tudent search the crowd for family members at NTU’s 36th Annual Commencement in Crownpoint, NM. The graduation was held in NTU’s Comprehensive Wellness Center on May 15, 2015.
CROWNPOINT, NEW MEXICO – When Navajo Technical University made its push to become a university in 2013, one of the main reasons it did so was to allow more opportunities for students to obtain a baccalaureate degree. On May 15, 2015, NTU carried out its mission by conferring seven baccalaureate degrees at its 36thAnnual Spring Commencement.
IT-Computer Science major JoVonna Becenti of Coyote Canyon, NM receives help from classmate Laverne Moore while getting ready for NTU’s Spring Commencement. Becenti was one of seven students to receive a Bachelor of Applied Science degree during this year’s graduation.
Earning a baccalaureate degree from NTU included: IT-Computer Science majors JoVonna Becenti of Coyote Canyon, NM, Tim Goodluck, Jr. of Lupton, Ariz., and Sherietta Martinez-Brown and Bernita Lee of Crownpoint; IT-Digital Manufacturing majors Erik Tsosie of Ganado, Ariz. and Candice Craig of Crownpoint; and IT-New Media student Shawn Tsosie of Chinle, Ariz. Both Tsosies and Craig were the first in their respective programs to earn the Bachelor of Applied Science degree since the programs were first introduced in 2011.
With seven students earning their baccalaureate degree in STEM fields it was only fitting that the commencement speaker addressing the graduating class was Dr. Stan Atcitty, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Energy Storage Technology and Systems department. Dr. Atcitty spoke to the graduates of his own educational journey, which traversed from Shiprock, NM to Virginia Tech University where he was recognized as becoming the first American Indian male to receive a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering in 2006.
IT-Computer Science majors Sherietta Martinez-Brown of Crownpoint, NM and Tim Goodluck, Jr. of Lupton, Ariz. embrace after receiving their Bachelor of Applied Science degrees.
Since that time, Dr. Atcitty has gained international recognition for his research and development work within the power electronics subprogram as part of the DOE Energy Storage Program. Four of Dr. Atcitty’s projects have won the prestigious R&D 100 award from the Research & Development magazine, and in 2012, President Barack Obama presented Dr. Atcitty with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers – the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for outstanding scientists and engineers.
Seven students received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree at NTU’s fall commencement – the largest cohort of baccalaureate graduates since NTU was established as a university in 2013. Pictured (r-l): JoVonna Becenti; Tim Goodluck, Jr.; Bernita Lee; Sherietta Martinez-Brown; Candice Craig; Erik Tsosie; and Shawn Tsosie.
While NTU’s Spring Commencement was notable for the number of graduates receiving a baccalaureate degree in the STEM fields, it was also significant because it was the first commencement where students from all three of NTU’s sites in Crownpoint, Chinle and Teec Nos Pos received a degree or certificate. The pioneer students earning their certificate from NTU’s Four Corners Regional Instructional Site in Teec Nos Pos included: Quintin D. Joe of Rock Point, Ariz. and Kaye L. Larry, Larry Johnson and Dale Blackmountain of Teec Nos Pos, Ariz. All four students earned their certificates in Carpentry.
In total, one hundred and eighty five students received a certificate, an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree. Sixty-four students received an associate’s degree and one hundred and fourteen obtained a certificate. NTU’s Director of Diné Studies Dr. Wesley Thomas served as the master of ceremony, while NTU Board of Regents member Roselyn John delivered the invocation. Also joining in on the celebration included recently elected Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez.
For more information about Navajo Technical University visitwww.navajotech.edu or call 505.786.4100.