ELKO — Four hundred and fifteen students received degrees during Great Basin College graduation ceremonies at the Elko Convention Center last Saturday morning, including a record-high 33 Pahrump graduates.
GBC President Mark Curtis presided over the ceremonies, in which 58 bachelor degrees plus one post-baccalaureate certification were awarded along with 273 associate’s degrees and 188 certificates.
Twenty-seven graduates picked up degrees from Battle Mountain, 17 from Ely, 39 from Winnemucca, and 298 from Elko and surrounding areas, including a number from out of state.
About 250 students walked in the ceremony.
This year’s Outstanding Alumni Award went to Don Zumwalt, who earned his associate in applied science degree from GBC in 1997 and his bachelor of applied science in management technology from GBC in 2003; later in 2009, he earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Kaplan University. Zumwalt became Elko’s police chief in 2005. Although he has retired now, he attributes much of his success to the education he received at Great Basin College. He teaches a variety of law enforcement courses at Great Basin College.
The recipient of the Community Service Award was Jeanne Bleecker, educated as a mining engineer with years of work in that field, for the past 10 years. Bleecker has been co-director at the Smoky Valley Library District and the Round Mountain Library. Her dedication to her community and GBC has been remarkable. Ms. Bleecker takes care of recruiting students to GBC, taking care of everything for GBC classes delivered at the library via interactive video, without expectation of something in return.
“Without generous people like Jeanne Bleecker, many of Nevada’s rural citizens would miss out on important local post-secondary educational opportunities,” Curtis said.
Professor Emeritus John Pryor is this year’s commencement speaker and the recipient of an honorary bachelor’s degree from Great Basin College. He planted the seeds for one of the most successful small college foundations in the nation with assets of $6 million and a fundraising total which now nears $40 million.
The following Pahrump students are part of the 2014 GBC graduating class:
James A. Abelar, Associate of Science
Patti Jo Biggs, Associate of Science
Samara Rose Bonsor, Associate of Arts
Misty Sue Carlo, Bachelor of Applied Science, Management in Technology
Mariana Ivonne Ceja Ceballos, Associate of Arts
Ian Blaze Lee Clark, Associate of Science
Amanda Curtis, Certificate of Achievement, Substance Abuse Counselor Training
Katie Erickson, Certificate of Achievement, Substance Abuse Counselor Training
Adam Erwin, Associate of Science
Krystle Erwin, Associate of Science
Nicole A. Falcone, Associate of Applied Science, Criminal Justice, Corrections
David Moreno Garcia, Certificate of Achievement, Diesel Technology
Miranda Gilligan, Associate of Science
Donna L. Gorman, Certificate of Achievement, Computer Technologies, Office Technology
Raequel Lee Guerra, Associate of Science
Samantha Harris, Associate of Arts
Shannon Kanani Kaiwi, Associate of Arts and Certificate of Achievement, Early Childhood Education
Tze Ching Jenny Leung, Associate of Arts
Sheri Lynn Longley, Associate of Arts
Fred Lopez, Certificate of Achievement, Substance Abuse Counselor Training
Lee Ann Luna, Associate of Applied Science and Certificate of Achievement, Human Services
Brandy E. Mendoza, Associate of Arts
Toni Marie Miles, Certificate of Achievement, Medical Coding
Mariah Mirabal, Associate of Arts
Brandi Monje, Associate of Science
Ele E. Nelson, Associate of Arts
Alexandrea Newson, Associate of Arts
Jason Ormiston, Associate of Arts
Victoria Ann Pryor, Associate of Science
Jennifer Katherine Pulju, Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education
Lisa Ann Thelaner, Bachelor of Applied Science, Management in Technology
Michael Cole Trumble, Associate of Arts and Associate of Science
Liqun Zheng, Associate of Applied Science, Business Administration, Accounting.