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Spring 2014 graduation marks milestone for baccalaureate programs

Seminole State awarded 3,000 degrees and certificates during the Spring 2014 Commencement on Sunday, May 4, at the University of Central Florida.

For the first time, Seminole State College of Florida has awarded degrees to students from all five of its baccalaureate programs.

More than 70 students, including the first graduates earning Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in the College's Engineering Technology Program, received baccalaureate degrees during the Spring 2014 Commencement on Sunday, May 4, at the University of Central Florida.

Seminole State first awarded bachelor’s degrees in December 2011.

About 3,000 degrees and certificates were awarded collegewide this spring. Among the graduates were:

  • Sera D'Ascano, 54, of Sanford: More than a decade ago, she was severely injured in a restaurant robbery. During her lengthy recovery, she realized that healthcare was her calling. She is now part of the first class to graduate from the Associate in Science (A.S.) in Pharmacy Management Program. Her motto: “You’re never too old to follow your dreams.”
  • Ryan Dominguez, 25, of Altamonte Springs: At age 4, he and his entire family – 22 people – fled Cuba in an 18-foot-boat and were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Eventually, his family moved to Puerto Rico and then to Central Florida, where he graduated from Lake Brantley High School in 2008. He was the first in his family to attend college. His family was there to celebrate as he became one of the first to receive a B.S. in Engineering Technology.
  • Kyle Whitman, 21, of Sanford: Challenges at home caused him to drop out of high school in Cocoa during his senior year. After he moved to Sanford, close family members challenged him to earn his high school diploma, so he enrolled in the Adult High School (AHS) at Seminole State. He says AHS gave him a fresh start in life. He won the Seminole State Board of Trustees Award, which provides full tuition for two years to Seminole State. The scholarship will allow him to pursue his A.A. degree this fall.
Dr. Walt Griffin, SCPS superintendent, addresses graduates during the Spring 2014 Commencement.

Dr. Walt Griffin, superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS), addressed the graduates, noting the longtime partnership between SCPS and Seminole State. July will mark 50 years since the Seminole County School Board backed creating a public junior college in Seminole County. He also commended the graduates for their achievement.

"Seminole State has prepared you for your next step," he said. "Congratulations, you are well on your path to success."

Seminole State also announced its 2014 Endowed Teaching Chairs during the ceremony. The four honorees each received $5,000. 

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