A volunteer firefighter and EMT, a trailblazing Latina woman in the STEM field, an immigrant from Vietnam who earned a 4.0 grade point average while learning English, and a U.S. Army veteran who overcame poverty to become a decorated soldier with the 25th Infantry Division. Of this year’s nearly 3,000 Montgomery College graduates, these four outstanding students, Kevin Thomas Lowman, Avanti Charlotte Kolluri, Kim Thuyen Nguyen, and Glen M. Swanson, will be recognized as the Board of Trustees Scholars during the 2018 commencement ceremonies Friday, May 18 on the Rockville Campus. Imam Yahya M. Hendi, Muslim chaplain and director for Muslim life at Georgetown University, will deliver the commencement address.
“The 2018 Board of Trustees Scholars – Avanti, Kim, Kevin, and Glen – exemplify academic excellence and commitment to their community and we are honored to have them walk the stage as Montgomery College graduates,” said Mike Knapp, chair of the Montgomery College board of trustees. “Montgomery College welcomes all individuals who seek higher education and these four students, so richly diverse in background, are shining examples of what it means to say, ‘I am MC.’”
Apprenticeship Scholar Kevin Thomas Lowman is completing a four-year apprenticeship program as an HVAC technician. He is graduating with a 3.61 grade point average and is enrolled in the Association of Air Conditioning Professionals apprenticeship-related instruction program. He works for Shapiro & Duncan, Inc. and is interested in commercial HVAC systems, specifically HVAC controls.
He is currently working as a control specialist. His myriad jobs include home improvement, inventory control specialist, service tester of fire equipment, and volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. He enjoys helping other students navigate the difficult electrical theory classes. Mr. Lowman and his fiancé will be married this summer.
Rockville Campus Scholar Avanti Charlotte Kolluri, a general studies STEM major, Senatorial Scholarship recipient, and Dean’s List student, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. She assisted in creating a campus chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America and served as treasurer for the organization.
While continuing her education in the sciences, Ms. Kolluri became a learning assistant for Principles of Biology, mentoring and supporting students. She has also been an active member of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success, Future Link, and the Medical Careers Club, volunteering at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney. She will complete an internship with Kaiser Permanente this summer. Ms. Kolluri will be transferring to Towson University, where she earned acceptance to the Honors College. She will pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology. She wants to become a physician’s assistant to serve her community and to provide care to underprivileged communities around the world.
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Scholar Ms. Kim Thuyen Nguyen, a business administration major and member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Born and raised in Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen moved to the United States in March 2015, speaking only her native language. In three years, she mastered English. She received the Herb Block Foundation Scholarship in 2017. She is also interested in mathematics.
Currently, she is a math instructor at Mathnasium, a math-only learning center. She placed second at the 2016 American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges competition at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. She plans to transfer to Towson University, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Her goals are to become a professor of accounting and to own an after-school math learning center franchise.
Germantown Campus Scholar Mr. Glen M. Swanson, a business administration major and member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Born and raised in Germantown, he and his single-parent father lost their home and spent the greater portion of his high school years in poverty. After graduating from Northwest High School, he enrolled at Montgomery College.
During his first year, he not only earned a 4.0 grade point average, he lost 70 pounds so he could enlist in the United States Army. He served in the 25th Infantry Division stationed in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He received several awards, including three Army Commendation Medals. He retired from the service after five years and returned to MC. He will attend the University of Maryland to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration and kinesiology before continuing to graduate school. Ultimately, he wants to pursue a career as an educator and coach.