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News Release
News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Director
Communications & Community Relations

Author and Anthropology Professor Betty Goerke will be Commencement Speaker


Kentfield, CA—May 23, 2007—College of Marin will hold its 80th Annual Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 25, at 7pm at the Kentfield Campus Diamond Physical Education Center. Of the approximately 335 students receiving degrees and certificates this year, about 125 students will participate in the formal ceremony. The youngest graduate is 17 and the oldest is Joyce La Verne Lloyd of Novato who is 76.

Frances L. White, Ph. D., Superintendent/President will welcome the graduating class. Anita Martinez, ABD. Vice President, Student Learning, will introduce the student speaker, Julio Martinez. Wanden Treanor, J.D., President of the Board of Trustees will introduce the Commencement Address Speaker Betty Goerke. Martinez will present the graduating class. Dr. White and Treanor will confer the degrees and certificates. Yolanda Bellisimo., Academic Senate President, will give the closing address.

Commencement student speaker Julio Martinez was born in Izabal, Guatemala, and came to the U.S. at the age of 15. He attended San Rafael High School, where he became involved in Student Government. At San Rafael High School, Martinez helped other immigrant students like himself to help them translate school publications and notices.

Martinez enrolled at College of Marin in the summer of 2002 as a part time student. In 2004, he became involved in the Student Government and served as Director of Student Services for the Associated Students of College of Marin (ASCOM) in 2005 and a member of the Latino Student Union.

He will be transferring to San Francisco State University in fall 07 where he plans to major in social work. “Helping others gave me satisfaction and that is when I realized that majoring in Social Work would be an ideal position for me in the work force,” said Martinez. “Eventually I intend to become an attorney, (Public Defender) to defend the rights of every citizen.”

Commencement keynote speaker College of Marin Anthropology Professor Betty Goerke has been teaching for 35 years. Her archaeological work has brought her all over the world, from Madagascar where she was tracking lemurs, to her studies of gorillas in Rwanda, and her work with chimpanzees in Tanzania. She was one of the few privileged scientists to discover 5,000 year old Caucasian mummies in China.

Professor Goerke is the noted author of many publications including: Chief Marin: Leader, Rebel, and Legend, which is her most recent work; The Pacheco Site; Uncovering the Past at College of Marin; Behavioral Changes of a Juvenile Gorilla after Transfer; and Baked Clay Figurines of Marin County.

She has received numerous honors, such as: Outstanding Full time Faculty of the Year Award from the Academic Senate; Faculty Appreciation Award from the College of Marin; and Excellence Award from the University of Texas.

Goerke has been a lecturer at Stanford, UC Berkeley, Dominican University, Sonoma State and San Francisco State Universities, as well as a frequent speaker at several, historical and environmental societies. Her passion is educating students and community members about the culturally rich history of Marin County. She serves as a Board Member of the Miwok Archaeological Preserve of Marin; Museum of the American Indian; and the California Historical Society. Betty received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe and her graduate degree from San Francisco State University.

Goerke’s advice to new students is “take time to know your instructors and take advantage of their expertise. Ask them to do a research program with them or have them help you set up a research project to do individually or, better yet, with a group of like-minded students. Bring a smile and positive attitude to the classroom.”

About College of Marin
College of Marin has been providing exceptional educational opportunities for students of all ages since fall 1926. The College administration is located in Kentfield, CA. The College also operates the Indian Valley campus in Novato, CA. College of Marin is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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