RVCC Awards Degrees, Certificates to Approximately 1,100 Graduates


RVCC Awards Degrees, Certificates to Approximately 1,100 Graduates

Saturday, May 13, 2023
Sarah Lopez graduate outside

Raritan Valley Community College awarded associate degrees and certificates to approximately 1,100 graduates at its commencement on Saturday, May 13. The ceremony was held on the soccer field at the College’s Branchburg campus.

The program featured Sarah Lopez of Somerset as the student commencement speaker. Carol Patterson of Somerset, Professor of Nursing, delivered the faculty commencement address.

Lopez, a Visual Arts major graduating Summa Cum Laude, has excelled in academics and has been an active member of the College community. In addition to being named to the President's List, she is a recipient of the Chris Koep Memorial Scholarship, the Student Involvement Grant, and the Academic Awards for Excellence in Visual Arts and Service Learning.

Lopez has worked to promote creativity in the RVCC community. She co-founded the Zine Club, Spark'D, and has served as the club's President for the past four semesters, producing full-color publications that feature artwork and writing by creative-minded students. Lopez also has been involved with numerous mural painting projects on and off campus, including a mural designed and painted independently for RVCC's Arts Building.

This fall, she plans to transfer to Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she will continue to develop her skills in painting and graphic design.

Faculty commencement speaker Carol Patterson has been teaching at RVCC for the past 33 years. She will be retiring at the end of this academic year.

A Governor’s appointee to the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, she has served on the New Jersey Nursing Leadership Council and the New Jersey Nursing Action Coalition. Patterson has been active in the community, serving as a Board of Trustees member of the Community Visiting Nurse Association of Somerville and as its Board Chair and Vice Chair.  As a member of the New Jersey League for Nursing Board of Directors, Patterson has served as its President and has chaired several committees. She also is active as an honorary member of the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey.

Patterson has been the recipient of several honors from such organizations as the American Nurses Association, the New Jersey League for Nursing, the Community Visiting Nurse Association, and the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

She received her AAS/RN from Middlesex County College, a BSN from Jersey City State College, an MSN from Seton Hall University, and a postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Education from Rutgers University.

Andy Kazim of Hillsborough also participated in the commencement cerement. Kazim, a member of the Honors College, is a Liberal Arts major graduating Summa Cum Laude. They have been named to the President’s List and received the Academic Award for Liberal Arts.

While maintaining a focus on academics, Kazim also has served as a student leader and advocate for peers on campus. Kazim worked at the tutoring center and the Admissions office and was active in several RVCC clubs, including the Alliance; the ASL Club; and the Record, the College’s newspaper, with leadership roles as the Alliance’s Vice President of Information and Media and as President of both the Record and the ASL Club. Kazim also participated in the College’s accreditation process as a student representative to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self Study.

This fall, Kazim plans to transfer to The College of New Jersey where they intend to major in Secondary Education: History and minor in Deaf Studies and Sociology.

Ranked by WalletHub.com and Intelligent.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.



May 13, 2023

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #140