About 750 graduate from Santa Fe College

Published: Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 8:14 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 8:14 a.m.

About 750 Santa Fe College students accepted their newly printed degrees on Friday during spring commencement exercises.

Among them were 300 students in the general graduation ceremony, a 225-member health sciences class, 48 graduates of the college's Zoo Animal Technology program, 166 nurses and nine dental hygienists participating in pinning ceremonies.

Some 20 health sciences graduates filed into the gymnasium for the 3 p.m. program with their mortarboards decorated with a large, bright red heart and EKG line.

"I wanted something that would make us stand out from everyone else," said Jessica Cazessus, who graduated from the cardiovascular program and outfitted the program's other graduates with the image.

In his remarks to the health science graduates, SFC President Jackson Sasser acknowledged Mary Ann Heck, who received an associate of science degree in radiology. Heck is on the dean's list and was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa. She has applied to the SFC advanced certificate program in computed tomography.

"Her wish is to help other people," Sasser said.

Heck said she completes a lifelong dream of attending college — something that was put on hold first so her brother could go to college and then to raise her family.

It was while talking to her daughter about the SFC radiology program that Heck decided to take her own advice. Her daughter graduated from the program in 2004.

Sasser also recognized three veterans among the health sciences graduates, who received a loud round of applause from the audience.

The health sciences graduating class included approximately 20 SFC Scholars who earned grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher. The group also included three members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Sarah Stone, health sciences professor, challenged graduates to never lose their sense of wonder when it comes to dealing with the human body.

Nursing graduate Janelle Gray urged her classmates to maintain the enthusiasm for what brought them into health sciences and their chosen track.

She also thanked the SFC faculty for "the tough love to make sure they were competent nurses, dental hygienists, surgery technicians, radiology technicians, cardiovascular technicians."

Contact Harriet Daniels at 338-3166 or harriet.daniels@gvillesun.com

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