SCF Winter Commencement Held Dec. 16

Bradenton Resident Jason Pfeilsticker Named Outstanding Graduate

(Bradenton, Fla., December 16, 2011) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Winter 2011 commencement was held on Friday, Dec.16, in Neel Performing Arts Center at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. West.

Two ceremonies were held at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to accommodate the 228 graduates that participated out of 974 students eligible for graduation. In addition to associate degree graduates, this number included 22 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates.

The Outstanding Graduate Award was presented to Bradenton resident Jason Pfeilsticker, a student who has shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF. Pfeilsticker has served as the SCF Bradenton Student Government Association vice president, president of the local chapter of the American Chemistry Society and tutor in the SCF Academic Resource Center. He is a founding member of the Manatee County Independent Indoor Drumline, which won a regional competition in its first year of existence. Pfeilsticker plans to attend the University of Florida to study chemical engineering, continue his education at the graduate level and become a researcher and educator.

Other finalists were Manuel Giraldo, Englewood; Regan Hooper, Bradenton; Jason Patry, Venice; Bradley Trotter, Bradenton; and Mary Ward, Sarasota. Funding for the Outstanding Graduate Award is provided by the State College of Florida Foundation Inc.

The guest speaker was the Circuit Court Judge Edward Nicholas, who also was presented with the President’s Award of Distinction for his commitment to the community and support of SCF and its mission to advance the educational, professional, and personal goals of SCF students and members of the College’s service area.

Nicholas, a lifelong Manatee County resident with an illustrious historical connection to State College of Florida, is the stepson of Dr. Sam Neel, the founding president of SCF (then Manatee Junior College) and the namesake for the Neel Performing Arts Center.

Nicholas, a career prosecutor before being elected Circuit Judge in 2002, currently serves in the Juvenile Division in Manatee County. He recently created a Parent Mentoring Program to team parents who have been reunited with their children in Dependency Court with those new to the system. He also serves on various boards, including Manatee Children’s Services, Kiwanis Club of Bradenton, and SCF Foundation. He also is an adjunct instructor in the SCF Legal Assisting/Paralegal Program.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in secondary education from Iona College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the valedictorian. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law.

Program participants included SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner; Dr. Jack Crocker, vice president of academic quality and success; Dr. Bonnie Hesselberg, SCF Lakewood Ranch provost and dean of nursing and health professions; Stephanie Cook, assistant professor, business and technology; Dr. Joni Pirnot, associate professor, mathematics; SCF Venice Student Government Association (SGA) President Mario Osborn; SCF Bradenton SGA President Cassandra Laviani; and Deacon Kathy C. Gilpin, chaplain, campus ministries.

The national anthem was sung by the SCF Chamber Choir conducted by Melodie Dickerson and the alma mater was performed by SCF music students including guitarist Ethan Howland and vocalists Alicia Bazo, Rebecca Stracener, Lisa Termine and Ethan Howland.

Jason Pfeilsticker OGA Winner
Jason Pfeilsticker was named the recipient of the
Outstanding Graduate Award at SCF Winter 2011
Commencement held on Friday, Dec. 16, in Neel
Performing Arts Center at SCF Bradenton.

Winter 2011 OGA finalists
Outstanding Graduate Award finalists at SCF Winter 2011 Commencement were
Bradley Trotter, Jason Pfeilsticker, Mary Ward, Manuel Giraldo, Regan Hooper
and Jason Patry.


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