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College Celebrates Successful Commencement Ceremony

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Approximately 1,500 students graduated from HFC at the May 9 commencement ceremony. This celebration took place at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

HFC held two ceremonies for this auspicious occasion in the morning and in the afternoon. Hundreds of family members and friends joined their loved ones during the ceremonies.

The College honored Brian Whiston with its 2015 Distinguished Service Award and Dominic Carino with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Whiston, of Dearborn, was recently appointed as the State Superintendent of Education for Michigan. He served as the superintendent of the Dearborn Public Schools – the only K-12 school district in Michigan with an affiliation to a community college – from 2008-15. During his time in Dearborn, Whiston worked to raise student achievement and improve graduation rates, both of which have helped ensure the success of the district’s 19,500 students.

Additionally, Whiston has worked effectively with his management team and union leadership to protect class size in the elementary grades with district averages remaining below 25 students per class. He also supported the incorporation of the Daily 5 and CAFÉ reading strategy into the elementary education curriculum. These efforts allow time each day for students to read and practice strategies that increase comprehension, accuracy, and fluency while expanding their vocabulary.

Whiston gave his full support for the addition of elementary interventionists who aid in efforts to ensure all students are reading at grade level. His efforts earned recognition from the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) when they honored him as State Superintendent of the Year in 2014. As a result of his collaborative efforts, MEAP, MME/ACT scores and graduation rates increased and drop-out rates have fallen.

Carino, of Dearborn, earned an athletic scholarship to play baseball at HFC in 2005. He completed coursework at HFC and Western Michigan University (WMU) before graduating in 2012 from Wayne State University with his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies.

Currently, he teaches social studies at Harrison High School in Farmington Hills. During his time at Harrison, Carino has worked as the assistant coach for the varsity baseball program and has helped develop several after-school programs that assist in the social and academic development of at-risk students. He has also returned to HFC as an assistant coach for the HFC Baseball Team.

“I always take pride in the annual commencement ceremony. Many students have to juggle numerous responsibilities as students, parents and employees while working toward a better tomorrow through higher education. Commencement validates and celebrates the hard work and sacrifices these students have had to make to achieve this momentous accomplishment, of which they can be proud. As president of this College, I’m proud to be associated with them,” said Dr. Stan Jensen, HFC president.

HFC continues to represent an exceptional gateway to higher education for thousands of students each year. With more than 100 focused programs, support programs, dedicated faculty and staff, and exceptional resources such as a new Science Center and Welcome Center, many HFC graduates transition into high-paying careers or move on to four-year institutions where they complete their undergraduate degrees.