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Kaua‘i Community College celebrates in-person graduation

PUHI — Joana Rodriguez, a candidate for her associate degree in liberal arts, Friday said she is a recovering drug addict, at the 57th annual Kaua‘i Community College Commencement Exercises.

“You know these Harada girls, Chandlyn and Chazlyn,” said Dirk Soma, the master of ceremonies for the graduation festivities held in-person on the KCC campus. “One of them, either Chandlyn or Chazlyn, is going to be the mayor of Kaua‘i one day.”

The Harada sisters, candidates for bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and political science, respectively, received their diplomas from Drs. Alan Rosenfeld and Jon Magnussen of the University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu.

“You see,” said Rhonda Liu of the KCC University Center, “you don’t have to leave home to get a higher degree. These Harada girls started at Kaua‘i Community College with associates degrees. Tonight they’re getting their bachelor degrees through West O‘ahu.”

The three women were student speakers at the first in-person commencement exercises in more than two years. About 120 students elected to take the walk to receive their appropriate degrees or certificates from a specially created stage before an audience of several hundred people spread out over the area behind the Performing Arts Center.

KCC Chancellor Joseph Daisy did the honor of awarding the annual Excellence in Teaching Award to Duke Lang, who earned a Regents’ medal and $1,000 award.

The commencement exercise celebrated the awarding of more than a hundred associate degrees, approximately 300 certificates, 56 higher degrees including bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the University Center, and four summer internships under the enhancement of music provided by Sarah Tochiki and a college ensemble.

In addition to the traditional graduation ceremonies, the nursing program administered the Nurses Oath to 12 new registered nurses who completed the two-year program in a special Pinning Ceremony where the new nurses received their certification pins.

Receiving their pins are John Agni, Llewelyn Banach, Shelby Banach, Sequoia Dahlberg, Oriana Dias, Michelle Galano, Brianne Hadama, Ryan Knight, Tiareh Martin, Kyle Pabo, Julia Plante and Ashley Posada.

Banach earned the special Josefina Abaya Cortezan Nursing Award specialty recognition, named for one of the island’s early nurses who was brought to Kaua‘i to instill trust among the laborers who did not want to follow doctors’ medication regimens.

Dahlberg earned the Jeanette Justice Psychosocial Award, and Martin was one of the Edward T. White Foundation award recipients.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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