PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County conferred
degrees, certificates and diplomas on nearly 600 graduates at its
52nd annual commencement ceremony held Thursday,
May 16, at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland. A gathering of
approximately 3,000 students, family members, faculty, staff and
other guests attended to recognize the participating graduates. A
total of 2,414 CCAC students were candidates for graduation.
"Today is the day that we-CCAC's faculty, staff and board
members, along with many family members and friends-recognize and
celebrate the 2,414 graduates who, through hard work, persistence,
motivation and determination, have earned a credential they will
carry with them for the rest of their lives-the gift and reward of
a college education," said CCAC President Dr. Quintin Bullock in
his welcoming remarks.
Surbhi Sharma, student reflections speaker, spoke of her
experiences at CCAC and of her pursuit of a college education
despite the obstacles she encountered following her family's
immigration from India. After working and saving enough money to
enroll part time, Sharma became involved in the Phi Theta Kappa
(PTK) Honor Society and the Honors Program. She obtained a
Leadership in Honors Scholarship from CCAC, which enabled her to
become a full-time student. In addition, Sharma is one of only 10
students nationwide and the only one in Pennsylvania to receive
PTK's 2019 Hites Transfer Scholarship, the society's most
prestigious and largest scholarship. She plans to transfer to
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to pursue a bachelor's
degree in medical dosimetry, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a
"My journey at CCAC was not limited to education-it also
enriched my experience with personal growth by helping me develop
confidence, overcome my fears, realize my potential, and connect me
with opportunities to grow as a leader," said Sharma.
"I am achieving my American Dream."
Rich Fitzgerald, county executive, introduced Andrew Moore, PhD,
Head of Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence, who served as the
college's 2019 Commencement speaker. Moore is a distinguished
computer scientist with expertise in machine learning and robotics.
He was the founding director of Google's Pittsburgh engineering
office in 2006, then spent a four-year hiatus at Carnegie Mellon
University as the dean of the School of Computer Science. Moore
delivered an inspirational message, in which he spoke about the
impact the graduates will have on the world around them as they
live through rapid changes in society, technology and the economy.
There are some things that don't change, he added, such as the
importance of creativity and a passion for learning.
"You are graduates of one the esteemed educational
establishments in this city...and you're having a tremendous
impact," said Moore. "The culture is changing because
people like you are challenging perceptions in society."
Other speakers included Dr. Ebony English, Endowed Professor for
Teaching & Learning; Frederick Thieman, chair, CCAC Board of
Trustees and member of the CCAC Educational Foundation Board of
Directors; and Roseann Ferrara-Love, member of the CCAC Educational
Foundation Board of Directors and CCAC alumna, class of
To view CCAC commencement photos or videos, go to facebook.com/CCAC.edu or