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SLCC holding 2014 commencement: Barlow Anderson, Jibson recognized with honorary degrees

Salt Lake Community College will hold its graduation ceremony on May 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the Maverik Center, 3200 South Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City.

The College will present Jesselie Barlow Anderson and Ronald W. Jibson with Honorary Doctorate degrees. Barlow Anderson served two full terms from 2005-2013 on the SLCC Board of Trustees, chairing the Board for one term. Her many accomplishments at SLCC include a key role in establishing the College’s Washington D.C. internship program. Jibson, through his employer Questar and personally, has contributed toward an existing SLCC scholarship program and was pivotal in helping the College establish an energy grant that has benefited students.

The College welcomes back Sekou Andrews as Commencement speaker after giving the school’s Convocation keynote last fall. He is a two-time winner of the National Poetry Slam and has won numerous awards for his words and the way in which he delivers them. Andrews’ “cutting-edge” style of delivery that he calls Poetic Voice blends “speaking, strategic storytelling, poetry, theater and comedy.”

Dan Farr, the late Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Blake Wride and the late Draper City Police Sgt. Derek Ray Johnson have been named SLCC’s Distinguished Alumni. Farr was able to draw more than 75,000 people one weekend last September to what he describes as the largest first-year Comic Con event in the history of North America. Wride, who was killed January 30, 2014 in the line of service after 19 years in law enforcement, was honored in March at the Capitol by the Utah Legislature, which moved to name about a 15-mile section of state Route 73 the Cory B. Wride Memorial Highway through Saratoga Springs to the Tooele County line. Johnson, who was killed in the line of duty on September 1, 2013, received the Life Saving and Distinguished Service awards, and he was the 2012 Community Policing Officer of the Year. According to his obituary, he loved hunting, running, hiking and serving others.

Melissa Helquist has been named the 2014 SLCC Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. Helquist joined SLCC in 2002 and is currently an associate professor in the English department, where she teaches composition, technical writing, and disability studies courses. The 2014 SLCC Teaching Excellence Award recipients are Bill Tovar, Melissa Tillack and Emily Dibble.


Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused, urban college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Home to more than 60,000 students each year, the College is Utah’s leading provider of workforce development programs. SLCC is also the largest supplier of transfer students to Utah’s four-year institutions and a perennial Top 10 college nationally for total associate degrees awarded. The College is the sole provider of applied technology courses in the Salt Lake area, with multiple locations, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake valley. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at the College, which maintains an average class size of 20.

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