Students who have completed certificates, diplomas, or associate degree programs during the fall 2017, spring 2018, or summer 2018 semester are eligible to participate in the Spring 2018 Graduation Ceremony.
Students must fill out the graduation application and purchase their cap, gown, and tassel to participate in commencement.
The graduation ceremony will be held at the University of Northern Iowa McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. Guests will not need a ticket to attend the Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will be streamed via YouTube. Re-visit this calendar page to watch live or catch the replay.
Student Speaker: Kristi Mensen
Kristi Mensen grew up outside of Dyersville, Iowa, and attended Beckman Catholic High School. Throughout her high school career, she was involved in soccer, basketball, volleyball, and Future Farmers of America (FFA).
Kristi came to Hawkeye Community College in the fall of 2016 and found her passion in the Animal Science program. She became involved with the Global Agriculture Learning Center, and was soon on a flight to Brazil with 12 other students, spending spring break learning about the South American agricultural economy.
The experience gave Kristi a new perspective on agriculture, and a drive to learn more. When she learned about a trip to Kosovo organized by the Iowa Sister States, she eagerly volunteered. Kristi wasn’t just a spectator in Kosovo. She was part of conversations with the prime minister and minister of agriculture, who had as many questions about her family’s dairy farm as she did about Kosovar farming.
This summer, Kristi will travel to Malaysia, a delegate representing a new partnership between Hawkeye Community College, Penn State University, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Kristi’s accomplishments abroad are matched by her involvement on campus. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Student Ambassadors. She worked for the Agriculture and Natural Resources department, as well as at the Health Education and Services Center. Kristi was a member of the RedTail women’s soccer team and earned second team Academic All-Region Honors from the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, being outdoors, and working with her family’s dairy cattle. She loves to meet new people, get involved in various organizations, and experience new adventures.
Today, she graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree and plans to transfer to Iowa State University and major in Agriculture Systems Technology and minor in Global Agriculture. Kristi hopes to pursue her career goals by working for the Iowa State Department of Agriculture.
Keynote Speaker: Mayor Quentin Hart
Mayor Quentin Hart is serving his second term as the first African-American mayor for the City of Waterloo. Prior to the election. Mr. Hart was the associate director of multicultural affairs for Hawkeye Community College and Ward 4 City Councilman. He was the first African-American appointed Mayor Pro-Tem. Mr. Hart is currently a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He received his Master of Arts in Education in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs from the University of Northern Iowa, and is also a 2013 graduate of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership.
Mr. Hart is involved in many organizations: National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity; executive board of the Iowa League of Cities; State of Iowa Commission on Aging; Iowa Department of Education’s Equity Leadership Team; Future Ready Iowa; Black Hawk County NAACP; Metro Coalition of Cities; Leader Valley Council; Social Action Inc.; Heart-Waterloo Home Enhancement Project (founder and director).
Mr. Hart is often honored for his work to improve communities and increase opportunities for all people. Recent awards include: Iowa Central College Distinguished Alumni 2017; Community Service Award on behalf of Arthur E. Mills Jr. Junior Achievement Award 2017; Midwest Bosnian Cultural Foundation’s Krajiski Teferic Award of Appreciation 2017; Iowa Citizen of the Year Award 2016; I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa (IMMAWII) Lifetime Achievement Award 2016; and the League of Cities Outstanding Young City Official Award 2015.
An excellent facilitator, communicator, and leader with interest in promoting fairness, equality, and encouragement, Mr. Hart is a frequently requested presenter at state and national conferences. Hart believes that effective communication is one of the most powerful tools for bridging differences that divide communities. Mayor Hart states “beyond my accomplishments, my relationship with Christ, my wife Cassandra and my children Quentin Jr., Quenden, and Halayah bring me the most satisfaction.”
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