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AWC 2019 Commencement

Yuma, AZ (May 9, 2019) - Arizona Western College, Northern Arizona University-Yuma Branch Campus, University of Arizona-Yuma Academic Center, and Arizona State University ASU@Yuma programs announce the 2019 Commencement. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at Veterans Memorial Stadium located at 7150 E. 24th Street, next to Gila Ridge High School.

AWC sent out 1,252 invitations to participate in graduation. These students are candidates for an AA, AAS, ABUS, AGS, or AS degree. Some candidates have applied for more than one degree. There are also 455 candidates to receive an occupational certificate who will be recognized in the commencement program.

Lupita Moreno was selected as this year’s AWC student commencement speaker. Moreno will be graduating from AWC with degrees in Engineering, Physics, Science, Mathematics and General Education. She has been accepted to the Systems Engineering Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson where she will attend in the fall. As a first-generation college student, she hopes to encourage and motivate others to also pursue higher education.

Johanna Serrato is the NAU-Yuma student commencement speaker this year. Serrato will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in Forensic Nursing while working in Yuma County as a nurse. Serrato is a previous graduate of AWC and was part of the institution’s first College Assistance Migrant Program.

Daniel Koblas was chosen as this year’s UA-Yuma student commencement speaker. Koblas will be graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a Mathematics minor and a Cybersecurity certificate. He looks forward to a career in information technology and cybersecurity and is currently a student researcher for the NSA. Koblas is also a previous graduate of AWC, where he earned associate degrees in Biology, Math, Chemistry, Physics, Studio Art, and Welding Technology.

Talia Baca was nominated to be this year’s ASU@Yuma student commencement speaker. The first person in her family to receive a baccalaureate degree, she will be earning a Secondary Education degree with an emphasis in English. Baca is also an AWC graduate and was recently offered a position as an English teacher at Gila Ridge, which is where she attended high school.

The AWC Foundation and AWC Alumni Association will be hosting a graduation breakfast to celebrate AWC graduates at 9:15 a.m. on May 17, at Veterans Memorial Stadium immediately following commencement rehearsal.  Tents will be set up on the south side of the football field.

The commencement will be livestreamed at and on Facebook at It will be broadcast live on AWC TV/Time Warner Cable Channel 74 at 7 p.m. as well. Commencement DVD copies will be available for purchase through the AWC Foundation at

AWC will also be celebrating graduation on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat). People can use the hashtag #AWCGRAD to join the celebration online.

There will be a Mortarboard Art Contest this year that ends May 18, at 10 p.m. Follow @ArizonaWestern on Instagram, snap a creative photo of your mortarboard art, post your photo on Instagram (make sure your account is public), and use the hashtag #AWCGRAD to be entered to win. Students can win Apple AirPods for 1st place, a Fujimax Instax Camera with film for 2nd place, and an Amazon gift card for 3rd place. The winners will be announced Monday, May 20, on Instagram.

For anyone who needs special accommodations during the commencement ceremony, contact or call 928-344-7711.

Vanessa Weaver
Graduation Specialist
Arizona Western College
(928) 344-7711

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