PADUCAH, KY (11/30/2017) West Kentucky Community and Technical College will honor more than 1,200 candidates for graduation during a 7 p.m. commencement ceremony December 11 at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center. For the first time, nursing students will also receive their nursing pins as part of the commencement ceremony.
Featured commencement speaker, Allen North, an assistant vice president in the Banking Supervision Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, oversees the Safety and Soundness field supervision for banks and bank holding companies in the states of Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, and Mississippi and coordinates the District's IT and Trust supervision activities. During his 24-year career at the Fed, he has held a number of leadership roles within other functions within the Division including Consumer Compliance supervision, Community Development, Supervisory Risk and Policy Analysis, and Rapid Communications. North graduated with an associate in arts degree from Paducah Community College in 1991, and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Murray State University in 1993.
WKCTC student and United States Air Force veteran Kathy Barnett will be one of two student commencement speakers during the ceremony. "I am excited, nervous, happy, proud and honored that Kristen (WKCTC Veterans Services director) asked me to speak," said Barnett.
After graduating from Hickman County High School in 1984, Barnett went to work to help her parents and siblings. Two years later, she joined the Air Force where she served four years before deciding it was time to leave the military to raise her own children. She worked in numerous factory jobs for nearly three decades, and when her children were grown, Barnett knew it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of going to college and to make a fresh start.
"I have worked in a factory all my life but no more. I am ready to start my new career and live life to the fullest. I waited for my time and it happened. If I can do it at my age, anyone can do it" said the 51-year-old Barnett, who is graduating with an associate degree in medical information technology.
"I have two grandsons and I want them to know that it is never too late to go to college....and this is a great place to start."
Marshall County's Caitlin Bradley will also be a student commencement speaker. "I feel excited and anxious about speaking at the commencement. It is truly an honor and I am grateful to be asked," said the 24-year-old Bradley.
Before graduating from Murray's Eastwood Christian Academy in May 2011, Bradley already had her future mapped out. She wanted to complete degrees in radiography and sonography for a career that would support herself and a family. After graduation, she began her educational journey at WKCTC in fall 2011.
Bradley achieved her first goal by earning an associate in applied science degree in radiography in May 2016, and will complete her journey on December 11 by earning an associate in applied science degree in sonography. She currently works at Murray Calloway-County Hospital as a radiologic technologist.
"My little boy, Wesley, who was born in 2014, has change my life for the better and has made obtaining my degrees mean so much more," said Bradley. "I hope he will see one day how hard I worked to provide a good life for him. I want him to see that even though life gets hard don't let that stop you from achieved the things in life you want to achieve."
West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) has been recognized four consecutive times by The Aspen Institute as an Aspen Prize Top 10 Community College and twice as a Finalist with Distinction for providing students with strong job training and continuing higher education opportunity, for achieving high completion and transfer rates, and for providing strong employment results for its graduates.