FORT POLK, La. — “Curiosity is the hallmark of a learner and diligence in application of knowledge is the hallmark of a professional,” — Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, retired.
A combined college graduation at Fort Polk’s Main Post Chapel celebrated more than 100 students for their academic successes May 12. Schools represented were Central Texas College, Upper Iowa University, Northwestern State University, Central Michigan University, Ashford University, Limestone College and University of Phoenix.
“The most important and gratifying job anyone can do is passing on one’s experience and enthusiasm to the next generation. A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops. Teaching, directly or indirectly, is also the life’s work of all those who serve in the armed forces,” said Col. Francis Burns, Fort Polk garrison commander, who delivered the commencement address.
Like many graduating students, some Fort Polk graduates were excited to begin a career and demonstrate their knowledge. Elizabeth Pini, graduating with a master’s of arts in public administration, said, “I look forward to emphasizing my education and applying it.” She begins her doctorate education in August at Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs.
The military provides incredible support for service members who choose to pursue a higher education, said Pfc. Kristeena Pascale, a graduate of Upper Iowa University, who earned her bachelor’s of science in psychology with the help of the military.
“They paid for it and I did my schooling mostly on nights and weekends. I’m just thankful I won’t have to be concerned with school loans,” she said. She plans to attend New York Technical Institute for her master’s in education and counseling.
“Your credentials are a vital contribution to your workplace, our communities and this nation. You have not studied for the sake of studying. It’s how you can apply it,” said Burns. “You have an awful lot to be proud of, yet at the same time, do not let your degree define who you are. If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”
From Central Texas College: Tron Carson received an associate of applied science in business management; and Maria Beasley, Stephanie Cirilo, James Cook, Krystina Delozier, Melissa DeSantiago, James Fisher, Alvaro Gomez, Michael Hansens, Regina Hewling, Jennifer Montavlo, Martina Moore, Henry Portilli, Jerry Richards, Stephen Schlegel, Ruby Schrepfer, Jonathan West and Alosina Williams received an associate of arts in general studies.
From Upper Iowa University: Lisa K. Maricle received an associate of arts in general business; Phillip L. Whitty received an associate of arts in liberal arts; Michael T. Keiss, Jennifer L. Seda and Eric Smith received a bachelor of science in human resources management; Johnnie L. Richardson received a bachelor of science in management and human resources management; Christopher C. Pascale received a bachelor of science in marketing; Robert J. Koockogey, Otis S. Baskerville and Mario O. Parris received a bachelor of science in public administration; and Patricia D. Adamson, Mark D. Allen, Janet F. Griggs, Desiree Gunter, Janice T. Hill, Wendy B. Kreps, Mary F. Landry, Wanda F. Lapsley, Shabnam A. O’Neal, Melane A. Harris-Scott and Kristeena L. Pascale received a bachelor of science in social science.
From Northwestern State University: Justin Bonnette, Danielle Boucher and Amanda Fisher received an associate of arts in criminal justice; Tina Abbott, Ciana Arthur, Ambryia Ashby, Kelly Bailey, Teddy Bigcrom, Emily Clarke, Julie Dowden-McShan, Jessica Haymon, Theadoshea Holmes, Malana Kimball, Jennifer Price, Johnathan Walker and Angela Wise received an associate of arts in general studies; Ryan Andress, Joshua Barnes, Ted Bosch, Judith Coomer, Stacie Coram, Heather Cortez, Amanda Greagoff, Kaycie Jensen, Jarryd Mayeaux, Jennifer McWilliams, Ria Moore, Pamela Simmons, Usa Thompson, Betsey Vigna, Ingeborg Walker, Melanie Willis and Kimberly Yerby received an associate of science in nursing; James Chamblee II received a bachelor of arts in criminal justice; Jessica M. Boulton received a bachelor of arts in English education grades six-12; Katie Pesich received a bachelor of arts in journalism, Marcia Reid received a bachelor of arts in social studies education grades six-12; Tabatha Jordan, Jenna Mason, Louisa Molina, Lynsey Woodham and Dana Farmer received a bachelor of general studies; Tori Clemens, Dayna Davis, Matthew Ellison, Ryan Ferguson, Nancy Flores, Sandra Hayes, Doris Kelly, Megan Legg, Andrea Lockwood, Anthony Pyatt, Jaccara Sandanski, Alyssa Smith, Allison Vasquez and Lisbeth Vonbuelow received a bachelor of science in psychology; Shelly Austad received a bachelor of science in radiology; Terra Bailey and April Solea received a bachelor of science in nursing; Rebecca-Summer Sexson received a master of arts in adult education; and Jan Blount received a master of arts in school counseling.
From Central Michigan University: Regan R. Jagatnarain received a master of science in human resources.
From Limestone College: Somon S. Druitt received a bachelor of science in computer science.
From University of Phoenix: LaWanda Evans received a bachelor of science in psychology.
From Ashford University: Elizabeth Pini received a master of arts in public administration.