business accounting (six), business administration (three), information technology (six), office administration (six), tourism & hospitality: food & beverages (four), tourism & hospitality: hotel management (two), tourism & hospitality: hotel operations (three), tourism & hospitality: tour services (one), automotive mechanics technology (12), construction technology (three), electrical technology (five), general electronics technology (five), and small engine & outboard marine technology (seven).
One graduate was recognized for completing the PCC Adult High School Program.
The Palau Community College and San Diego State University also congratulated 24 graduates who completed the San Diego State University’s master of arts degree in Education.
Commencement officiators included Ibedul Yutaka M. Gibbons, Reklai Raphael B. Ngirmang, Education Minister Sinton Soalablai, Pastor Hedrick Kual, SDSU Institute Collaborative for Distance Learning and Center for Pacific Studies Project Coordinator & Instructional Designer Dr. Theresa Lally, SDSU vice president for Research and dean of Graduate Affairs Dr. Steven Welter, SDSU chair, Department of Administration, Rehabilitation & Postsecondary Education Dr. Caren L. Sax, State Minister Billy G. Kuartei (also the vice chairman of the PCC board), PCC student trustee Jedidah E. Masahiro, PCC president Dr. Patrick U. Tellei, PCC dean of Academic Affairs Robert Ramarui, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Arthur Ngirakelsong.
Tellei gave the welcoming remarks that recognized officiators, guests including Palau Vice President Arnold Oilouch, U.S. Embassy in Palau-mission deputy Daniel Katz, senators and delegates from the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau, members of Palau Diplomatic Corps, parents, and families of the graduates.
The commencement speaker was Sen. Stevenson Kuartei, a member of the Pacific medical society and also a proprietor of the Pacific Family Medical Clinic in Palau. He has written numerous articles in local newspaper such as the Tia Belau which provided health tips. Highlights of his impressive medical career include being a director of Public Health prior to being a minister of the Belau National Hospital in 2008.
Construction Technology program graduate Rdiall L. Tellei and Education program graduate Jed M. Gibson were both given the honor of valedictorian. (PR)