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Graduation Day For Palau Community College

(PRESS RELEASE)- A total of 58 graduated today during the Palau Community College (PCC) held its 53rd Commencement Exercises. The graduates received degrees in the following programs: agricultural science, criminal justice, early childhood education, elementary education, special education, environmental/marine science, liberal arts, nursing career ladder, STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) disciplines, business accounting, business administration, information technology, office administration, tourism & hospitality: food & beverages, tourism & hospitality: hotel operations, tourism & hospitality: tour services, automotive mechanics technology, electrical technology, general electronics technology, and small engine & outboard marine technology.

A total of fifteen (15) graduates were recognized for completing the PCC Adult High School Program. Also commemorated were the twenty-one (21) graduates who completed the San Diego State University (SDSU) Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and the fourteen (14) graduates who completed the Substance Abuse Treatment Counseling Program.

Class of 2016 of Palau Community College. Photo by Ongerung Kambes Kesolei

Commencement officiators included Ibedul Yutaka M. Gibbons, Reklai Raphael B. Ngirmang, Honorable Minister of Education Sinton Soalablai (present on behalf of Republic of Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.), Pastor John Zimmer, SDSU Institute Collaborative for Distance Learning and Center for Pacific Studies Project Coordinator & Instructional Designer Dr. Theresa Lally, PCC Board of Trustees Chairperson Masa-Aki N. Emesiochl, Honorable Minister of State Billy G. Kuartei (also the Vice Chairman of the PCC Board of Trustees), PCC Board of Trustees Member Jemmy Blelai, PCC Student Trustee Rdiall L. Tellei, PCC President Dr. Patrick U. Tellei, PCC Dean of Continuing Education William O. Wally, and PCC Dean of Academic Affairs Robert Ramarui.

. PCC President Dr. Tellei gave the welcoming remarks that recognized honored guests including high officials from the Ninth Olbiil Era Kelulau and the Palau Diplomatic Corps.

PCC Student Trustee Rdiall L. Tellei followed with an introduction of the commencement speaker, Dr. Gregory J. Dever. Dr. Dever is a well-respected member of the Pacific medical society. He is the current Director of the Palau Area Health Education Center and also serves as the Coordinator of the Pacific Islands Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA) Regional Human Resources for Health. Over the years, Dr. Dever has written numerous articles regarding the health and the healthcare system of the Pacific region. Highlights of his impressive medical career include being a Pediatrician & Clinical Faculty at John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Manoa and serving as Director of Clinical Services for the Belau National Hospital.

Palau Community College is an accessible public educational institution helping to meet the technical, academic, cultural, social, and economic needs of students and communities by promoting learning opportunities and developing personal excellence.

In his speech, Dr. Dever congratulated the graduates on completing their respective degree programs. He highlighted the importance of perseverance, the act of doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. He quoted Galatians 6:9 which reads, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.” To the graduates, he advised that they continue to persevere regardless of the difficulties. Dr. Dever also recognized the graduates’ tremendous support system which included family members, friends, employers, and academic counselors.


Mr. Nelson Masang, Jr., a graduate of the PCC Liberal Arts Program, was the Valedictorian of the Palau Community College Class of 2016. In his address, Mr. Masang commended his fellow graduates on completing this leg of their learning journey. Palau Community College had not been Mr. Masang’s first choice in a post-secondary learning institution. He had been under the impression that higher learning was accomplished outside of Palau. His experiences at PCC taught him that learning can be done anywhere. Being a student at Palau Community College was an opportunity for him to learn more about his home. To his fellow graduates, Mr. Masang encouraged that they all try to do great things and become proud representatives of their islands.

The Micronesian Occupational College/Palau Community College Alumni Association also presented awards to the graduates for best grade point average (GPA) and best effort. The Best GPA Award was presented to Noelani Ngiramengior (Automotive Mechanics Technology Program), Connor Yuri (Criminal Justice Program), Sheila J. Pedro (Nursing Career Ladder), Lashawnda E. Olikong (Office Administration Program), and Evan Fritz (Environmental/Marine Science Program). The Best Effort Award was presented to Spencer Remoket (Automotive Mechanics Technology Program), Koliano Yaiungeitiw (Electrical Technology Program), Connor Yuri (Criminal Justice Program), John Ochalibul (Agricultural Science Program), Allyn K. Kikuharu (Nursing Career Ladder), Pracy Masubed (Office Administration Program), Essie Cailao (Early Childhood Education Program), and Evan Fritz (Environmental/Marine Science Program).

The following seven (7) graduates were members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society - Beta Zeta Omicron Chapter: Nelson Masang Jr., Masami N. Andreas, Allyne K. Kikuharu, Sheila J. Pedro, Six N. Ridep, Velda F. Lechol, and Judah T. Sibetang. Dr. Theresa Lally recognized the graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree Program on behalf of San Diego State University. The commencement exercises ended with the recognition of the students and closing remarks from PCC Board of Trustees Chairperson Masa-Aki N. Emesiochl. The recessional march of the graduates followed the benediction from Pastor Zimmer.

To learn more about the programs of Palau Community College, please contact PCC Dean of Academic Affairs Robert Ramarui at (tel): (680) 488-2470/2471 or email Dean Ramarui at

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