A Journey Just Beginning: UACCM Class of 2021-2022

4 students in graduation attire with diplomas in hand. Bottom Text Reads "A Journey Just Beginning. Class of 2021-2022"

Graduation is a time for pomp and circumstance. A time for students and faculty alike to reflect on a successful year full of challenges and triumphs. A time to recognize resilience and a job well done.

The ceremony has passed and the summer has made its way here, but our graduates’ big plans are just beginning. We caught up with UACCM graduates Ethan Kuettle, Shaleah Sandberg, Joey South, Emily Simpson, and Tania Esmeralda Armas to learn more about their UACCM journey and future plans.

For some, UACCM is a stepping stone to a four-year university. “UACCM changed my entire perspective on what college can be,” said Ethan Kuettle, General Education graduate. “In high school, I was mortified at the thought of going to college because I thought I was going to be overwhelmed. My time at UACCM taught me how to adapt and overcome any obstacle that stood before me.” Ethan plans to continue his education at UCA in business management.

Tania Esmeralda Armas, General Education graduate, will continue her journey in the University of Arkansas System, pursuing Dental Hygiene at University of Arkansas Fort Smith. She encourages incoming freshmen to be open-minded about their career path and to chase their passions.

For other students, achieving one milestone at UACCM means moving on to the next. For Shaleah Sandberg, recent Licensed Practical Nursing and General Studies graduate, the next step is continuing on to the Registered Nursing program at UACCM. She has this advice for upcoming nursing students: “Focus on your priorities and find people who will help you achieve your goals.”

Our graduates did not forget to thank those that helped them get to where they are. Emily Simpson, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology grad, had a special shout-out. “All of my instructors were fantastic and supportive but I want to give extra thanks to Mrs. Kristen Karetov. She helped push me and supported me at my lowest point and was a huge factor in the success I have had. Thank you so much, Mrs. K, for everything you have done for me and all of your students.”

Graduation can also represent completing a goal that some students thought impossible at first. Joey South, Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology graduate, proved that having a full-time job, supporting a family, and being a non-traditional student does not mean you cannot further your education. “UACCM gave me the technical skills needed to excel in an industry I’m passionate about,” Joey said. “However, UACCM taught me most importantly that I have what it takes to overcome any obstacle I face.”

We wish these graduates and the class of 2021-2022 the best of luck as they continue their journey. We also encourage all graduates to join the Alumni Association and to remain connected to their alma mater. Find out more about the Alumni Association at http://www.uaccm.edu/alumni/index.html.


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