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Holmes Ridgeland Campus celebrates Surgical Technology Class of 2024

The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus held a pinning ceremony for the Surgical Technology Class of 2024 on June 26 in the McGowan Workforce Training Center. Nine students were honored. The graduating class included Ieacha Bridges of Jackson, Janylah Brown of Canton, Reagan Cole of Canton, Kara Dozier of Pearl, Kenya Johnson of Jackson, Jordan Jones of French Camp, Caleb Matthews of Jackson, Patresa Myles of Madison and Anna Pickel of Ridgeland.

The ceremony began with a processional of the graduates, followed by Dozier giving the invocation. Following the prayer, Johnson stepped up to introduce the speaker, Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham.

“You should be proud of yourselves,” Dr. Burnham said. “You are definitely going to have to think critically. I know your instructor tried to instill this into you and I’m sure in clinicals they tried to teach you things to show you the complexities of the world that you’re about to live in, ready or not. But you are ready. Trust me. I know your instructor, you’re ready.

“You’re going to make new friends,” Dr. Burnham said. “You’re going to be part of a new team, which should be exciting for you. The question is, can you be a good teammate? You have to go about your job being a professional. You’re going to have those challenges, but just keep learning. Create a love for learning. I can promise you, your study time has not ended just because you took your last test. The learning experience is only beginning. You’re going to have to study for the rest of your life if you want to stay at the top of your field.

“Your real education starts with your first day on the job,” Dr. Burnham said. “As Roy Kroc, the founder of McDonalds said, ‘When you’re green, you grow. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.’ What he means by that is when you quit pushing to learn new things to stay abreast in your field, you begin to get ripe. When you get ripe, you’re very shortly going to rot. When you stay green, you’ll grow, you’ll improve yourself. Your integrity is also extremely important. If you have integrity, you’re going to be honest, and you will tell the truth, always, because your moral code is going to require that from you.

“In closing, know that you are graduating from a hard program; it’s supposed to be that way,” Dr. Burnham said. “I will tell you this, your instructor is one of the best instructors in this state. When you go out and begin working in your new career, you represent her, you represent the college and we are here for you even after you graduate. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing what ya’ll do in the future.”

Following Dr. Burnham’s address, Shea Coleman, instructor for the Ridgeland surgical technology program, approached the podium to brag on her students for all of their hard work.

“This is my 10th group to teach since this program began on the Ridgeland Campus in 2014,” Coleman said, “and this is the second largest group that we have had to graduate from this program. I’ve put a lot of pressure of them to do well and they have succeeded. Thank you to the parents, friends and everyone else who supported them in this journey. We’re very proud of these students; every one of them has a job lined up.”

Coleman then presented special awards. The Surgical Technology Student of the Year Award went to Reagan Cole.

“This person has been a bright star; she’s always laughing in surgery, in the classroom, everywhere,” Coleman said.

Coleman also recognized Caleb Matthews as valedictorian for having the highest GPA in her class and Patresa Myles as salutatorian for having the second highest.

After the awards presentation, Practical Nursing Instructor Dr. Lakesia Sutton called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their certificates and pins. Dr. Burnham and Career Technical Counselor Jovonna Parker presented certificates before Coleman pinned each student. Following the pinning, Parker addressed the graduates one final time.

“I’m so, so proud of each and every one of you,” Parker said. “And I would just like to say, thank you to Ms. Coleman, the parents, the friends, spouses, children, supporters and employees who are here today. Thank you for supporting these ladies over the past 11 months. Without your support, they would not have been able to receive their pin today. Now it’s time for ya’ll to put all this knowledge and all these skills that you have learned over the past 11 months to the test. I know that you will all be great surgical technologists and that you are going to represent Holmes in the best way possible.

“We would love for you to remain active with Holmes. Keep in touch with us so we can stay informed about all of your successes that you have as you start your career. Once again, congratulations!”

The graduates recited the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Code of Ethics before Brown concluded the ceremony with the benediction.

For more information about the Surgical Technology program on the Ridgeland Campus, contact Coleman at (601) 605-3396 or


IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is the Ridgeland Campus Surgical Technology Class of 2024. They are (front row, left to right) Patresa Myles, Kara Dozier, Instructor Shea Coleman, Jordan Jones, Ieacha Brides, (back row, left to right) Janylah Brown, Kenya Johnson, Caleb Matthews, Reagan Cole and Anna Pickel.

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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