The full program, including graduate names, will be available after certification in the summer.
Portraits and Personalized Slides
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Commencement livestream video with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretationnew window
Use #MCGrad2023 on Instagram and Twitter for the option to be featured on the MC commencement social
(Hover over photos below to read messages.)
Board of Trustees Academic Excellence Award Honorees
Apprenticeship: Applied Technologies, Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education, and Workforce Development and Continuing Education
Mr. Simon A. Alvarado Jr. is completing a two-year apprenticeship program as an automotive technician. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average in his apprenticeship coursework.
He is enrolled in the Washington Area New Automobile Dealership Association apprenticeship-related instruction program. He is currently a light-service technician at DARCARS Toyota Silver Spring. He has achieved industry certification with Automotive Service Excellence.
When he was young, he loved to play with remote control cars—and was curious about how they worked. MC Professor Jon Bourgstein says Mr. Alvarado’s energy and engagement in class often sparked discussions that helped other students better understand certain concepts. “Simon is an example of what a student can accomplish if they are willing to apply themselves,” says Bourgstein.
In his spare time, Mr. Alvarado likes playing soccer, going to the gym, and spending time with his family. He is grateful for the support he received from his parents and his co-workers. He hopes to become a master diagnostic technician someday.
Arts, Business, Education, English, and Social Sciences
Mr. Hollis Xavier Zimmerman, a radio broadcast media production major and member of
Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
While attending MC part time, he interned and volunteered at five radio stations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He is a Saturday morning personality at WRGG 93.7 in Pennsylvania.
He volunteers at the New Market Grange, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, and at his church. He also milks cows at a dairy farm in Smithsburg.
He earned the Excellence in Broadcast Media Production and Presidential Volunteer Service awards at MC. He was the interim general manager at the College radio station, WMCR, a student senator, Student Council member, and Phi Theta Kappa president. He participated in Alternative Spring Break for two years, going to Puerto Rico this year.
Mr. Zimmerman will attend Shippensburg University this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communication and radio broadcast media production and enhance his broadcasting career.
Communications, Health Sciences, Health and Physical Education, and Humanities
Mr. Nathaniel Y. Lim, a general studies STEM major, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
As a dual enrollment student, he will earn his high school diploma and an associate’s degree. At the beginning of his sophomore year in high school, he began taking classes at the Rockville Campus. He hopes that by sharing his experience as a dual enrollment student, he will inspire other high schoolers to take advantage of similar opportunities to get a head start in their college education.
Outside class, he enjoys doing volunteer work. He earned the Certificate of Meritorious Service from Montgomery County Public Schools for completing more than 260 student service learning hours. He sees volunteering as a chance to help others and meet new people.
This fall, Mr. Lim will attend the University of Maryland, College Park, to earn a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He plans to go to dental school and pursue a career in dentistry like his dad.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Ms. Richa Carmel D’Mello, a computer science major and member of Phi Theta Kappa,
is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
She serves as treasurer of the Student Senate and writes for the Rockville Campus newspaper, The Advocate. She is one of two students selected for the Phi Theta Kappa All-Maryland Academic Team on the Rockville Campus.
She also participated in Montgomery College’s Alternative Spring Break and provided the student speech at Dr. Williams’s inauguration ceremony last year. This year, she had the honor of speaking at Student Advocacy Day.
At Montgomery College, she received the Excellence in Writing Award.
Outside school, she interned with the National Institute of Standards and Technology last year. She currently tutors students with special needs at MC’s Disability Support Services Office.
Ms. D’Mello plans to transfer to Amherst College. Her career goal is to become an AI developer, helping integrate differently abled groups into society.
Arts, Business, Education, English, and Social Sciences Outstanding Runner-Up
Ms. Ayesha Adnan, an international studies major and member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Renaissance Scholars honors program, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
Born and raised in Pakistan, she moved to the United States in September 2021 and enrolled at the Rockville Campus in spring 2022. While at MC, she won the Excellence in Anthropology Award, Excellence in Equity Award, Dr. Harry Harden Jr. Student Academic Excellence Award, and 2023 Presidential Academic Excellence Award.
She worked as a student aide at the Rockville Campus Office of Disability Support Services and completed an internship at the Library of Congress. She also served as editor in chief of the Montgomery Advocate, senator at large, chair of the Student Activities Board, vice president of the Muslim Student Association, and co-chair of the Community Service Committee.
Ms. Adnan plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and start a career in her favorite city, Washington, D.C.
Communications, Health Sciences, Health and Physical Education, and Humanities Outstanding Runner-Up
Mr. Adiam D. Asgedom, a general studies/STEM major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
Born and raised in Ethiopia, he came to the United States after high school and enrolled at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. In addition to being a full-time student, he worked as a student assistant at the front desk of the Counseling and Advising Department.
He received the Dr. Harry Harden Jr. Student Academic Excellence Award and Richard S. and Carol Will Endowed Honors Scholarship, and was a nominee for the All-USA Academic Team. He served as an officer of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of the STEM Club, and participated in the Ethiopian Student Association Club and Career Prep Club.
This summer, he will shadow physicians at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center to gain insight and experience for his future career. He wants to pursue a career in medicine as an internist. Mr. Asgedom will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Outstanding Runner-Up
Ms. Swechchha Shrestha, an information science major and member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
She is Student Council chair, Student Senate vice president, Student Activities Board chair, and Phi Theta Kappa president at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. She also is a student representative on the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors.
She currently volunteers with Manna Smart Sacks, which provides nutritious foods for children and their families between Friday and Monday. Previously she helped with PeaceJam Mid-Atlantic, teaching high school students about Nobel Peace Prize winners, and Conversation Partners, helping students learn English. She also served as an IT intern at the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Her honors include the Dean’s List, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Outstanding Service Leader Award, and the MC Spirit of Service Medallion.
Ms. Shrestha will transfer to the University of Maryland’s information science program at the Universities at Shady Grove. Her career goal is to be a data analyst, UX/UI designer, or IT specialist.
Honorary Degree Recipients
Ms. Kimmy Duong
Refugee, Tech Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Ms. Kimmy Duong is an accomplished tech entrepreneur, philanthropist, and refugee who has overcome countless obstacles to achieve success in life. Born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, in 1945, Ms. Duong earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and law from the University of Saigon in 1966. She started her career working for the Ministry of Social Welfare before joining IBM in 1968, where she worked until she escaped from the communists in 1975. She came to the United States with just $30 in her pocket.
Despite the challenges she faced as a refugee, Ms. Duong’s belief in education, hard work, and family guided her. She secured employment with IBM through a representative at the refugee camp. She moved to Northern Virginia and worked for IBM until 1994 while raising seven nephews and nieces as a single parent, all while pursuing multiple side jobs to make ends meet.
In 1994, Ms. Duong joined Pragmatics, where she currently serves as vice chairwoman and CFO. Over the past 30 years, she has overseen finance, legal, facilities management, and HR departments, playing an instrumental role in growing the company.
In addition to her professional success, Ms. Duong has been active in philanthropy for over a decade. In 2011, she and her husband donated $5 million to George Mason University for the engineering building. In 2015, she established the Kimmy Duong Foundation (KDF). The KDF supports health, education, and welfare initiatives in the U.S. and Vietnam and has established multiple scholarship programs administered by local universities with endowments of over $4 million.
Ms. Duong’s commitment to philanthropy is evident through the KDF’s scholarship program centered in the Washington metropolitan area, which has awarded 218 scholarships to date—and plans to award 150 more in 2023. During the pandemic, the KDF started a program to support families dealing with economic hardship, which has benefited 160 families since 2020.
Ms. Duong believes that America’s investment in her has been rewarded with a legacy of good works. She hopes to inspire others to pay it forward. Her resilience, perseverance, and dedication to making a positive impact on society make her a true inspiration.
She is married to Dr. Long Nguyen and resides in Virginia.
Ms. Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg
Ms. Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg is a social-practice artist. When asked what her medium is, she replies, “Empathy.” She champions human dignity through the topics she explores, including homelessness, gun safety, drug addiction, and politics.
She begins each new art series with research, reading, and interviews. Then, she chooses materials best suited to communicating her messages. Ms. Firstenberg ventures beyond traditional media, employing buffalo skulls from her native South Dakota, concrete rubble, even shipping containers to effect social change.
Her artworks lure viewers with beautiful aesthetics, then deliver powerful messages.
She discovered her artistic skill after earning an M.B.A. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and working in pharmaceutical new product development and in the United States Senate. Once she realized that art could be a powerful communications tool, she focused on learning the craft—drawing, painting, metal casting, welding, stone carving, woodworking, and ceramics. She honed many of these skills at Montgomery College, which she credits with giving her a wonderful foundation from which to wield the power of art.
She represented the United States at the 2016 Harbin (China) International Ice Sculpting Competition, bringing home the Creativity Prize. For her Empty Fix art series to destigmatize drug addiction, she traveled more than 57,000 miles, interviewing hundreds of people suffering or recovering from addiction. Her art ranges from microscript drawings to 20-acre public art exhibitions. Images of her art have appeared in the press on six continents.
Her latest work, In America: Remember, an art installation of more than 701,000 white flags honoring those lost to COVID, appeared on the National Mall in September 2021 and has been replicated in communities across the country. Google included the art in its 2021 Year in Search. Artsy Magazine honored In America: Remember as one of 12 exhibitions considered the Best Public Art for 2021 worldwide. Washingtonian Magazine named Ms. Firstenberg a Washingtonian of the Year in 2021.
She and her husband, Doug, a former chair of the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors, live in Bethesda. They have three children. The Firstenbergs have generously given of their personal resources on behalf of Montgomery College students.
C. Richard Mattingly
Founder and President, The Luv u Project
Mr. C. Richard Mattingly is highly regarded for his more than a 37-year career as a professional within the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). He was rapidly appointed to various leadership positions, including vice president of field operations and executive vice president. In 1993, Mattingly was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the CFF. He also served in the same capacity at its subsidiaries, Cystic Fibrosis Services, Inc. and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. He also was secretary of the Board of Trustees.
He is nationally recognized for his innovative fundraising strategies, program development philosophy, and state-of-the-art nonprofit management structure. The CFF is widely regarded as the most innovative nonprofit of the modern era and the creator of venture philanthropy, which led to the development of life-saving therapies for many with CF.
Among his many honors while at the CFF was the permanent establishment of the Carolyn and Richard Mattingly Award to honor CF-related medical professionals who excel in the mental health field.
In 2015, Mr. Mattingly retired from the CFF to establish The Luv u Project, Inc. a 501(c)(3) public charity to honor his late wife, Carolyn, a passionate volunteer and philanthropist. As founder and president, Mr. Mattingly serves in a total volunteer capacity. The Luv u Project mission focuses on building a quantifiable agenda and responsible actions that advance the understanding of, and treatments for, mental health issues.
Among its initiatives, The Luv u Project presents the annual Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting, recognizing the best in mental health reporting among all written, broadcast, or digital mediums. It is now considered the most prestigious award for mental health journalism in the United States. It also presents the annual Carolyn C. Mattingly Award(s) for Mental Health in the Workplace, which recognizes and celebrates exemplary organizations that advance the mental health and well-being of their workforce while serving as role models for other employers.
In 2017, Mr. Mattingly founded and began serving as principal of CRM Advisors, LLC, which specializes in the nonprofit sector. He serves on several boards, both in the profit and nonprofit sectors, including the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, at his alma mater.
Former Montgomery County Councilmember
The Honorable Craig L. Rice is a former member of the Montgomery County Council, serving from 2010 to 2022. He was the youngest African American ever to serve on the nine-member council and the second African American man to serve in that role. Elected in 2006 to the Maryland House of Delegates, he served one four-year term and represented District 15 in western and northern Montgomery County.
Mr. Rice chaired the council’s Education and Culture Committee. He served as the council’s representative to the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), chairing MACo’s Education subcommittee. He also served on the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (known as The Kirwan Commission), leading the Early Care and Education workgroup.
During his tenure, he helped MC: protect and sustain affordable tuition; expand the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success program; form the Achieving the Promise Academy; implement MC community engagement centers throughout the county and Welcome Centers on each campus; create and expand the Montgomery Can Code camps and programs; and construct and open the ignITe Innovation Hub, a partnership with Apple, at the Rockville Campus. His advocacy supported Montgomery College’s efforts to expand in the East County.
Mr. Rice strengthened MC’s STEM education by backing several facilities, including building the Bioscience Education Center and renovating the Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard Student Affairs and Science Building on the Germantown Campus, as well as funding the Rockville Campus Science Center. He also supported the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus’s Catherine and Isiah Leggett Math and Science Building and the Long Nguyen and Kimmy Duong Student Services Center on the Rockville Campus.
In 2019, he received the Montgomery County Board of Education’s Award for Distinguished Service to Public Education Community Individual. He won the 2022 MACo Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award for his outstanding service to his county and his constituents.
Mr. Rice is a graduate of Blair High School. He attended Montgomery College and the University of Maryland. Prior to serving in elected office, he worked for Marriott International and Aramark Corporation. He is married to Tineshia “Tia” Rice and has three children.
Campus Honors Convocations
Every year Montgomery College has the distinct privilege of celebrating outstanding students and artists, student scholars, honor society members, and state and national award winners. You can view all awards and awardees by honor or campus.
Other Ways to Watch and Follow
- YouTube Livestreamnew window
- Social Media: Follow us on social media at #MCGrad2023
- Alternate viewing in Montgomery County, Maryland:
- Cable channel 10 (Comcast, RCN & Verizon)
- Comcast channel 998 (HD)
- RCN 1059
Social Media and Backgrounds
Be sure to tag @montgomerycollege and use #MCGrad2023 in your posts!
The commencement ceremony will be held in person on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 10 a.m. on the Rockville campus.
- Graduates may now claim an extra ticket for a total of 3 tickets. This additional ticket is first come, first served until all available guest seats under the tent are reserved. Commencement tickets will be issued by the College.
- Graduates may invite an unlimited number of guests to watch the ceremony livestream
from two alternate viewing locations on the Rockville campus. Tickets are not needed to view from an alternate location. Commencement site map (PDF, ) .
- Alternate viewing locations: Physical Education Center, Small Gym, PE137 or the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center.
- Livestreaming will be available on this webpage for those who cannot attend in person.
Only students who have applied for graduation and have met the specific requirements for their declared major in the summer or fall of 2022 or the spring of 2023 may participate in the commencement ceremony. The graduation application does not automatically register you for participating in commencement. A separate registration process takes place for qualified students who are interested in participating in the commencement ceremony. If you have eligibility questions, please contact your campus coordinator:
- Germantown: Astrid Correa-Abdullah, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rockville: Sylvia Chen, email@example.com
- Takoma Park/Silver Spring: Marjorie Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
- WDCE, Dallas Davenport, email@example.com
To participate in the ceremony, you should be a summer or fall graduate or are qualified to graduate in spring.
- Open period for online graduation application: spring, October 2–February 15
- Summer and fall 2022 graduates, as well as potential graduates for spring 2023, will receive emails containing important information including deadlines, a link for in-person graduate participation, guest tickets as well as a link to their StageClip portal. Summer and fall graduates will be also be sent a letter via U.S. mail to the address on file to remind them to check their College email for important commencement updates.
- The StageClip site will open on March 15, 2023. All eligible graduates will receive an email with instructions to log in to StageClip for uploading content (photos, messages, videos). Graduates will have until midnight on May 12, 2023, to upload their photos, videos, and messages. On May 13, 2023, the content will move over to production. No additional content can be added or changed after May 13, 2023.
- Use this linknew window to indicate if you will be participating in person and to claim your guest tickets. Graduates will have until April 28, 2023, to respond.
If you do not submit a photo, video, and/or message to personalize your clip, one with your name, degree, and honors (if you met the requirements) will be created on your behalf for the graduate roll call.
Yes. The cap and gown are recommended but are not mandatory for your StageClip.
Regalia is required if you participate in person.
See the below question, "Where can I purchase my regalia and/or honor cord?" for ordering information.
Graduates can purchase regalia (cap, gown, tassel) and honor cords from any of the campus bookstoresnew window now. You can also order directly from Jostensnew window. Click on graduation caps and gowns and then on student home ship. It will be mailed directly to your home.
Contact your campus coordinator for information about PTK stole distribution.
- Germantown Campus: Tom Chen, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rockville Campus: Professor Sue Adler, email@example.com
- Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus: Dr. Michael LeBlanc, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diploma frames can be pre-ordered here, beginning at the end of March. You will also be able to place an order at one of the campus Grad Fairs in April.
After certifications have been completed in the summer, you will receive correspondence regarding your diploma.
Yes. Graduates will be able to purchase regalia, meet with a Jostens representative to order rings, announcements, etc., order a diploma frame from the Alumni, and get a formal photo taken. There will also be other activities for graduates to participate in April and May. Check your College email frequently for graduate information.
- Germantown – Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 11 a.m. -1 p.m.
- Takoma Park/Silver Spring - Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 11 a.m. -1 p.m.
- Rockville – Thursday, April 13, 2023, 1-4 p.m.
Complete and sign the Information Change Form (PDF, ) and submit to the College’s Office of Records and Registration for processing. For more information visit Update Your Student Information.
There is no location beyond your own seat where guests may take photos of graduates. If you need to stand to get your shot, we ask that you do so briefly so as not to block others' view of the ceremony. Commencement guests will be prohibited from taking pictures or videotaping from locations near the platform. Arrangements have been made by a professional photography company to take a picture as each graduate crosses the stage. Graduates will get one complimentary photo and the opportunity to purchase additional packages.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of Special Events at email@example.com. An events staff member will get back to you shortly.