Jersey City Resident Diana Angelo Named Class of 2014 Hudson County Community College Valedictorian

Posted: 5/21/2014
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061 jchristopher@hccc.edu -- Roger Jones, 201-200-1080 rj@j-a-c.com

The Jersey City resident is one of more than 925 students who will graduate at the
College’s 36th Annual Commencement Ceremonies on May 22nd.

May 19, 2014, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President Dr. Glen Gabert announced that Diana Angelo, a resident of Jersey City, has been chosen as Valedictorian for the College’s Class of 2014.

Ms. Angelo, and more than 925 of her fellow graduates, will walk across the stage at the HCCC Commencement ceremonies on Thursday evening, May 22nd. The event, which is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., is being held in Prudential Hall at New Jersey Performing Art Center in Newark, NJ.  

Dr. Gabert said that Ms. Angelo, a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a Liberal Arts major with a 3.941 grade-point average, and a member of the College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. In addition to her studies at Hudson County Community College she served as secretary of the Student Council, was a writer for the College’s student newspaper, and volunteered for the Hoboken Shelter. She was awarded an Honors Scholar, the Honors Student Council Club Award, and the regional and international Phi Theta Kappa Honors in Action Award.

Ms. Angelo states she is thankful for the diversity the College and the robust Jersey City environment offer her, and that during her time at HCCC she has developed and learned about herself. She says she is honored to be recognized for her hard work, and that she hopes to share her passion for U.S. history and immigration with others after she leaves HCCC. Diana plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts after graduation.

For Evelyn Garcia the road to her May 22nd graduation has been thirteen years in the making. Born in Hoboken and raised in Jersey City, Ms. Garcia actually has a long history with HCCC; she began working as a temp in 1999 and went on to work full time before leaving in 2008. The past several years have brought dozens of changes and challenges to her life: she gave birth to two of her three children, battled ulcerative colitis, was hospitalized several occasions, spent time on welfare, and virtually homeless. Ms. Garcia’s love of education, and desire to attain her degree, overpowered any obstacles she and her family faced.

Many members of the Class of 2014 are role models for their children, family, friends and others. One such person is Carmen Rodriguez. The lifelong Jersey City resident was determined to earn her degree in order to show her son that you can change your life and make things better, no matter what your age or circumstances. Despite the fact that she was working full-time, caring for her son and granddaughter, and was a bit older than her classmates, Ms. Rodriguez was determined to be a role model for her son. That's exactly what she did, even being named to the Dean’s List. Ms. Rodriguez wants everyone to know that they should never stop learning, and that they should always strive to accomplish their dreams one at a time.

Jersey City native Jacqueline Withers is the first person in her immediate family to attend college. After graduating high school, she decided to postpone college for a time, and worked for Verizon. While working in Manhattan Ms. Withers began taking classes at Nyack College. However, the trauma of 9/11 plunged her into deep depression, and while battling injuries, she halted her studies for a time. Opting to return to college, Ms. Withers entered HCCC. In addition to her studies, Ms. Withers worked full time and cared for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Ms. Wither is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, has been on the Dean’s List twice, and will attend St. Peter’s University next fall.

“We are very proud of all of our graduates, several of whom have overcome many obstacles to make their academic dreams realities,” said HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert. “We congratulate our graduates, and everyone who assisted them in their achievements and wish them happiness and success!”

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NOTE TO EDITORS: A limited number of press passes and parking vouchers for the
HCCC Commencement Ceremonies are available and may be secured by contacting the
College’s Communications Office at 201-360-4060. 

Reporters and members of the media covering the event may interview the College’s
distinguished guests in the VIP Room from 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. that evening.

Important Note to Media: NJPAC regulations allow members of the media to film a maximum of
30 (thirty) minutes of video footage from proceedings in the auditorium,
and to air just 3 (three) minutes of that footage.