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

COM students will participate in 82th Annual Commencement
Mexican American Scholar/Activist Roberto Haro will be Commencement Speaker

KENTFIELD, Calif., May 19, 2009— COM’s 82nd Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 23, at 10 a.m. in the Harlan Center Quad Area, 835 College Ave., Kentfield. Of the approximately 323 students receiving degrees and certificates this year, about 120 students will participate in the formal ceremony. The youngest graduate is a student from San Rafael who is 14 and the oldest is James Coyle of Mill Valley who is 69 years old. The total number of associate in arts degrees conferred is 183, the total number of associate in science degrees is 94, and the total number of certificates is 46.    

Frances L. White, Ph. D., Superintendent/President will welcome the graduating class. Nick Chang, interim vice president of student learning, will introduce the student speaker, Waiswa Nkwanga. Annan Paterson, vice president of the Board of Trustees, will introduce the commencement address speaker, Dr. Roberto Haro. Chang will present the graduating class. Dr. White and Paterson will confer the degrees and certificates. Yolanda Bellisimo, Academic Senate president, will give the closing address.

Student speaker Waiswa Nkwanga was born and raised in Bukamba, a small village in Central Uganda. He attended Bukamba primary school, Busaana Secondary School and Yale High School in Kayunga district in Uganda. After high school, he worked for the Jane Goodall Institute and the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Uganda. He came to the United States in December 2003 as an intern at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Florida where he stayed for one year before moving to California in 2005.

Nkwanga has been taking classes at College of Marin since 2006 during which time he participated in student leadership activities. He served as president of the Black Student Union and started the COM Students for Obama Club. Nkwanga will be transferring to U. C. Berkeley this fall majoring in political science.

Commencement speaker Roberto Haro is a Mexican American scholar/activist and retired professor and university executive. During his distinguished academic career he worked at a variety of colleges, including the University of California, California State University, State University of New York, the University of Maryland, and the University of Southern California. He earned a bachelor and two advanced degrees at U.C. Berkeley. His doctorate is in Higher Education Administration and American Studies.

Dr. Haro was a consultant for the U.S. Interagency Committee for Mexican Affairs in 1969-1970, and Director of Research from 1970-1972 for the U.S. President’s Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for the Spanish Speaking. He was an American Council on Education Fellow in 1988. Dr. Haro was appointed a Senior Scholar with the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation in 1998, and was a visiting scholar to Cuba in 1999. He serves as a Senior Scholar with the Hispanic Leadership Institute at Arizona State University, and is a consultant for the Greenlining Institute.

Dr. Haro has written five monographs and over 80 articles/chapters in scholarly publications on leadership, executive selection, and the role of governing boards in higher education. Haro’s novels, written under the pen name Roberto de Haro, include: Twist of Fate: Love, Turbulence and the Great War (New York: Vantage Press, 2005); The Mexican Chubasco (AuthorHouse Press, 2006); Intermezzo of the Longing Hearts (iUniverse Press, 2007) a sequel to Twist of Fate; and Jolene’s Last Gasp (iUniverse, 2007). He is currently working on another novel, For Nadine’s Love: A Warrior’s Quest.

In addition, Dr. Haro serves on several boards and commissions. He was a College Board Trustee, an elected Director of the California Alumni Association, on the Board of Directors of the Latino Issues Forum, and a founding board member of Common Sense California. Haro lives in Marin County, CA.

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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