GateWay CC to Honor Graduates at May 15 Commencement Ceremonies
GateWay Community College will celebrate as more than 1,700 students earn certificates or degrees
On Friday, May 15 GateWay Community College will celebrate as more than 1,700 of its graduating students are awarded their completed certificates or degrees. This semester’s graduation ceremony marks GateWay’s 40th annual commencement since the college opened in 1968. To honor these outstanding graduates, GateWay will host two ceremonies: a Commencement Ceremony for certificate and degree candidates and a Pinning Ceremony for graduating nursing students.
The ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 15 at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 North Central Avenue, Phoenix. The Nursing Pinning Ceremony is at 3 p.m. and the Commencement Ceremony for Certificate and Degree Candidates is at 6:45 p.m. Free parking will be available at each event.
Whether a student is headed straight to the workplace or is transferring to a university, each graduating Gecko has a story to tell about their experiences at GWCC. With this in mind, four outstanding certificate and degree candidates shared their GateWay stories:
Marvin Bagley, earning an Associate’s Degree
Bagley is a former player for the Arizona Rattlers arena football league team. By his own confession, Marvin never really took school very seriously; confident he would have a long career in the NFL. When his football career did not go as planned, he returned to school at GateWay, and is graduating with a 4.0 this semester. Bagley said he plans to transfer to ASU to obtain an education degree so he can teach as well as coach, helping young men like his own three sons understand the value of higher education.
Jennifer Bose, earning an Associate’s Degree, liberal arts (anthropology/archeology focus)
Honors student Jennifer Bose has worked hard to make the most out of her GateWay experience. During her time as a Gecko, Bose has experienced a myriad of successes including the opportunity to present her work at the Western Regional Honors Conference and the American Anthropology Association’s National Conference. In addition, she has w campus and tutoring other students.
“My experience here at GateWay has been wonderful,” she said. “I have had excellent support from my professors and some wonderful opportunities to learn and travel to represent not only myself and my work, but also GateWay at these conferences.”
After graduating from GateWay, Bose plans on transferring to ASU to earn a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and archeology. She then plans on earning her master’s degree and PhD with the eventual goal of pursuing a career in archeology field research. The desire to experience a new and challenging career path is what Bose said brought her to GateWay in the first place.
Arturo Mondragon, earning a Certificate of Completion in Retail Management
Before coming to GateWay, Arturo Mondragon used both experience and hard work to climb up the ladder of success in the Pro’s Ranch Markets chain of stores. Over the course of 13 years, he worked his way up from a janitor to becoming the general manager of all Pro’s Ranch Markets store locations in Arizona. As part of his career advancement, Mondragon pursued a Retail Management Certificate to round out his hands-on experience in the retail industry.
“I had a great experience at GateWay; I loved the teachers and it was amazing to go back to school since graduating from high school in 1992,” Mondragon said. “My experience shows that it’s never too late to go to college.” Nance Harris of Business Outreach said Mondragon’s promotion to manager of the six Arizona stores comes as a direct result of his experience plus his time at GateWay.
Oscar Ruiz, earning an Associate’s Degree in Nursing
Like many GateWay students, Oscar Ruiz began classes at GateWay to put himself on a more fulfilling career path. He decided to pursue nursing because of his interest in medicine and the profession’s flexibility in hours and specialty. When choosing where to study, He picked GateWay because of the college’s partnership with Banner Health – an endorsement Ruiz felt spoke to the quality of the nursing program. Even though several nursing faculty members agree that Ruiz stands out in the program, his favorite GateWay achievements involve a group effort.
“What has been rewarding is seeing how our class has progressed,” Ruiz said. “Our first semester we were petrified to give flu shots… now we’re regularly performing tasks requiring considerably more skill and thinking ability. We’ve come a long way in just two years.”
Ruiz said his experience at GateWay has been great thanks to the caring instructors and ample resources. “It was a pleasant surprise that these tools have enabled us to have a better grasp of those skills that we subsequently took into our clinical settings and will ultimately take into our workplace,” he said. After graduation, Ruiz will be working as a nurse extern II and then, after passing his licensure exam, he will become a registered nurse in the surgical unit at Banner Gateway Medical Center.