Nearly 1,000 Degrees and Diplomas Awarded in Ceremony
Celebration was the key theme during A-B Tech’s commencement ceremony on May 14, 2022. A-B Tech President John Gossett, who joined the college in July 2020, presided over his first in-person commencement and urged the graduates, as well as their friends and families gathered in Harrah’s Cherokee Center, to rejoice in their accomplishments. Due to the pandemic, the college did not have a commencement ceremony in 2020 and held a virtual event in 2021.
Discussing the pandemic, Gossett noted, “They came to us in faith as we had to quickly pivot to fully online instruction back in March 2020. We all learned to accept and extend grace to each other as we struggled together. They hung in there with us, wearing masks and taking safety precautions on campus, or taking virtual classes in pajamas with their families and pets sharing screen time.
“We all learned things about ourselves that will serve us well in the coming years. We know that these 2022 graduates are resilient.”
A-B Tech has six academic divisions that award degrees and diplomas. Following is a breakdown of how many students graduated from each division:
- Academic Success and Public Service, 35 graduates
- Allied Health, 250 graduates
- Arts and Sciences, 392 graduates
- Business & Hospitality Education, 194 graduates
- Emergency Services, 18 graduates
- Engineering and Applied Technology, 110 graduates
Among the graduates was Dedrick McFadden, who earned a Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation AAS degree from A-B Tech’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast. After a stint in the US Army, he came to A-B Tech seeking a career change and was able to use the GI Bill to pay for his education.
“I had to decide what I wanted to do next and began homebrewing,” he said. “I knew I wanted to get into the brewing industry.”
At the Craft Beverage Institute, McFadden could immediately start applying and develop what he already knew. “A degree in brewing really shows that you put in the effort. You know what you are talking about and you can use what you learn right now, said McFadden, who interned at Sierra Nevada Brewing.
Graduates Share Their Reasons for Earning a Degree
Georgeanna Crystal Logan graduated with her degree in Criminal Justice Technology. “My reason for coming back to get my degree was personal and professional,” she said. “I wanted to be an inspiration for my six children and to benefit my career.”
Associate in Arts graduate Cassandra Moreno-Barron was also dual-enrolled student while in high school. “I am a first-generation college graduate and I wanted to make my parents proud,” she said. “They came to this country to give me the opportunities they never had.”
About A-B Tech Community College
A-B Tech offers more than 120 degrees, diplomas and certificates, as well as a wide range of workforce training and continuing education programs. A-B Tech includes the main Asheville campus, A-B Tech Enka (home of the A-B Tech Small Business Center and Business Incubation Program, Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, and N.C. BioNetwork), A-B Tech Madison, A-B Tech South, A-B Tech Woodfin and the Goodwill Center in West Asheville.
Learn more at abtech.edu.