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Yavapai College Honors Graduates at Prescott Area Commencement


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Yavapai College will hold its spring commencement ceremony for the Prescott area on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

More than 300 graduates who either completed their degree or certificate in fall 2021 or who are on track to complete in spring 2022 or summer 2022 are expected to attend.

Overall, 668 students are on track to complete 916 degrees and certificates this spring. Additionally, 465 students completed 571 degrees and certificates last fall.

April Rhodes, President and CEO of Spectrum Healthcare, and alumna of Yavapai College will address the graduates and guests as the keynote speaker.

Yavapai College to Honor Graduates at Prescott Area Commencement Ceremony on May 8 signals az

Photo courtesy Yavapai College.

Other speakers include Dr. Paul Smolenyak, Yavapai College Chemistry Professor, and graduating student Heather Dodson. Live streaming of the ceremony will be available at www.yc.edu.

Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, student and community services, and cultural events and activities. To learn more about YC, visit www.yc.edu.

Keynote Speaker

Ms. April Rhodes, MBA, LAMFT, President and CEO for Spectrum Healthcare Group. She has served at the forefront of healthcare and human services management for nearly two decades, and she currently serves as Chairperson for the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

Board of Directors. She also holds board seats on the Yavapai County Board of Health, Prevent Child Abuse AZ, and Mental Health Corporation of America. April has a Master of Advanced Study in Marriage and Family Therapy from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona. She is a graduate of Yavapai College.

Yavapai College to Honor Graduates at Prescott Area Commencement Ceremony on May 8 signals az

Photo courtesy Yavapai College.

Faculty Speaker

Dr. Paul Smolenyak graduated with an AA from Yavapai College in 1988. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry and a secondary education credential at Northern Arizona University in 1990. After two years of teaching at Chino Valley High School, he began graduate studies in Chemistry. He completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Arizona in 1998 and taught for two years as a lecturer in the NAU Chemistry department before returning to Yavapai College as a faculty member in the fall of 2000.

Student Speaker

Ms. Heather Dodson is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and YC Students of Leadership. She is completing her Yavapai College Associate of Business degree with honors and plans to transfer to Arizona State University to complete a Bachelor in Business Communications degree. Her career aspirations are to become an editor and eventually publisher. Heather states, “I want to…operate my own publishing company, for there was a time when I was illiterate and had to teach myself to read because others had given up on my ability. Therefore, I hope to help promote literacy and to encourage future generations to fall in love with writing, reading, and books.”

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