Congratulations, MCC Class of 2021!
Tune into MCC’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 20 (ET).
All graduates who filed an intent to graduate form prior to May 13 will be honored. The virtual ceremonies are organized by School* and will run between 60-90 minutes depending upon the number of graduates.
Check your email for a direct link to your School’s ceremony. The link will come from “StageClip” and is safe to open.
* Unsure to which School your program belongs? Check your myMCC account or review a complete list of majors and programs on our website. Your school will be noted on the lower left side of the web page.
Meet Members of the Class of 2021!
MCC's newest graduates are poised to make an impact. Learn how these graduates are applying their MCC education to the local workforce and to advanced studies at area colleges.
Evan Baldwin, Precision Machining
While taking a trades building class in high school, Evan Baldwin discovered his passion in applied technologies and looked forward to honing his skills at a local university. But when his first year of college fell short of his expectations, he shifted his educational path. After doing his research, he knew Monroe Community College’s precision machining program was the right fit for him.
“I enjoyed every single bit of my major,” said Evan, who will graduate in May with an associate degree. His achievements likely will also be recognized by his employer, a Rochester advanced manufacturing company where he has worked as a full-time CNC operator since April.
Throughout his years at MCC, Evan immersed himself in the world of precision machining.
“My instructors used to work in the industry. I talked to them about their past experiences, how the industry works. I wanted to know what's to come. I used to always think, ‘How is learning the stuff going to benefit me once I graduate?’,” he said, adding, “Everything that I’ve learned — learning about prints, operating the machines — is actually being used in the industry.”
When he was not listening to lectures in the classroom or doing hands-on training in the laboratory, Evan spent part of his time assisting faculty and staff in MCC’s Applied Technologies Center, where he was a part-time student worker. He said the work-study program and scholarship awards helped pay part of his college expenses.
“I just think it's crazy I finished (my degree) and I already have a job,” said Evan, a Rochester resident. “I’m starting a new chapter in my life.”
Byron Wah, Business Administration
Only a few important numbers occupy Byron Wah’s mind these days: 5/18 and 5/20.
May 18 is the deadline for completing audits for an Ogden-based company where he works as a staff accountant. May 20 is the day he will earn his business administration degree from Monroe Community College — a culmination of three years of hard work and determination.
“I will feel a big sense of relief and accomplishment,” said Byron, who balanced part-time studies and a full-time career since coming to MCC in 2018. Thousands of miles away on the Navajo reservation in Utah, his mom, three siblings and other tribal members will beam with pride on Commencement day.
“They’re really proud of me,” said Byron, who lives in Gates. “There’s a small percentage of Navajos that get a higher education.”
The first in his family to graduate from high school and now college, Byron will continue his studies in accounting at SUNY Brockport this fall and eventually return and give back to the Navajo community that nurtured his dreams.
“A lot of community members don’t have many good resources and don’t know too much about accounting, building good credit, personal financial wealth, like retirement,” he said. “There is a barrier to financial aspects of life. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I decided to pursue a finance/accounting career.”
With his circle of supporters staying with him throughout his MCC journey, the aspiring certified public accountant said he feels “really fortunate and blessed” to have his employer and the MCC Foundation be part of his success. They enabled him to focus on his studies — he was named four times to the dean’s list — and graduate without debt: “My work and scholarships basically paid for my education. They helped me my whole time at MCC, which is really great!”
Soleil Williams, Human Services, 2021 Student Commencement Speaker
Completing a college degree can be an uphill struggle when life gets in the way. With support and encouragement from her husband, Soleil Williams returned to Monroe Community College in fall 2019 to achieve a goal she set for herself a decade ago.
On May 20, she will receive a human services degree from MCC and continue her studies in social work at SUNY Brockport toward a career as a licensed social worker. Her biggest supporters—husband Craig and daughters Charlii, 5, and Camryn, 3—will cheer her on.
Soleil began her journey at MCC in 2011, pursuing a liberal arts and sciences degree. While in college, she met the love of her life. They later got married. Eventually a personal crisis interfered with her studies, so she put her educational dream on hold. When she returned to MCC six years later, she was a mom of two (and a former certified nurse assistant) with new career aspirations and renewed determination.
“I have to show my little girls that anything is possible,” Soleil said. “Even if someone tells you, ‘You can’t do it’ or ‘you won’t make it,’ do it. Finish it all the way to the end because if you don’t see it through, you’re only disappointing yourself.”
Her drive to succeed—and to be a strong role model for her daughters—kept her moving toward her dream especially in the face of obstacles, including the time when her computer died and when she fell behind on her rent payment during the pandemic. Each time, she received a grant through MCC’s Dreamkeepers program, which provides emergency assistance funds to help students like her stay in college.
In fall 2020, Soleil was named to the dean’s list. The oldest of seven children, the Rochester resident will be the first in her family to graduate from college.
She credits Associate Professor of Sociology Natasha Chen Christensen, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of English Tokeya Graham for her success: “They have been the biggest driving forces at MCC who have pushed me to graduate. They just stuck with me.”