PTC Graduates Share Stories in Fall Graduation Video

January 26, 2021

Recent criminal justice graduate Stephen Lawton already has a solid position working as a lieutenant with the Clinton Police Department. He could just set his squad car to cruise control and coast along in comfort, but he is driven to go farther and knows education holds the key. That’s why he turned to Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in the first place.

“I am looking to further my career,” he told fall term graduates during an online commencement last month. “I have been looking at the FBI Leadership Academy, and to do that, you have to have a bachelor’s degree.” PTC, therefore, has been the first step toward that goal.

Piedmont Technical College held a virtual graduation for its fall term graduates on Dec. 17, 2020. The college used the occasion to also recognize all graduates over the past year who have foregone in-person graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduation was broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

Lawton was one of six PTC students invited to provide videotaped remarks as part of the ceremony. The other speakers were Antonia Adams, Trey Cook, Jermetris Martin, Sierra Napier and Jasmine Perez.

Greenwood resident Trey Cook, who graduated with an associate in applied science with a major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration, shared his story of dropping out of high school and beginning a journey of self-discovery and fitness that ultimately led to gaining the confidence to resume his education.

“If I could go back in time and get a glimpse of where I am now, I would have gone back to school a whole lot sooner,” he said. “… Going to college has allowed me to have a career that I truly enjoy. I get to be a detective. I get to converse with patients from all over the place, and I get to work independently.”

Antonia Adams, formerly of Edgefield, last fall transferred to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. At PTC, she received the President’s Award, the college’s most-prestigious honor. She also was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa 2020 All-State Academic Team and recipient of the 2020 Divisional Distinguished Student Award for the Arts and Sciences Division. She also served as a Presidential Ambassador to help her peers assimilate to college life.

“There is no way I could have gotten into the Honors College or been the Peer Leader that I am today or even have figured out that I wanted to go to law school if I hadn’t had the time to cultivate my passion at Piedmont Tech,” she said. “Coming to Piedmont Tech put me on a totally different track for my life. I discovered my passion. I rebuilt my life, and I made lifelong connections with people who supported me throughout my journey.”

Jasmine Perez graduated with an associate in applied science with a major in human services. She feels the field is a true calling, but it took a keen advisor at Mid-Carolina High School to steer her toward the human services field.

“I love helping people and being there for people. I am a very caring person,” Perez said. “I am the first one in my family to be graduated, and Piedmont Tech has been something great for me. I really enjoyed my time there. I will be going back for another degree soon. Overall, it has been a great experience. I love the college very much and the staff that is there.”

Military veteran Jermetris Martin of McCormick may use his mechanical engineering technology degree to work either as a government or military contractor. He’s still pondering the possibilities. Named to the Dean’s List, he says he really thrived in the technical college environment.

“I went to a four-year university when I was 17, and I was just a number. But once I went through the military and went to Piedmont Tech, my professors showed they really did care about me being successful. … After I finish my bachelor’s from SC State University, I would like to go to work for the military and possibly for a Department of Defense company.”

As a health care major, Sierra Napier was especially affected by the pandemic. Despite the temporary hardships, today she has an associate degree in nursing.

 

“When COVID hit, it was an unexpected ordeal,” she recalled. “We were taken out of class. We were taken out of the clinical setting. And we were taken away from our teachers. I don’t think the students or the teachers really knew what to expect, but the instructors made it work. They did everything they could to try and keep things normal for us. … They worked diligently at Self Regional Healthcare to get us opportunities to work as nurse externs. That gave us extra hands-on training, and this really helped us when we were out of clinicals due to COVID.”

Lawton expressed gratitude for the quality of instruction he received at PTC, particularly the awareness he gained about different cultures within society and striving toward greater understanding among citizens.

“Law enforcement is changing in a big way now,” he said. “Piedmont Tech opened my eyes. It’s actually helped me in the way I do my job, and I feel I get better feedback from my community now.”

In his final commencement speech, Dr. L. Ray Brooks urged graduates to be watchful for and to take advantage of opportunities all around them.

“Education has been compared to a passport. Just because you have a passport doesn’t mean you are going to travel, but you can’t travel without one,” Dr. Brooks said. “Education is the same way. A passport opens doors, and an education – a degree – also opens doors.”

To view the ceremony online, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PiedmontTech.

 

A list of December graduates, sorted by county, appears below.

PLEASE NOTE:  PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE’S DECEMBER 2020 GRADUATES
AND THEIR AREAS OF STUDY ARE LISTED BELOW.

Piedmont Tech shares in the well-deserved pride our graduates feel in their accomplishments. Due to semester and course delivery changes during the Fall 2020 semester, some courses and grades are still being finalized. For that reason, names of students who may not meet graduation requirements may be included. Conversely, names of students who will later meet those requirements after publication may be omitted. We regret any embarrassment or inconvenience these ongoing course completions may cause. An official list of all Fall 2020 graduates will be maintained by the Student Records Office once all courses and grading have been completed.

ABBEVILLE COUNTY

ABBEVILLE – Drake H. Boyd, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Anna Brooks Cowan, associate in applied science, major in general technology, advertising design with photography concentration; Heather Cheyenne Fields, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture; Ashley Moore Hammonds, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Anna M. Lewis, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Robin Sierra Napier, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Cheyenne L. Ratliff, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture; Hailey Elizabeth Stoll, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Mykala Keonta Waller, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration; Whittney K. Walton, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Chandler Michael White, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; and Alyssa Blake Williams, associate in applied science, major in general technology, advertising design with photography concentration.

CALHOUN FALLS – Noah Lee Cann, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration.

DONALDS – Ashley Elizabeth Nickles, associate in applied science, major in nursing; and Stephanie Michelle West, associate in applied science, major in human services.

AIKEN COUNTY

AIKEN – Aundia Caldwell, associate in applied science, major in nursing; and Lauren M. Housman, associate in applied science, major in funeral service.

BATESBURG – Marisa Rayne Romero, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture.

ANDERSON COUNTY

BELTON – Kelsey Epps, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration.

HONEA PATH – Juston Charles Biedenbender, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, programming concentration; Chip Fluharty, associate in applied science, major in general technology, gunsmithing concentration; and Karisa Leigh Martin, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration.

PENDLETON – Ruby Vanessa Lynch, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration.

EDGEFIELD COUNTY

EDGEFIELD – Carnetta Stevens, associate in applied science, major in nursing; and Tarika Latrice Stevens, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, legal concentration.

JOHNSTON – Tamika Key, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration.

McCORMICK – T’Mara Yamedra Gilchrist, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration; and Lillie R. Prince, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration.

GREENVILLE COUNTY

GREENVILLE – Kalisha Tawana Hampton, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Latirrani Zhane Harris, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Terrica Williams, associate in applied science, major in funeral service.

GREER – Letara Robinson, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, major in medical coding/billing concentration.

HONEA PATH – Mariah Grace Reudinger, associate in applied science, major in general technology, advertising design with photography concentration.

SIMPSONVILLE – Schree Leonard, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

GREENWOOD COUNTY

GREENWOOD – Lucia S. Almazan, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Erika Azamar, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Kadesha Baldwin, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Mikayla A. Bowman, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Matthew Anthony Brewer, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Nathaniel Scott Bridges, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Tiffany Chandler, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Bailey Franklin Cobb, associate in science; Fabiola Corona, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Courtney Morgan Dobert, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration; Stacy Renee Durant, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration; Royshelle D. Edwards, associate in applied science, major in business administration/major in business administration, office management concentration; Heather Nicole Enlow, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Rachel Courtney Farr, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Makayla Geathers, certificate in digital rendering and gaming; Emileigh Goff, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; William Anthony Goodwin, associate in applied science, major in general technology, digital rendering with advertising or photography concentration; Natasha T. Gresham, associate in applied science, major in funeral service; Sharon Mullenix Griffin, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, accounting concentration; Shakina Monique Hamilton, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Emily Kristine Hammond, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration; William L. Haynes, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Antwainesha Brije Higgins, associate in applied science, major in human services; Dorothy Holmes, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Cooper Anthony Jackson, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration; Camille Hunter Jenkins, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Julia Jemeka Johnson, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Jalisa Simone Jones, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Kevin Alston Jones, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration; Anthony L. King, Jr., associate in applied science, major in general technology, paramedic concentration; Hayley Annette Knight, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Amber Livingston, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; Kacy Brianna Lovett, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration; Michael George Mcalister, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Daryl Andrew Miller, associate in arts; Carolyn Denise Moore, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Channin Austin Moore, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Megan Michelle Morgan, associate in applied science, major in funeral service; Crystal Moton, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Breunna Ylane Phelps, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration; Justin Mathew Phillips, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration; Leeann Taylor Pundt, associate in arts; Wyneishia Chuntel Quarles, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Courtney Lauren Quinn, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Charles A. Ramey, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Ashlee Ann Riley, associate in applied science, major in human services; Matthew Hastings Robinson, associate in applied science, major in general technology, paramedic concentration; Alejandro J. Sabatino Barrios, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Ebony B. Sanders, associate in applied science, major in funeral service; Kasey V. Sargent, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration; Bradley S. Scott, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Justin Edwin Scott, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Allison Shealy, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, programming concentration; Ian C. Smith, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, programming concentration; Jason Matthew Starling, Jr., associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Latoya Nukuyua Triplin, associate in arts; Stephen T. Westmoreland, III, associate in applied science, major in horticulture technology; and Brittany Hunter Wiles, associate in applied science, major in nursing.

HODGES – Addie R. Anderson, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Candase Lashelle Crawford-Scott, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Shantella L. Marshall, associate in applied science, major in human services; and Malorie Mobley, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration.

NINETY SIX – Mckenzy Jordan Butler, associate in science; Georgia N. Chappell, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration/associate in arts/associate in science; and Holly A. Ritter, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration.

TROY – Emeline Marie Peeler, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration.

WARE SHOALS – Anna Laura Mckinney, associate in applied science, major in business administration.

KERSHAW COUNTY

ELGIN – Pakasha A. Davis, associate in science.

LAURENS COUNTY

CLINTON – Matthew Ryan Bass, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Jalesa B. Dillard, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Shannon M. Dooley, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; Melanie Jean Franklin, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Avery Hunter, associate in science; Sarah Anne Mintern, associate in arts; Shanetra Latisha Richardson, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration; Megan Lou Ellen Shockley, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration; and Justin Andrew Snead, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.

GRAY COURT – Tina Louise Boyd, associate in applied science, major in general technology, medical assisting concentration; and Audrey Sara Hunsinger, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

JOANNA – Christopher M. James, associate in applied science, major in business administration.

LAURENS – Faith Renee’ Caton, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Amber Coker, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Akeshia Marie Foggie, associate in applied science, major in business administration; John Robert Gordon, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, networking concentration; Benita Mashea Grant, associate in applied science, major in general technology, medical assisting concentration; Kevin Juszkiewicz, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; and Lisa Polson, associate in applied science, major business administration, office management concentration.

WARE SHOALS – Makayla S. Davis, associate in arts; and Christopher Ryan Rousey, associate in applied science, major in building construction technology.

WATERLOO – Benny Sullivan, diploma in applied science, major in welding; Sarah Ashton Sutherland, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration.

LEXINGTON COUNTY

CHAPIN – Lydia O’Connor, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, adult echocardiography concentration; and Tung Huy Pham, associate in applied science, major in nursing.

COLUMBIA – Ceirra Parks Dunlap, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration.

GILBERT – Caleb Fink, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture.

LEXINGTON – Stacy Sharrika Anderson, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

McCORMICK COUNTY

McCORMICK – T’Shaun Crewell, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; Bobbi Christina Epps, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Beverly Denise Freeman, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration; Devin Harrison, associate in science; Janice Ann Kelly, associate in applied science, major in human services; Becca Lagroon, associate in applied science, major in business administration; and Brianna Alexis Marshall, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice.

PLUM BRANCH – Tha’Shalagh D. Simmons, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration.

TROY – Jeslyn Marie Thomas, associate in applied science, major in cardiovascular technology, invasive concentration.

NEWBERRY COUNTY

CHAPPELLS – Jordan Scurry Rhodes, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

KINARDS – Luke Fellers Brehmer, associate in applied science, major in general technology, welding concentration; Austin C. McCarley, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.

LITTLE MOUNTAIN – Dalton Michael Arnett, associate in applied science, major in automotive technology.

NEWBERRY – Jasmine Ayala Perez, associate in applied science, major in human services; Larissa Marshelle Cannon, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Tiffany Rochelle Crooks, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration; Pia Valene Dolman, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration; Jacob Alan Epting, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Charles Ellis Godwin, diploma in applied science, major in welding; Susan B. Godwin, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, programming concentration; Kavien Hernandez, associate in applied science, major in general technology, digital rendering with advertising or photography concentration; Jessica Jasmin Lopez, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; Trinity Miller, associate in applied science, major in human services; Belecia Leilani Moore, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Elizabeth Myers, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Carissa L. Neal, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Cindy Picklesimer, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Jose Rosas, Jr., associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Maritza Tellez, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration; and Douglas Tyrone Williams, Sr., associate in applied science, major in human services.  

POMARIA – Ryan A. Bouknight, associate in applied science, major in general technology, welding concentration; and Robert C. MacDonald, associate in applied science, major in nursing.

PROSPERITY – Madison Berry, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Latesha Sharess Gallman, associate in applied science, major in general technology, medical assisting concentration; Hailey Jordan Roach, associate in science; Hailey Coats Towery, associate in applied science, major in business administration; and Isha Q. Wilson, associate in applied science, major in general technology, patient care concentration.

SILVERSTREET – Dixon Sebastian Rivera, III, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration.

WHITMIRE – William Turner Raines, diploma in applied science, major in welding.

RICHLAND COUNTY

IRMO – Oulang N. Rouppasong, associate in arts.

SALUDA COUNTY

BATESBURG – Amanda M. Hawkins, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing

NINETY SIX – Katelyn Walker Berry, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

SALUDA – Angela L. Glenn, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Brianna Nichole Warner, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; and Chakita Werts, associate in applied science, major in human services.

SPARTANBURG COUNTY

LANDRUM – Summer Hall, associate in science.

OUT OF STATE

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rachel Amber Flickinger, associate in applied science, major in funeral service.

BLYTHE, Ga. – Dana Gallagher, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Darlene EleNora Ivory, associate in applied science, major in funeral service.

EVANS, Ga. – Pedro Arredondo, associate in applied science, major in funeral service; Hailey Newsome, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Logan Alyse Oellerich, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Ryan Lee Hall, associate in applied science, major in funeral services.

LINCOLNTON, Ga. – Keele Joe Clark, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

MARTINEZ, Ga. – Anitoria T. Leverett, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

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PHOTOS:

  • Antonia Adams
  • Trey Cook
  • Stephen Lawton
  • Jasmine Perez
  • Jermetris Martin
  • Sierra Napier