Granite State College Celebrates 2020 and 2021 Graduates and Presents Awards to Faculty and Community Leaders

Granite State College Graduate

June 25, 2021

Manchester, NH – On Sunday, June 27, 2021, Granite State College will honor more than 500 graduates from its undergraduate and master’s degree programs. Members of the Class of 2020 will also participate in the commencement ceremony and celebrate their achievements.

A member of the New Hampshire Air National Guard, Jared Griffin of Pittsfield deliver remarks on behalf of the students. A graduate of the Master of Science in Leadership program, Griffin shares:

“We are not the typical students, coming straight from high school. We have full-time jobs, many of us have a handful of part-time jobs, and we have families with kids of our own—some, like my own son, just graduating high school or even college.”

For many graduates like Griffin, the flexibility of Granite State College was essential. More than half of students are parents, 15% are serving in the military, and nearly all students rely on online courses to achieve their degree as they balance these competing priorities.

Dr. Joseph Pepe, President and CEO of CMC Healthcare System, will receive the 2021 Honorary Doctorate degree and deliver the keynote address. In addition, the College will honor valued community partners, alumni, and faculty with prestigious awards, including the Victor Montana Alumni Award recipient, Lieutenant Commander Joshua Wymer ’16, U.S. Navy Veteran and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in San Diego, California.G

Graduates and Student Honors

Each file is sorted alphabetically by City with New Hampshire communities listed first, followed by other states

Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society Inductees, 2020-2021

The College was elated to virtually welcome nearly 70 students into its honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda, during the 2021 Honors Convocation, held via Zoom on June 9, 2021.

Sean Barker of Scott AFB, IL
Jason Bazin of Schertz, TX
Brett Bennett of Goffstown, NH
Luke Bergeron of Newmarket, NH
Ryan Bernier of Rochester, NH
Hope Bibeault of Merrimack, NH
Rona Boucher of Salisbury, NH
Thomas Boynton of Portsmouth, NH
Jennifer Brenner of Amherst, NH
Shelby Brown of Brookline, NH
Ryan Bump of Goffstown, NH
Jessica Cantrell of East Kingston, NH
William Carr of Center Barnstead, NH
Jonathan Cote of Hollis, NH
Ann Cremonini of Milford, NH
Shelley-Ann Cullen of Danville, NH
Daniel Dempsey of Colorado Springs, CO
Katrina Deyett of Londonderry, NH
Brian Eibert of Dover, NH
Kelly Fan of Center Barnstead, NH
Sarah Farrow of Salem, NH
Sandra Fay of Pembroke, NH
Laurie Field of Grantham, NH
Jennifer Fiorentino of Windham, NH
Abigail Foreman of Canterbury, NH
Brittany Furness of Jackson, NH
Kyle Gross of Tucson, AZ
Todd Hearn of Farmington, NH
Anthony Jerome of Center Conway, NH
Lindsey Judkins of Franklin, NH
David Kell of Cumberland, RI
Makaela Kinney of Nashua, NH
Leanndra Kittle of Candia, NH
Gregory Laro of Chester, NH
Laura Leblanc of Moultonborough, NH
Miles Leno of Rochester, NH
Hailey Leroy of Derry, NH
Alexandre Levesque of Manchester, NH
Anna Lukacz of Portsmouth, NH
Jason Major of Claremont, NH
Patricia Menard of Dover, NH
Denise Morin of Rochester, NH
Paul Muggli of Prince Frederick, MD
Ryan Orlando of Fryeburg, ME
Anis Oveisi of Raymond, NH
Adrianna Payton of North Berwick, ME
Stacey Pepin of Gilmanton Iron Works, NH
Kimberly Pfister of Cambridge, MA
Madison Ricker of Rumney, NH
Amanda Rodriguez of Concord, NH
Ashley Root of North Springfield, VT
Joseph Russo of Goffstown, NH
Maxim Schultz of Concord, NH
Chad Schwind of Traverse City, MI
Olivia Sias of Hebron, NH
Keenan Siegal of Simsbury, CT
Jessica Slater of Londonderry, NH
Rosemary Smith-Berry of Hudson, NH
Rachel Stoudt of Laconia, NH
David Totty of Barrington, NH
Rianna Villemaire of Springfield, VT
Whitney Walker of Barrington, NH
Andrew Wilkinson of Hampton, VA
Jaylen Williams of APO, AP
Natalie Winchester of Franklin, NH
Nicole Witham of Nottingham, NH
Leia Wood of Bradford, VT
Daryl Young of Concord, NH

2021 Award Recipients

Honorary Doctorate

Dr. Joseph Pepe
Outgoing President and CEO of Manchester’s Catholic Medical Center

For 30 years, Dr. Joseph Pepe has provided leadership and care at Catholic Medical Center (CMC), enhancing the organization’s mission of health, healing, and hope to every individual who seeks our care.

Since Dr. Pepe’s appointment as President & CEO in 2012, CMC has experienced growth, innovation, and transformation. Today CMC Healthcare Systems is one of New Hampshire’s largest health systems with a 330 bed acute care hospital, the renowned New England Heart and Vascular Institute, over 400 providers, more than 3,000 employees, and serves more than 180,000 patients each year.

In 2017, Dr. Pepe was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal (“For Church and Pope”), the highest honors the Vatican gives to a layperson. He received the Medical Staff Award in 2009 from the New Hampshire Hospital Association.

For his exemplary citizenship and significant impact to our community, Granite State College is proud to award Dr. Joseph Pepe an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.

Granite State Award

New Hampshire’s Department of Health & Human Services

Granite State College is proud to select New Hampshire’s Department of Health & Human Services as the recipient of the Granite State Award, an award conferred by the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees, and given each year to recognize an outstanding contribution to New Hampshire and to the lives of its citizens.

At the onset of the pandemic when COVID-19 presented a rapidly spreading illness with neither a preventive vaccine nor a known treatment available, agencies across the State rose to the challenge. New Hampshire’s citizens and communities were particularly reliant on the work of New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services to provide evidence-based, trusted, and actionable information and to serve as the foundation for planning in the face of this public health emergency.

These efforts were critical to the well-being of households and to the vitality of the State of New Hampshire.

Victor Montana Award

Lieutenant Commander Joshua Wymer ’16
U.S. Navy Veteran and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at the Naval Medical Center San Diego

Joshua Wymer ’16 is a forward-thinking, mission-oriented healthcare leader with over 20 years of experience in operational excellence, program and project management, organizational development, and strategic planning. A veteran of the U.S. Navy who currently works as the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, Lieutenant Commander Wymer was called back to the Navy to respond early on during the COVID-19 crisis.

During this time, Wymer was part of the USNS Mercy crew assuring that she was “Ready On Arrival.” The crew, and the Main Operating Room and Sterile Processing Department, worked closely with local, state, and federal partners to help with the surge of hospitalizations from the pandemic.

Among our alumni, Joshua Wymer ’16 exemplifies leadership, lifelong learning, a positive attitude, and a commitment to his chosen profession. The College is proud to honor him with the Victor Montana Award, created by the College to honor the legacy of Dr. Victor Montana, a formidable advocate for access to higher education for adult learners. 

Distinguished Faculty Award

Kelly Duggan

Faculty, Undergraduate

During her tenure at the College, Kelly Duggan has taught over 40 courses in the critical thinking and management disciplines. Duggan continually strives to refine her teaching practice by customizing her instructional approach for students to provide a challenging but supportive learning environment, regardless of the students’ knowledge level and abilities. 

Within the faculty community, Duggan offers her expertise through various faculty development roles, including the Faculty Coaching Team and Faculty Peer Review Team. Her guidance in both of these initiatives has helped faculty refine their pedagogy while developing new faculty coaches and faculty peer reviewers.

Granite State College is honored to recognize Kelly Duggan for her superior teaching ability, leadership, and empathy for students.