Montgomery College to Award Over 3,250 Degrees and Certificates in Celebration of the 76th Graduating Class Friday, May 19
- May 15, 2023
- News Articles
Montgomery College will recognize the class of 2023 at the 76th Annual Commencement Exercises this Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m. on the Rockville Campus Athletic Field. The College will recognize students from the Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses, Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs, the Board of Trustees Academic Excellence honorees, and the four honorary degree recipients. Approximately 1,100 graduates will walk the stage at Friday’s ceremony.
For the class of 2023, there will be over 3,250 degrees and certificates awarded to nearly 3,000 students. Representing 102 countries, the average age for the College’s class of 2023 is 20, and the graduates mirror the vast diversity of Montgomery County. Specifically, graduating students identify themselves as: Asian (15%), Black/African American (24%), foreign students (10%), Hispanic (25%), and White (22%).
The 2023 Board of Trustees Academic Excellence Award Honorees:
Simon A. Alvarado Jr.
Applied Technologies, Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education, and Workforce Development and Continuing Education
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 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, 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.
Hollis Xavier Zimmerman
Arts, Business, Education, English, and Social Sciences
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.
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.
Nathaniel Y. Lim
Communications, Health Sciences, Health and Physical Education, and Humanities
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, 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.
Richa Carmel D’Mello
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
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 MC President 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.
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
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.
Adnan plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and start a career in her favorite city, Washington, D.C.
Adiam D. Asgedom
Communications, Health Sciences, Health and Physical Education, and Humanities Outstanding Runner-Up
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
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.
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.