The 55th Annual Commencement Ceremony has been reimagined to maintain the spirit of a traditional ceremony while remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). On Saturday, May 15, graduates will be scheduled throughout the day to arrive at the Rosemont Theatre between 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., based on their program of study. We have created a group on Facebook called Triton College Class of 2021. If you use Facebook, we encourage you to join this online group.
We are excited to celebrate our 2021 Graduates. We are proud of all our graduates’ accomplishments. At Triton College it’s about you and now it’s up to you to put your education to use. Whether you earned a certificate or degree, this is not the end of your story. It is time to take the next step in your educational and professional journey.
Renee Cuevas completed her Associate Degree and plans to transfer to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to major in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Medicine. Cuevas wants to continue on to medical school to become a surgeon. She encourages all Triton students to take advantage of all the resources and tools in the college’s departments to ensure academic success.
“Every staff member that I met, from my first class to my current professors helped me and supported my dream. I would be lying if I said it was the work of just one mentor or professor,” she said. Cuevas used the Transfer Center to get assistance with her entire transfer plan from applications to selecting schools, scholarships and meeting with representatives from partner schools.
Minerva Perez earned Triton’s Sterile Processing Technician certificate and was hired by AMITA Health. Sterile Processing Technicians are trained to decontaminate, inspect, track and package surgical tools in health care facilities and hospitals for patient care and surgeries. AMITA Health is the largest health system in Illinois, with 19 hospitals and more than 230 sites of care serving over 4.3 million residents in the greater Chicagoland area.
Perez enrolled in Triton’s Sterile Processing Technician certificate program through the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) program. The WEI program, funded by the state, was created to increase underrepresented minorities in short-term career and technical education programs to develop workforce skills for gainful employment.
Duane Black is completing Triton’s carpentry certificate program. Black enrolled in the certificate program through the Workforce Equity Initiative program.
Black’s original career path was in culinary arts where he worked for ten years in restaurants. Initially hesitant about returning to school Black proved to himself that he can succeed in the classroom. He plans to work at a construction company and is excited to learn from experienced carpenters. His ultimate goal is to build houses. The carpentry courses have been an invaluable learning experience and provide the tools he needs to reach his career goals.
Kassandra Gonzalez started her educational journey at Triton in the Dual Credit program and was able to complete an Associate Degree in one and a half years. With assistance from the Transfer Center Gonzalez developed a plan and will attend Elmhurst College in the fall to study Communication Sciences and Disorders and plans to pursue a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Dina Cherise Davis earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. She will attend Governors State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Davis participated in Triton’s Sisterhood of Undergraduates Representing Great Excellence (SURGE) program. SURGE provides academic support, one-on-one mentoring and other services designed to help female minority students enrolled in career or technical education programs. Davis credits the support from this TRIO-sponsored program with providing assistance during her time at Triton.
“I’m proud to say that I am a college graduate, and I know that my family is proud of me,” Davis said. “I want to make a difference. I never wanted to be a statistic. My parents were always tough on me, but I know now that tough love is what made me the person I am today.”
Bernardo Luna plans to transfer to Northeastern Illinois University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Luna held executive officer roles in the Accounting Club, Latin American Student Organization and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. He was a member of the Triton Undergraduate Men Pursing Higher education program (TRIUMPH), which provides academic support, one-on-one mentoring, and other services. Luna encourages all Triton students to get involved in campus activities to get skills that complement their program of study.
“You will never learn everything you need to know from class. Being involved in extracurricular activities teaches you about leadership, time management, development ideas, taking action and teaching others,” Luna said.
Trenzel Allen earned an Associate Degree and plans to transfer to Northeastern Illinois University to major in Finance. Allen was an active member of the Triton community as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the Accounting Club, TRIUMPH, and a radio host for Triton College radio.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish, it matters that you finish,” Allen said. He credits staff and administrators at Triton with giving guidance and support during his journey at Triton, especially his counselor Sylvia Sztark and William Griffin, Ph.D., Business Management department coordinator.
Laura Rios advises fellow students to persevere and seek support from Triton professors and tutors. Rios plans to transfer to Elmhurst College to complete a bachelor’s degree in Communications Science and Disorders. Her ultimate goal is to earn a master’s degree and become a Speech-Language Pathologist. Rios credits Leslie Wester, counselor and winner of the Triton College 2020 Outstanding Faculty of the Year award, along with the staff in the college’s tutoring center for support during her educational journey at Triton.