Press contact: Kyla Kruse
SPRINGFIELD — Lincoln Land Community College will conduct commencement exercises on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield. Seating will be limited, and all guests must have a ticket and will have assigned seats. A livestream of the ceremony can be accessed at llcc.edu/2022grads.
Nicole Pedigo of Springfield has been selected as this year’s commencement speaker. She is graduating with an associate in arts degree with an emphasis in secondary education. Pedigo is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and plans to continue her education at University of Illinois Springfield, ultimately earning a master’s degree in education.
Ava V. Austin of Virden and Megan Jamison of Taylorville are serving as student marshals for the commencement ceremony. Austin is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has served as vice president of service and the Illinois Central District vice president. She will graduate with an associate in science degree with an emphasis in chemistry. Austin plans to transfer to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to continue her education.
Jamison served as Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Epsilon Kappa Chapter secretary, was the Student Radiographers Association treasurer and was named LLCC’s 2022 Outstanding Graduate. She is graduating with an associate in applied science degree with a concentration in radiography and will begin her career as a radiographer in the surgical department at HSHS St. John’s. She plans to further her education by becoming certified in both computed tomography and mammography.
Rebecca Watts, Ph.D., is being recognized with the 2022 LLCC Honored Alumni Award. Dr. Watts serves as a regional vice president of Western Governor’s University where she leads operations across a 12-state area from Virginia to Maine. She works to expand student access, particularly among historically underserved student populations, and to enhance graduate outcomes, especially job placement and the expansion of alumni networking and engagement. Watts earned an associate degree from LLCC, bachelor’s degree from Sangamon State University, master’s degree from University of Illinois Springfield and Ph.D. from Ohio University — all while working full time. She has served as associate vice chancellor for P-16 initiatives at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, executive director for the University of Wyoming Trustees Education Initiative and chancellor of WGU Ohio. She is an innovator in education policy, educator preparation, post-secondary educational access, alignment across the P-16 continuum and concurrent enrollment.