More than 1,200 Graduates Receive Degrees and Certificates(2)

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Article by: Deidra Hill,

 LARGO, Md.—More than 1,200 students have completed requirements to receive degrees and certificates at Prince George’s Community College. Half of the graduating class will participate in the 54th Commencement Exercises of Prince George’s Community College, Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m. at The Showplace Arena and Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md. Graduates have received special recognition for highest honors, academic achievements, leadership and community involvement. Students representing the Honors Academy and Hillman Entrepreneurs programs have been awarded $325,000 in combined scholarships, grants and aid.  

“Envision Success is the motivating force that guides all of us at Prince George’s Community College, and we believe our students’ accomplishments reflect positively on their individual  motivation, persistence, and hard work and our collective commitment,” said Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. “As the culminating event of the academic year, the 54th Commencement Exercises provides us the opportunity to celebrate our students’ successes and inspire them to continue to pursue promising endeavors,” she added.   

The Prince George’s Community College Class of 2013 has overcome innumerable experiences and challenges to become part of the top students in the nation. Listed below are highlights of the graduating cohort. 

Roy Anderson (Bowie, Md.)  

Roy Anderson’s dream is to research and find cures for traumatic brain injuries.  Set to graduate with honors, Anderson has been awarded a $2,500 transfer merit scholarship to attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he has been admitted to the Honors College. He also is a member of the Transfer Student Alliance, an articulation agreement between PGCC and UMBC that guarantees students who graduate with a 3.50 or higher admission, access to student housing and an additional $1,500 scholarship.  In addition to his academic achievements, Anderson’s campus activities included membership in the STEM Collegian Center, the Diverse Male Student Initiative and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Tau Pi Chapter and serving as president of the college’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Anderson participated in Christmas in April and Walk Now for Autism. For his academic achievements, leadership and service, he was named to Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students. Anderson was one of two college nominees for the All-USA Academic Team and was a member of the Maryland All-Academic Team.  

Phillicia Carey, (Greenbelt, Md.)  

Phillicia Carey is a first-generation college student who didn’t have mentors in high school who encouraged her to pursue higher education.  In her mid-twenties she decided to register for classes at PGCC and has sought out positions to mentor young people, particularly for the African, Latin, Asian, Native American program (A.L.A.N.A.) on campus and as a math tutor at Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, Maryland. Carey will attend the American University Kogod School of Business where she has received a full scholarship worth over $60,000 per year for two years funded by Southern Management Corporation.  She is a member of the Honors Academy, majoring in accounting and has earned a Citation in Honors. In addition to her course work, she is an active member of Women of Wisdom, a PGCC program designed to enhance the educational attainment and life skills of women and future leaders.   

Carla Clemente, (Lanham, Md.)  

Carla Clemente immigrated to the United States from the Philippines and has developed strong communications abilities in the process. She wants to leverage those new skills in the public relations field in support of nonprofit groups that help the less fortunate. Clemente will graduate with high honors and transfer to the University of Maryland, College Park to major in Communications and has received a Presidential scholarship worth $10,000 over two years. Clemente was a member of the Honors Academy, Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society and served as public relations officer for the Asian Awareness Club. Active in the community, she participated in Walk Now for Autism, the Red Cross blood drive, the 911 Remembrance Day and Hats for Children charity programs.  

Dawn Evans, (New Carrollton, Md.)  

Dawn Evans has a passion for working in the healthcare field and helping others. As a nursing major, she served in the college’s Nursing Club where she helped prepare programs on emergency disaster preparedness, STD/HIV testing, and organized a Red Cross blood drive. Evans has been admitted to the both the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Nursing and the Towson University School of Nursing. She also has been admitted and received a $1,000 scholarship from Honors College at Towson University. Serving the community beyond the campus, she participated in the Walk Now for Autism with Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and volunteered with the Children’s Autism Clinic and Doctors Community Hospital.  

Abiy Tsigeh Habtemariam, (College Park, Md.) 

Abiy Habtemariam came to the United States seeking political asylum from Ethiopia and plans to attend law school with hopes to one day become a human rights lawyer. He was selected to receive a full Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship to the University of Maryland, College Park, where he will continue his studies in economics. Habtemariam is treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Tau Pi Chapter, a member of STEM Collegian Center, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Math Club. Serving his fellow students and the community, Habtemariam has worked as a tutor for the Diverse Male Student Initiative at PGCC and has participated in Walk Now for Autism and Christmas in April service events. Habtemariam was awarded the Social Science Memorial Scholarship at the 2013 Student Honors Convocation. For his outstanding academic, leadership and service record, he was named Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students. He will graduate with honors.   

Philippa Palmer (Laurel, Md.)  

After delaying entering college for several years in order to help her mother raise her younger siblings, Philippa Palmer first attended PGCC in 2003 to earn the Certificate in Child Care Management. Palmer started her own daycare business, but a few years later during a downturn in the economy she realized she would need additional education to maintain her success in a competitive marketplace. In 2011, she decided to return to the college to enhance her skills. Upon graduation, she plans to transfer to the University of Maryland, College Park, to major in special education. Palmer was a Hillman Scholar, member of the Honors Programand officer in Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Tau Pi Chapter at the college. Accepted into the Pathways to Leadership program, she was selected to deliver the student keynote address to the Maryland Association of College Activities Directors’ annual conference. Palmer is an advocate for others in need, serving as Project Team Manager for the Enactus Let’s Can Hunger canned food drive, volunteering at the Children’s Developmental Clinic and participating in Walk Now for Autism. She was named to Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students. 

Kris Samiley, (Fort Washington, Md.) 

An accounting major with a natural gift for numbers and an affinity for helping those in need, Kris Samiley has volunteered as a certified tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at PGCC. She has been admitted to the Kogod School of Business at American University where she has been awarded a $30,000 per year Hechinger merit scholarship.  Samiley has been active at the college serving as an officer in the Math Club, a mentor for the International Education Center and a member of the Enrollment Student Services Ambassadors program, and member of the Honors Society.  For her exceptional service, Samiley was named Outstanding Bernard Collegian Center student at the Student Honors Convocation in April.  

Monica Samson (Mitchellville, Md.) 

Monica Sampson grew up in the Philippines and found that volunteering for programs on campus and in the community helped ease her transition to the United States.  Upon graduation, she will transfer out of state to complete her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Sampson is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Tau Pi Chapter and served as president of the Honors Society, vice president of the Asian Awareness Club, director of administrative affairs for the Campus Activities Board, and student representative for the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. She is a mentor for the International Education Center, and she has helped organize many service activities,  including a School Supply Drive for PGCC Cares, a campus-wide program to support students in need, and a Red Cross Blood Drive for the Campus Activities Board and Asian Awareness Club. In addition, Sampson has organized Asian students to help volunteer at So Others May Eat (S.O.M.E.) and delivered Easter Dinner baskets to homebound seniors. She was named to Who’s Who of American Junior College students in 2013. 

Elvina Newton Tryer (Greenbelt, Md.) 

Having grown up abroad and seen poverty in India, Elvina Newton Tryer has been inspired to improve the lives of others by pursuing a career in engineering. She will receive a $10,000 Presidential Scholarship over two years to attend the University of Maryland, College Park Clark School of Engineering to study civil engineering. As a result of her academic achievements, leadership and service, Tryer was named to Who’s Who Among American Junior College students, selected a college nominee for the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA competition and named a Coca-Cola Community College Gold Scholar, earning a $1,500 scholarship.  She also was a member of Tau Pi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Dean’s List, All-Maryland Academic Team and All-USA Academic Team nominee for PGCC. Tryer has served in leadership roles for campus organizations including secretary of the Kaleidoscope Club, public relations officer for the PGCC chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, tutor for the Scholars in Residence program and mentor for African, Latin, Asian, Native American program (A.L.A.N.A.).   

Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Prepares Graduates to be Future Business Leaders  

Open to all Maryland residents interested in starting businesses or nonprofit organizations, the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program offers students one-on-one academic mentoring, assistance in securing internships and a unique series of courses designed specifically to develop them into successful entrepreneurs and community leaders. Students in the program at Prince George’s Community College receive a full scholarship, including books and support in a seamless transfer to University of Maryland, College Park. 

Members of the 2013 Hillman Entrepreneurs cohort are Jazmyne Claggett (Hyattsville, Md.); Sadenise Cosby (Upper Marlboro, Md.); Kelley Johnson (Temple Hills, Md.); Sunkarie Kamara (Glendale, Md.); Jonathan Kang (Riverdale, Md.); Caleb Kim (Greenbelt, Md.); Lindsay Martin (Mitchellville, Md.); Diane McCown (Temple Hills, Md.); Chukunwike Onuaku (Lanham, Md.); Philippa Palmer  (Laurel, Md.); Khalil Salih (Landover, Md.); Douglas Vo (Laurel, Md.); Siccola Warren (Brandywine, Md.). 

Prince George’s Community College is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-year Education designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security (2010-2015). Established in 1958, Prince George’s Community College provides transfer and career programs that help students transfer to four-year colleges and universities and prepare them for the workforce. Each year, 40,000 students take part in more than 200 academic programs and workforce development and continuing education courses. Located in Largo, Maryland, Prince George’s Community College has additional sites at Joint Base Andrews, University Town Center in Hyattsville, Laurel College Center, Skilled Trades Center in Camp Springs, Westphalia Training Center in Upper Marlboro, and John Eager Howard Community Center. For more information, visit the college website at, follow on Twitter,  Facebook, and LinkedIn.  

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