Piedmont Community College will host 2019 commencement ceremonies at 7 p.m., Friday, May 17. The event will be held in the courtyard of the College’s Person County Campus, weather permitting, and is open to the public.
During the ceremony, students and guests will hear from 2019 PCC Alumnus of the Year Carrie Albert Bowers, and 2019 graduation speaker Paulina Lopez.
Since graduating from PCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program in 2012, Bowers has worked for UNC Healthcare in the Pediatric ICU and Carolina Air Care unit, where she currently assesses and cares for the critically ill neonatal and pediatric patient population.
While working full time, she continued her studies, earning a Masters of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, in 2018. She has also continued her service to the community with the Person County Rescue Squad, where she has been a member since 2009. Bowers is also a member of the North Carolina Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association, and is certified by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Former PCC student Paulina Lopez will also address graduates and guests. While at Person High School, Lopez was enrolled in classes at the college through what is now the Career and College Promise program. Her classroom achievements earned her a scholarship from the PCC Foundation, allowing her to complete the criminal justice program in 2012. While a student at PCC, she tutored for TRIO Student Support Services, and served as secretary of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.
She went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology through an online program at Southern New Hampshire University, graduating in January 2014. Continuing her studies, Lopez attended UNC-Chapel Hill’s Trans-Atlantic Master’s Program where she earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science in 2016. During her time at UNC, she studied abroad at the University of Bath in England, focusing on international relations and international security. Her time abroad also allowed Lopez to complete an independent, empirical study on proportional representation and voting in the United States and United Kingdom, which she presented at the 8th international Conference on Transatlantic Studies at the University of Alcala de Henares in Madrid, Spain.
She was then awarded a full tuition scholarship to North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she completed her Juris Doctor degree in 2019. While at NCCU, Lopez served as: class president, editor-in-chief of the Science and Intellectual Property Law Review, treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, treasurer of the Innocence Project, and was a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. In 2018, she was published in the NCCU Science and Intellectual Property Law Review for her music copyright article entitled, “Applying the Statutory Cover License to Mashup Covers and Medleys.”
During the ceremony, Lopez, along with PCC President Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, will award the North Carolina Community College System Office Academic Excellence Award to a Piedmont Community College graduate.
In case of inclement weather, graduation will be held in the PHS gymnasium, and admission will be by ticket only.