Meet Members of the Class of 2024!

MCC's newest graduates are poised to make an impact. Learn how these graduates will be applying their MCC education to the local workforce and to advanced studies at area colleges. The success of our graduates keeps MCC inspiring every day. #MCC2024

Nicole Salomon, Member of the Class of 2024, to Deliver Remarks at Commencement

Portrait of MCC graduating student Nicole Salomon

I am delighted to announce that Nicole Salomon, member of the MCC Class of 2024, will deliver an address to fellow graduating students and guests at MCC's Commencement this Thursday, May 30, at 7:00 p.m. at the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial.

Nicole Salomon's journey to graduation is one of, in her words, tenacity, resilience, and dedication. Nicole started at Monroe Community College in January 2020 as an online Health and Wellness Coaching program student. Ten months later, doctors diagnosed Salomon with Trigeminal Neuralgia (chronic pain disorder that involves sudden attacks of severe facial pain), which forced her to withdraw from MCC and have surgery.

Nicole lives in Tarrytown, NY, about a five-hour drive from MCC. She resumed taking online courses in the Spring of 2021 but was also required to take in-person classes. As transferring closer to home was not an option, Salomon ultimately decided in August of 2023 to drive to Rochester weekly from Tarrytown to fulfill the requirements needed to graduate.

Nicole plans to open a multi-level wellness center in East Harlem in the future. The center will offer health screenings, workshops, youth clubs, and other programming/initiatives intended to improve the quality of life for community members. 

Nicole says her inspiration comes from her parents, who immigrated to the United States more than 30 years ago, her sister Nathly, who persevered through challenges to earn a double master's degree in 2021, and her daughter Kaelyn, 14.

While at MCC, Nicole received the Bernice and George J. Coury Memorial Scholarship and the Ann and Helen Laughren Memorial from the MCC Foundation.

Mohamed Souhail

Portrait of MCC graduate Mohamed Souhail

As a teen in Italy, Mohamed Souhail never imagined he would end up in Rochester, NY, to attend college. Now, he can’t imagine not having pursued his education at MCC.

Mohamed is an international business major who is passionate about international finance and languages. He says MCC has been essential to his success.

“The accessibility and support of the professors have been exceptional. Moreover, being a part of the Honors Institute has been a transformative experience, said Mohamed. “Through engaging with challenging coursework and collaborating with like-minded peers, I acquired essential skills that will undoubtedly benefit me in the future.”

In addition to his studies, Mohamed was also a member of the men’s soccer team, was a peer navigator, worked in the Student Life & Leadership Office, and was a member of the Model UN 2023 team. He was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa (Alpha Theta Iota Chapter, the International Honor Society of Two-Year Colleges, received an honors convocation, earning a place in the top one percent of all MCC graduates, and was named to the Dean’s list in the Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024. Mohamed also received the Arnold L. Johnson Endowed Scholarship, Athletic Excellence Scholarship, and Salute to Excellence Scholarship.

Mohamed says his desire to improve day after day and to contribute positively to the lives of others motivates him to succeed. He added that although his family was not physically with him during his MCC journey, their support was a powerful source of strength for him.

When asked what advice he would give his 16-year-old self, Mohamed said, “Embrace resilience. Life will throw challenges your way, but do not let them deter you. Every experience, both good and bad, shapes you into who you are.”

After graduating from MCC, Mohammed plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Michelle Kimball

The seeds of Michelle Kimball’s MCC journey began to grow more than three decades ago. She says she struggled with losing weight throughout her adult life. The dietitians she consulted with didn’t seem to understand what she was going through and lacked the empathy and compassion to help her reach her goals. 

After years of dealing with the lack of support and feeling shunned because of her size, she decided to pursue a degree to help people never feel like she did. She hadn’t been to college since 1987 and decided MCC may be the best option because she was nervous about her education gap. It turns out it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

“Thanks to MCC, this wife, mother, and now the student is graduating,” said Michelle. “The environment here accepts people from all walks of life, and it makes a difference!

Michelle says if she could give advice to her 16-year-old self it would be to “follow my dream and not let life get in the way.  I am happy where my life is, but I do have regrets in that I let other people dissuade me from finishing my education when I was "normal" college age.”

After graduating from MCC, Michelle will enroll in the accelerated BS/MS degree program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Michelle received the Thomas T. Mooney Scholarship from the MCC Foundation. 

Portrait of Michelle Kimball and her family

Ivy Zin

Portrait of MCC graduating student Ivy Zin

Ivy Zin came to MCC amid civil wars and unrest in her home country of Myanmar. She says MCC was her choice to pursue her degree in business administration for many reasons.

“MCC’s Global Education Services' fast and excellent responses to all my questions made me realize that MCC would be the best and safest place for me to pursue my success as an international student,” said Ivy. MCC’s collegiate style, huge campuses, dorms, all-student support services, and wide range of opportunities for students are some other reasons why I felt MCC was the best place to help me achieve success.”

Ivy served as the Chief of Staff of the MCC Student Government Association for the Spring semester of 2024. She is a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member and received the Women of Excellence Scholarship.

Family is the foundation for Ivy’s success. She credits her family’s confidence in her for motivating her to reach her goal of becoming stable and flourishing by age 27.

When asked what advice she would give her 16-year-old self, Ivy said, “Be yourself and have fun with your family and friends, and please don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t worry because life goes on.”

Ivy’s plans include continuing her education to become a business analyst.

While at MCC, Ivy was awarded the Women of Excellence Scholarship from the MCC Foundation and the Student Leadership Scholarship.

Haley Collado

Portrait of MCC graduating student Haley Collado making a peace sign

At a young age, Haley Collado witnessed the complexities of the legal system, igniting her passion to fight injustice.  Her experience propelled her to major in criminal justice to be part of the solution to systemic problems and be a voice for those who have long suffered in silence.

Haley credits the Educational Opportunity Program as the reason she enrolled at MCC. “I recognized that this program could offer the crucial assistance and guidance I needed to navigate the challenges of higher education successfully, and it did, “said Haley. “Beyond EOP, MCC's inclusive and supportive community further solidified my decision. The college's commitment to diversity and equity created an environment where I felt valued and empowered to pursue my goals.”

When asked what motivates her to succeed, Haley said witnessing the resilience and strength of those who have overcome obstacles, especially her stepmother Soti. Haley said Soti’s guidance and unwavering faith in her constantly reminds her of her potential and fuels her determination to seize every opportunity.

Haley says the advice she would give her 16-year-old self is, “It's going to get worse before it gets better. However, I promise you, it will be worth it. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, and you may encounter obstacles that sometimes seem impossible. But every setback you face is an opportunity for growth and resilience. Embrace these challenges as lessons that will shape you into a stronger, more capable individual.”

Haley will attend the University of Albany in the fall to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Management. Her goal is to develop a deep understanding of legislation to help improve it and empower and protect individuals who have been historically marginalized or disenfranchised.

The MCC Foundation awarded Haley the following scholarships: the Educational Technology Services Endowed Scholarship, the David L. Pogue Scholarship, the Dr. Barbara and Mr. John Lovenheim Scholarship, and the Phyllis Cotner Library Endowed Scholarship.

Camisha Cash

Portrait of MCC graduating student Camisha Cash

Camisha Cash traveled hundreds of miles from her home in South Carolina to attend MCC. What made MCC stand out to her? Camisha says it was a combination of things.

“I’ve tried many different schools in my lifetime, but MCC showed me more about myself than any other school has, “said Camisha. “The impact that I got from being at MCC is my growth as a person. I have learned leadership skills that will take me far, and the learning environment is top-tier. I am thankful for this opportunity and thankful to the school for allowing me to come to this school and open my horizons for a new beginning.”

Camisha also credits MCC with helping her come out of her shell and try new things. She said it led her to join and then become the President of the Black Student Union. Camisha also received the Women of Excellence Scholarship from the MCC Foundation.

Many people helped motivate Camisha to succeed. She especially credits her friends, family, girlfriend, and the professors and advisors she had at MCC.

Camisha said she would advise her 16-year-old self, “Know you need to believe in yourself and know the sky is the limit. Also, it is okay to get out of your comfort zone and learn about yourself and your capabilities because you have a lot to offer, and the world is YOURS.”

 After graduation, Camisha plans to immediately put her medical assistant degree to work at a doctor’s office or urgent care in South Carolina.