Westmoreland County Community College 2018 Commencement


Date Published: May 04, 2018

Commence2018YOUNGWOOD, PA – Westmoreland County Community College conferred degrees, diplomas and certificates to 869 graduates at its 47th annual commencement ceremony held Friday, May 4 at the Youngwood campus.

The ceremony encompassed graduates who completed program requirements during the summer 2017, fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters.

Westmoreland President Tuesday Stanley acknowledged several graduates by sharing their stories and highlighting their accomplishments, including:

  • Brooke E. White of Greensburg, a Human Services/Social Work major who is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Phi Theta Kappa national honor society. She received the Coca Cola Transfer Scholar Award, which is part of the All-PA Academic Transfer Scholars program, and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. White plans pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees and become a licensed social worker.
  • Blaine Lynn of Ruffsdale who worried he might have to put his college degree on hold when he lost his job after multiple surgeries. After using money from his GI Bill for the summer semester, he received a $250 Chevron Corporation Scholarship that helped him buy books and stay enrolled in the fall. A single father of young daughters, Lynn worked 13-hour days, took classes at night and carried a full course load last summer to graduate with a Welding degree this spring.
  • Sherwood Friel of New Stanton who graduated with honors in Welding, making it his fourth associate degree from Westmoreland. He also holds degrees in Drafting and Design Technology, Architectural Drafting and Design, and Drafting and Design CAD/CAM. At the age of 65, Friel believes that “anything is possible” and proves it with his quest for lifelong learning.

President Stanley also recognized 12 Ligonier Valley High School seniors who earned an associate of arts degree through Westmoreland’s College Now program prior their high school graduation:  Lacey Barkley, Emily Bleehash, Kayla Coursin, Elizabeth King, Andrew Klein, Sara Klinchock, Anja Popey, Colton Rashilla, Wade Rashilla, Autumn Seftas, Kelsey Stormer and Richard Tudor. These students may transfer their associate degrees to four-year universities and enter with junior status having completed two years of the bachelor’s degree requirements at Westmoreland.

During commencement, Stanley presented the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Melinda S. Rossell of Fayette City, a Westmoreland Nursing graduate who is now an associate professor of Nursing at the college.

Rossell graduated from Westmoreland in 2005 with an associate degree in nursing. Continuing her pursuit of higher education, she also earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Slippery Rock University, a master of science degree in nursing with specialization in nursing education from Walden University, and doctor of nursing practice from Carlow University.

Upon receiving the award, Rossell said her grandfather told her that education would be her key to the world.

“Through all my educational and professional endeavors, I credit Westmoreland in providing me with an incredible foundation,” she said.

“We are proud to recognize Melinda as our 2018 Distinguished Alumnus and to count her as one of our valued faculty members who has been sharing her expertise with Westmoreland students since 2010,” Stanley said.