BRTC commencement exercises were held December 12 in the Randolph County Development Center to recognize 344 students, according to Carolyn Collins, Interim VP for Student Services. The actual number of degrees awarded for the Fall 2012 semester totaled 445, as some of the students completed more than one certification. Separate commencement ceremonies for graduates in Nursing, Respiratory Care, and Law Enforcement were held previously. In addition to the 344 graduating in December, an additional 85 individuals received the GED (General Education Diploma).
Degrees were conferred by BRTC President Dr. Wayne Hatcher and awarded by Dr. Roger Johnson, VP for General Education, and Angie Caldwell, VP for Technical Education. The degrees awarded included two-year Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees, as well as one-year Certificates, one-semester Certificates of Proficiency, and GEDs.
Cierra Wrench of Imboden and candidate for the Associate of Arts degree, served as Graduate Candidate Spokesperson. As she addressed the graduates, she encouraged them to continue learning and growing and said their education should not end with graduation.
Dr. Jan Ziegler, former VP for Development at BRTC, served as keynote speaker and talked to students about making decisions of “what to hold on to and what to let go of as we continue through the journey of life.” In pointing out some important things to let go of, she said “we should let go of the fear of failure and hold on to a confidence that even in failing at something we will be able to find something positive that comes from it.” She also echoed Wrench’s sentiments when she told the students to “let go of the thought that with graduation we are fully ‘educated,’ and realize that learning should never stop.”
Ziegler retired at the conclusion of the fall semester after 20 years at BRTC where she had served as instructor of German, English and The Holocaust as well as Division Chair of Gen Ed and Director of Planning and Assessment before becoming VP in 2003. She is a published author and freelance writer who holds an Ed.D in Higher Education Leadership, an MA in English, and a BA in French/English, all from Arkansas State University, and an MA in German Studies from the University of New Mexico.