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More than 9,000 will graduate from Miami Dade College on May 2

The class of 2009 includes the first graduates of the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program
Graduation Ceremony

Miami, April 8, 2009 - Miami Dade College will graduate more than 9,000 students at six commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 2. Also graduating are the first 40 students to earn a bachelor’s in nursing from MDC.

MDC will confer 7,800 associate degrees, 205 bachelor’s degrees as well as college credit and career certificates. Sixty-four percent of graduates are Hispanic, 23 percent are black and 10 percent are white non-Hispanic. Together, these graduates represent 106 countries and speak 45 languages.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, launched early last year, is the College’s third four-year degree program. Its graduates are all credentialed nurses like Alina Atienza-Lago, who worked professionally for more than 15 years before coming to MDC for associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. A certified pediatric nurse at Baptist Hospital, she will pursue her master’s in nursing education at the University of North Dakota.

There are numerous success stories in the 2009 graduating class. Among them is Homestead Campus’ Donna Junor, who will earn an associate in religion after 14 years of off-and-on study. The grandmother of four is a substitute teacher in the public school system. Her son, Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins and the University of Miami, was murdered in 2007.  

As in previous years, many MDC graduates have been accepted as transfers at top universities. North Campus’ Elizabeth Louis, a Haitian-American psychology major, has been accepted to Drexel University and Mount Holyoke College. Journalism major Laura Morel, also of North Campus, has plans to attend Emerson College. Jamaica-born Ricardo Gidarisingh, a business major at Wolfson Campus, will study marketing at Howard University.

MDC’s graduates continue to provide invaluable public service to the South Florida community by entering in-demand workforce sectors. David Sola, a Medical Center Campus graduate, leaves MDC with college credit certificates in emergency medical technology and paramedics. He recently secured a position with the Hollywood Fire Rescue Department.

Retired Army Sgt. Tawanna Boykin, a grandmother of five who spent 20 years in the armed services, is earning the Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in public safety management. Boykin is a program leader who administers the Florida Basic Abilities Skills Test to police recruits. 

Commencement Schedule:  

• 8:00 a.m.  Homestead Campus, Theodore R. Gibson Health Center on MDC’s Kendall Campus,
   11011 S.W. 104th St., Miami

• 9:30 a.m.  InterAmerican Campus, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami

• 11:00 a.m.  North and Hialeah Campuses, BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables

• 2:30 p.m.  Kendall Campus, Theodore R. Gibson Health Center

• 4:00 p.m.  Medical Center Campus, BankUnited Center

• 7:30 p.m.  Wolfson Campus, BankUnited Center

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.