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Mom of Four Is Commencement Speaker at Pima Graduation, May 23

May 15, 2019

3,818 eligible for graduation at Tucson Convention Center ceremony

Tucson, AZ – The Commencement Speaker for Pima’s 2019 Graduation Ceremony began her Pima education four years ago by earning her High School Equivalency Diploma. Her marriage was ending and her youngest child was just starting kindergarten.
On May 23, Nicole Werner will graduate with an Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts (Psychology concentration) and an Arizona General Education Curriculum-Arts Certification.

> What: 2019 Graduation Ceremony
> When: 7 p.m., May 23, 2019
> Where: Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. [directions and parking information]
> Info: See accompanying 2019 Class profile

“I felt it was time for me to start school,” said Werner, 38 and a mother of four. “I was feeling unsure about who I was and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. My thought was that if I just continued to take small steps forward I’d get it all figured out.”

She kept taking those steps at Pima, managing anxiety and depression, as well as other issues related to her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, even as she worked three jobs. On top of that, she took responsibility for her ex-husband’s medical care after a car accident, traveled home to Philadelphia to be with her dying mother as she was taken of life support, and experienced the death of two of her grandparents.

Werner is experienced in perseverance, having been on her own since she was 16 and attending at least eight high schools in Philadelphia and northern Arizona. Now, she said her children are her top motivators, and her new husband provides her unconditional love support. She also praises “some amazing teachers and an advisor” at Pima, in particular, writing instructor Pete Figler and advisor Michelle Savage. Werner begins her Psychology major at University of Arizona this fall.

“Pima has given me a place in the community where I’ve been able to grow, learn, achieve and prepare for my future,” Werner said. “I think that I would enjoy working with a young demographic in whatever field I end up in. It will be interesting to see where my studies take me.”

A total of 3,818 Pima Community College students have graduated or are candidates for graduation at the May ceremony.

The oldest graduate is 75 and is a candidate for an Associate General Studies in spring 2019. The youngest is 14 and is a candidate for the Arizona General Education Curriculum Certificate-Arts (AGEC-A), also in spring 2019.

There are 1,998 female candidates and 1,641 male candidates. (Some students do not indicate a gender on their graduation application.) The College expects to award 5,502 degrees and certificates to these students. Many Pima students earn more than one certificate and/or degree.

A total of 161 graduation candidates, or 6.75 percent of the 2,386 associate degree candidates, have a grade point average 3.90 or greater and meet the requirements for graduation with highest honors.

Among the College’s more than 65 associate degree programs, these have the highest number of graduation candidates*:

801 Liberal Arts (AA)

315 General Studies (AGS)

263 Science (AS)

221 Nursing (AAS)

133 Business Administration (AB)

59 Systems Administration/ Networking (AAS)

51 Administration of Justice Studies (AA)

49 Justice Professions (AAS)

48 EMT Paramedic (AAS)

38 Accounting (AAS)

36 Early Childhood Studies (AAS)

33 Visual and Performing Arts (AFA)

32 Veterinary Technician (AAS)

31 Aviation Technology (AAS)

31 Business (AAS)

26 Dental Hygiene (AAS)

26 Machine Tool Technology

26 Building & Construction Technologies (AAS)

26 Machine Tool Technology

26 Respiratory Care (AAS)

26 Social Services (AA)

22 Paralegal (AAS)

AA - Associate of Arts; AFA - Associate of Fine Arts; AGS - Associate of General Studies; AAS - Associate of Applied Science

*All other degree programs within the College are graduating 19 or fewer students with associate degrees.



The degrees and certificates to be awarded are:

1,461 Arizona General Education Curriculum certifications

1,334 Certificate Program

922 Associate of Applied Science

918 Associate of Arts

319 Associate of General Studies

263 Associate of Science

133 Associate of Business

109 Post-Degree Certificate

33 Associate of Fine Arts

10 Associate of Applied Arts


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