Guest speaker for the reception was William Tomory, professor emeritus in the college’s communications department. Tomory taught English at SMC since 1981 and has had emeritus status since 2010.

Archived Story

SMC fetes 117 honor graduates

Published 2:26pm Monday, April 23, 2012

Southwestern Michigan College recognized 117 students who will graduate with honors at the college’s 45th commencement on May 5.

The annual SMC Honors Reception, held recently in the Fred L. Mathews Conference Center East, showcased students who earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

“Every year Southwestern Michigan College takes pride in the quality of education it is able to give its students,” said college President David Mathews, who welcomed the students, their families and friends to the event. “This quality speaks for itself by the number of students graduating with honors each year. It is SMC’s goal to ensure its students have a solid educational foundation when they transfer to another university or enter the workforce.”

Honor students Joel Adu, of Berrien Springs, and Laura Tennison, of Eau Claire, were also recognized as representing the college on the All-Michigan Academic.

The guest speaker for the reception was William Tomory, professor emeritus in the college’s communications department.  Tomory, who has a doctorate in English from the University of Denver, has taught English at SMC since 1981 and has had the emeritus status since 2010.

Musical entertainment was provided by the college’s Select Voices, directed by David Carew, SMC’s director of choral music.

Tomory told students they will encounter many obstacles in life that will require them to “pick themselves up and start over again.”

“I started out as a business major and then switched to accounting and then economics,” Tomory said. “By my senior year at the University of Michigan, I had decided I couldn’t go in that direction.”

He said life is about reinventing yourself and making mid-course corrections as you go. Communicating well is the key to furthering yourself and your career, Tomory said, adding there are four points to doing this:

Don’t let the skills that you’ve learned, such as using the English language well, become rusty; learn a second language; expect the unexpected; and “embrace the smiley face.”

In other words, people who present themselves to others with a smile on their face will have many smiles returned to them.

Below are the honors graduates listed by hometown:


Angela Borden

Berrien Center

Robert Allen

Stephanie Bishop

Berrien Springs

Joel Adu

Desiree Bullock

Stephanie Harrington

Alissa Root

Bristol, Ind.

Jennifer Nissley


Ashley French

Amanda Lindamood

Jeffrey Platt

Nicole Rutherford

Robert Shelton


Paige Breden

Matthew Eby

Sierra Knepple

Lucienne Lafontant

Gene McIntosh

Brett Poorman

Brandy Reed

Kayleen Velthouse


John VanHare


John Barker

Rebecca Wendzel


Amber Fries

Michael Middleton


Corey Barbieri

Teresa Brautigam


Bradley Baker

Tonnie Blackamore

Tiffany Brooks

Brian Darlas

Glen Ditz

Kelly Frantz

Kandace Gebhard

Lindsay Heidenreich

Kenneth King

Adeline McFadden

Guy Nearpass

David Ottinger

Dominic Rappelli

Benjamin Wainwright

Alyson Wheeler

Sarah Wright

Eau Claire

Zachary Harner

Laura Tennison


Rachel Breden

Kathy Davis

Nicole Griffing

Paul Harris

David Sinkiewicz

Ronald Spring

JoAnn Sunday

Elkhart, Ind.

Elizabeth Allen

Kevin Kruyer

Lauren Strock

Granger, Ind.

Kristina Carroll

Angela Lewis

Kathleen Seel


Luz Calderon

Brenda Powers


Andrew Churchill


Richard Dorstewitz


Sara Merrills

Peter Steinkraus

Middlebury, Ind.

Amanda Huff

Mishawaka, Ind.

Karen Callaway

Modester Chatta

Shawna Kellogg


Emily Calbreath-Frasieur

Taelyn Cassiday

Kelly Courtney

Andrew Cox

Gary Crouch

Joshua Curtis

Melissa Dickey

Kyle Garlanger

Andrea Groote

Leslie Hopper

Paula Kendall

Lynzy Manaloto

Kathy Mankowski

Robert Mitchell

Christopher Mondschein

Ashley Olson

Brooke Olson

Ashleigh Pellow

Bonnie Roberts

Steven Rolston

Philip Shirk

Emily Sossoman

Erica Thomas

Heather Walker

Kristen Werner

Cody Williams

Osceola, Ind.

Laurium Carter


Rachel Johnston


Melissa Mauchmar

South Bend

Paul Martinczak

Valerie Akeyo

Hannah Marquardt


Jacob Roy

St. Joseph

Amanda Barber

Elizabeth Drenth

Three Oaks

Daniel Alden

Deanna Phillips

Stephanie Sexton

Three Rivers

Chelsea Thompson


Aileena Fager

Shirley Hood

Mary Maynard


Cortney Ramsey

White Pigeon

Arica Freshour

Kylie Oldenburg

Whitmore Lake, Mich.

Jessica Bielinski


Samuel Kwarteng, Ghana

Ann Mutahi, Kenya

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks