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NCC grads urged to have confidence in life

By Christopher Roberson - Staff Writer | May 19, 2024

Alex Deedy, president of the Student Senate at Nashua Community College (left) and Admissions Coordinator Mackenzie Murphy during NCC's Commencement ceremony on May 17. Courtesy photo/Nashua Community College

NASHUA – As two years of rigorous study came to a close at Nashua Community College, Emma Galonski recalled her feelings of self-doubt when she enrolled at the Amherst Street campus.

“Throughout my education I have been doubting myself,” she said during NCC’s 53rd Commencement exercises on May 17. “I am sure that I am not alone, most of you can relate to doubting yourself at some point in your life whether that be on a test, in a relationship, doubting you deserve something, thinking there’s no way you are going to get that internship, that job, that scholarship.”

A graduate of the Business Administration: Management program, Galonski said it was a “difficult transition” to enroll in college after moving from Manchester to Nashua in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I felt like an outsider, doubting that I somehow fit in,” she said.

However, those feelings quickly faded once classes started. Galonski got involved with different groups on campus and organized a school supply drive for a group that was making a service trip to Kenya.

“The drive was a huge success, enabling me to bring over 50 pounds of school supplies to the village for their school program,” said Galonski. “Through making a small difference for kids in Kenya, I was able to start opening myself up to what our community had to offer.”

From there, Galonski continued to come out of her shell, graduating as the vice president of the Student Senate.

NCC President Lucille Jordan urged the graduates to always believe in themselves.

“Each of you has a dream, a vision, of what you want to become,” she said. “I want to remind you of the power in that dream. Some of the greatest achievements come from stepping outside of your comfort zone.”

Jordan commended the graduates for coming together to volunteer and complete service projects targeting housing and food insecurity.

“You have faced obstacles and you are more resilient because of it,” she said.

Alumni speaker Michael Magliozzi began his collegiate experience at NCC’s 10-week Microelectronics Boot Camp.

“Perseverance is a word we often hear, but its true meaning is revealed through our experiences and challenges,” he said. “During my time at Nashua Community College, there were moments when the road ahead seemed daunting. The long nights of studying, the balancing act of work and school and the moments of doubt were all part of the journey. But it was through these challenges that I discovered the strength within me to keep going.”

After graduating from the Microelectronics Boot Camp in 2018, Magliozzi went on to land a job at BAE Systems, Inc. and received his Associate’s degree in Electronic Engineering Technology in 2021. Magliozzi later received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire Manchester.

“If I could offer you one piece of advice, it would be this: always believe in yourself, you are capable of absolutely anything you put your mind to,” he said. “Believe in your abilities, seek out new challenges, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Surround yourself with those who support and inspire you, and never lose sight of your goals.”

The following students received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence having graduated with a 4.0 grade point average: Anthony Floras, Payton Godbois, Joy Elisabeth Morris and Elizabeth Van Der Schaaf.

The prior evening, NCC honored the 24 students who completed the nursing program.

“Those who know anything about nursing will say: ‘It takes a special person to be a nurse’,” said Professor Lisa Gray, the director of the nursing program and this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. “These graduates are a uniquely particular group of people. Their strengths and challenges combine to form an outstanding team with the gift of openness and caring for their fellow human beings. This nursing ceremony symbolizes their great achievement and marks their transition into the profession.”

Honorary guest speaker Michelle Betty, director of coaching and quality enablement for Comcast, encouraged the graduates to continue learning.

“We’re all a work in progress, but our gifts are where we spend our time and I imagine you have some gifts to share with the world,” she said.

During their joint student address, graduates Kristina Pedersen and Hildaliza Gonzalez Munoz looked back on the “longest two years” of their lives.

“There are so many of you who raised families through this program and one of us who added a member of their family,” said Gonzalez Munoz of fellow graduate Stephanie Garyait, who had a baby during her time at NCC.

Pederson spoke about how she and her classmates have grown since enrolling in the nursing program in 2022.

“It has been an honor to see us become stronger and braver than ever before,” she said.

Looking ahead, many of the nursing graduates plan on pursuing Bachelor’s degrees as well as seeking careers in hospice care and pediatric oncology.


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