Moody Black Delivers Commencement Address DSC4749

Press Release                                                                           

Date: August 4, 2023

Contact: Lisa Garrett,

Moody Black Delivers Spring Commencement Address

PENDLETON, SC –Moody Black, a spoken-word, hip-hop and visual artist, actor, storyteller, comedian, and teaching artist from Spartanburg, was the keynote speaker at Tri-County Technical College’s summer commencement.

The ceremony was held August 3 at Clemson University’s Littlejohn Coliseum. 

During his address, Black challenged the graduates to create a culture of excellence.

“Ask yourself, ‘Am I showing my excellence?’ By doing so, you will stand out. Whether at the university you transfer to or the job your skills allow you to acquire ... you can make it excellent! That’s how you transform lives and build strong communities.”

He said he was inspired by the College’s vision statement which reads, Passionate people transforming lives and building strong communities one student at a time.’ 

“That stood out for me! Transforming lives ... building strong communities ... Set the trend. Create the culture! Be brave! This is how you transform lives by being an example,” he said.

He advised them to be committed, give value and never quit. “Show your excellence and watch the transformation of yourself and others. Watch how strong the community becomes!” 

He urged graduates to know their passion and believe in themselves.

“Know your strengths, know what you need to work on, know you have to work, know you may fall, but know you can get back up, know you are meant to do something special, know that you can add value to the world.” 

Black has been a performing artist since the age of 12 and has become a prominent force on a multi-regional poetry scene through his enthusiastic live shows and strong work ethic. He has created a buzz through his many achievements, which include numerous performance awards for his monologues and roles in both live theater and commercials. He has also won numerous hip-hop freestyle and poetry slam contests and served as the featured artist/poet at many regional events.

Black served as a presenter at both the 2011 and 2017 TEDx Greenville events and as co-host of the 22nd annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam. In 2019 he received the Skip Gordon Teaching Artist Award, and in 2020 he was named the Upstate Music Awards Artist of the Year. In 2022 he was named the Southern Entertainment Awards Spoken Artist of the Year and the Metropolitan Arts Council of Greenville’s SC SEW-Eurodrive Minority Teaching Artist Fellow. One of his poems was published in a book called “Still Home,” which features poetry by Spartanburg artists.

Following the speech, Tri-County President Galen DeHay and other College officials presented degrees, diplomas and certificates to the following graduates:

Anderson County

From Anderson:

Um'Bria Rasha Adams, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Alexis Alba, Technical Operators II; Sydney Grace Arnold, Associate in Science; Cameron Christopher Bateman, Audio Production; William Alexander Berry, Mechatronics Technology; Dillon Scott Bobbitt, Mechatronics Technology; Shanderica Bryant, Business Administration; Glendimar Alejandra Byrd, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; John Quentin Campbell, Associate in Science; Kendra Joy Christian, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Alesha Clayton, Business Administration - Management Emphasis; Iverson Dean Clinkscales, Associate in Science; Jordan Alysha Clinkscales, University Studies; Patrick C. Coyne, Automotive Technology; Alexander Dale Driver, Mechatronics Technology; Crystal Campbell Edwards, Intro to Manufacturing Management Technology; Dyquana Sarae Geer, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Jennifer Lynn Gibson, Associate in Science; Alexis Nicole Gryszel, Medical Assisting; Mary Elizabeth Hilton, Associate in Science; Haley Christine Holder, Associate in Arts; Jacqueline Janae Jeter, Medical Assisting; Bryce Devine Johnson, Mechatronics Technology; Jade Alexis Johnson, Associate in Science; Edward Earl Jones, Jr., Mechatronics Technology; Nayvee Sanaa Jones, Media Arts Production; Shakira Tatyanna Jones, Associate in Arts; Elliot Omer King, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Olivia Grace Land, Welding Technology; Brayden Cole Lee, Mechatronics Technology; Jessica Brianne Levine, Associate in Science; Leslie Nicole Lollis, Associate in Arts; Haleigh Elayne Looney, Associate in Science; Kolby Reed Looney, Associate in Science; Timothy Dwayne Manley, Jr., Technical Operators I; Tyler Shane Matthews, Mechatronics Technology; Daniel Joseph Montes-Townsend, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Edward Joseph Mugerdichian, Jr., Introduction to CNC; Juan Carlos Pabon-Sanchez, Technical Operators II; Sarah Pettus, Media Arts Production; Asiah DomUnique Nicole Pickard, Practical Nursing; Rheanna Taylor Raines, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Luis Manuel Ramos, Intro to Manufacturing Management Technology; Zackary Matthew Reynolds, General Engineering Technology; Sharif DaShawn SantanaCobb, Practical Nursing; Tyler John Sautter, General Engineering Technology; Rama Rani Sharma, Personal Care Aide; Madison Danielle Shawver, Associate in Arts; Kymberleigh B. Shiflet, Administrative Office Technology; Keano Nathan Smith, Associate in Arts; Kylee Elizabeth Smith, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Alyson Bradlee Spake, Associate in Arts; Noah Joseph Speer, Media Arts Production; Tabor Lee Stephens, Mechatronics Technology; Dillon Mack Stovall, Mechatronics Technology; Bowen Gabriel Strang, Associate in Arts; James Noah Sturkie, Welding Technology; Kairon Nirae Trimblett, Media Arts Production; Makayla Mae Whiteside, Business Administration - Entrepreneur Emphasis; Levi David Whitfield, Mechatronics Technology; Elizabeth Marie Wickham, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Caleb Lee Parnell Wilkinson, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Jakyia Brianna Williams, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; and Ethan Joel Wilson, Business Administration - Marketing Emphasis

From Belton:

William Iler Capps, HVAC Apprentice; Sarah Gracelynn Thornwell Hooper, Practical Nursing; Chasni Renee Hunt, Practical Nursing; Amy Leann Mann, Medical Assisting; and Caroline Alexis Williamson, Medical Assisting

From Honea Path:

Julie Anne King, Medical Assisting; Claudia Samantha Payne, Industrial Welding; and Mattison Ashley Shirley, Graphic Communications

From Iva:

Nylehia Alanna Bash, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Brooklyn Nicole Capers, Associate in Science; Isabella Grace Goldsmith, Welding Technology; and William Patton Kennedy, V., Technical Operators I

From Pelzer:

Matthew Joseph Bouwkamp, Welding Technology; Corey DiGirolamo, Mechatronics Technology; and Gauge Siegiel, Associate in Arts

From Pendleton:

Evan Jeremiah Botkin, Welding Technology; Danny Ray Brock, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Kaitlin Marie Brown, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Ray Matthew Gambrell, Sr., Data Entry Clerk; Luis Giovani Palma, Associate in Arts; Tristan Nicole Russell, Associate in Science; Zachary Paul Schulenburg, Media Arts Production; Cordell McIlvain West, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; and Alexis Undrea Young, Business Administration

From Piedmont:

Francisco Aguero-Luviano, University Studies; Glair DaSilva Beach, Practical Nursing; Christopher Ryan Hayworth, Engineering Design Technology; Carey Lesley, Media Arts Production; Jamykeal Rashawn McDowell, Media Arts Production; Landon Neal Nations, Mechatronics Technology; and Nidhi Vipulkumar Shah, Associate in Arts

From Starr:

Bryce A. Hirak, Mechatronics Technology; Jasen M. Kelley, Technical Operators I; Makenzie Jade Phillips, Business Administration; Jasmine Elizabeth Santosky, Early Care and Education Assistant; and Aquan Shyheim Taylor, Technical Operators II

From Townville:

Laura Madison Carroll, Emergency Medical Technology; Leslie Shay Gentle, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Alexandria Marie Riddle, Associate in Science; and Jacob Edward Stephens, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis

From Williamston:

Michael Thomas Albanese, Mechatronics Technology; Tristian N. Basile, CNC Programming and Operations; Amanda Marshall Chastain, Associate in Science; Benita Ann Chester, Practical Nursing; Thomas Matthew Martin, Jr., Mechatronics Technology; and Mikayla Hope Penninger, Associate in Arts

Oconee County

From Fair Play:

Andrew Wright Evans, Associate in Arts; Maria Rose Owens, Associate in Science; Toni Petrosino, Medical Assisting; and Sarah-Katelyn Margaret Welborn, Associate in Science

From Long Creek:

Katelyn Elizabeth Wilbanks, Data Entry Clerk

From Mountain Rest:

Russell Lewis Kuemmerer, Welding Technology

From Salem:

Selena Gabriel Berardi, Associate in Science; and Amy McKenzie Faust, Practical Nursing

From Seneca:

Sarah Elizabeth Beasley, Media Arts Production; Trevor Collins, Welding Technology; Justin Daniel Davis, Welding Technology; Milcah Paula Baliton Dela Caza, University Studies; Mary Jane Duggins, Accounting; Madison Blayne Forrester, Associate in Arts; Campbell Reid Fowler, CNC Programming and Operations; Lori Elizabeth Greenway, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Hunter Jackson Horton, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Kemuel Genus Kendrick, Technical Operators I; Alexis Kha Le, University Studies; Colton Matthew Lee, Welding Technology; Andrew Maxie, CNC Programming and Operations; Riley Danielle Moore, Industrial Welding; Laken Elizabeth Moss, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Jaydy Neri, Medical Assisting; Pamela Walker Poole, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Kristina Vera Ramey, Business Administration; Nyquarius Decarlos Strickland, Media Arts Production; Michael Ethan Walters, CNC Programming and Operations; and Kylie Anne Yingst, Associate in Science

From Tamassee:

Jackson Avery Dingler, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; and Victoria Lorraine Kelley, Associate in Arts

From Walhalla:

Jonathan Arthur Bonadies, Welding Technology; Simon Christopher Bryson, Associate in Arts; Jhullia Mae Camarin, Associate in Arts; Landon Avery Chappell, Mechatronics Technology; William Garrett Fisher, Introduction to CNC; Kevin Austin Fretwell, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Griffin Lafate Jones, CNC Programming and Operations; Hector Luna, Mechatronics Technology; Verenice Luna, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Joshua Allen Lyon, Introduction to CNC; Theresa Lida Phillips, Medical Assisting; Preston Lee Richey, CNC Programming and Operations; Cameron Matthew Stasney, Automotive Technology; Felipe Vazquez, Jr., General Engineering Technology; and Joel Vazquez, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis

From West Union:

Haley Jean Achenberg, Digital Production Techniques; Madison Grace Belue, Medical Assisting; Garrett Paul Holcombe, Welding Technology; and Myla Caroline McMahan, Business Administration

From Westminster:

Benjamin Nathaniel Brock, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Bradley James Cannon, Mechatronics Technology; Jayce Julion Elrod, Mechatronics Technology; Danielle Alesia Garrett, Associate in Arts; Austin Avery Hammond, Associate in Arts; Levi Sloan Lyle, Technical Operators I; Gary Hart McDowell, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Amber Lynn Morales, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; Garrett Alan Rholetter, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Elijah David Saint, Mechatronics Technology; and Jordan Elizabeth Still, Welding Technology

Pickens County

From Central:

Chelsey Lynn Bayne, Media Arts Production; Leslie A. Bladzik, Criminal Justice Technology - Paralegal Studies Emphasis; Lilly Sue Brake, Data Entry Clerk; Bailey Gwynn Burnside, Engineering Systems Technology; Hailey Burnside, Engineering Systems Technology; Evan Gabriel Cox, CNC Programming and Operations; Jessica Godinez-Mendoza, Medical Assisting; McKinley Douglas Hallenbeck, Automotive Technology; Sydney Leanne Elizabeth McConnell, Associate in Science; Jesus Olayo-Olvera, Associate in Science; Vance Thomas Pressley, Associate in Arts; Ehrycka L. Robinson, Business Administration; Thomas Austin Smith, Media Arts Production; Ethan Glenn Soto, Welding Technology; and Spencer Amy Wright, Associate in Science

From Clemson:

William Godfrey Frood Callicott, Engineering Systems Technology; Ryann Leigh Henson, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Vanessa Renee Mattord, Business Administration - Marketing Emphasis; Evan James Murphy, Emergency Medical Technology; Eric Averill Osgood, Photography; and Andrew James Stewart, Industrial Electronics Technology

From Easley:

Ryan Christopher Blackman, Industrial Welding; Briana Joy Clark, Medical Assisting; Corynn Louise Deblois, Business Administration - Management Emphasis; Alexis Natasha Gramblin, Medical Assisting; Thomas Collier Grant, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; Michaela Hillyer, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; John A. Holliday, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; Calla Josephine Howard, Associate in Science; Matthew Hoyt Dean Hughes, Mechatronics Technology; Presley Jordyn Johnson, Early Care and Education Assistant; Misty Jones, Administrative Office Technology - Medical Emphasis; Ryan Jackson Jones, HVAC Apprentice; Mathew Alexander Markem, Welding Technology; Robert D. Mitchell, Mechatronics Technology; Julie Marie Mote, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Aryan Musgrave, Personal Care Aide; Michael Anthony O'Connell, Automotive Transmission System; Makaylie E. Osteen, Associate in Science; Riya N. Patel, Associate in Science; Alisa Lynn Petronis, Accounting; Olivia Grace Rampey, Associate in Arts; Riley Gabriel Sharrock, CNC Programming and Operations; Rebecca Lynn Tate, Medical Assisting; Lauren Kate Turner, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Jayda Donna Vaughn, Business Administration - Entrepreneur Emphasis; Frida Yamilet Vidal, Associate in Science; Brandi Renee Wilkie, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; and Shawna L. Young, Practical Nursing

From Liberty:

Dallas Alexander, Associate in Arts; Blake A. Bolin, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Lesia Lynch Bryant, Practical Nursing; Zachary Anthony Cole, Welding Technology; Hannah Elizabeth Gantt, Business Administration; Ethan Connor Garrick, CNC Programming and Operations; Mckinley Sargent Goss, Business Administration - Management Emphasis; Bethany Lewis, Associate in Science; Gabriel Michael Neely, Introduction to CNC; Katelyn Briana Pilgrim, Early Care and Education; Kevin William Rigdon, Computer Technology - Network Systems Management Emphasis; Ronald Zackary Stokes, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; and Precious Jonay Vandiver, Associate in Arts

From Norris:

Molly Logan Craig, Associate in Arts

From Pickens:

Addison Beard, Administrative Office Technology - Medical Emphasis; Jennifer Clarice Blackwell, Personal Care Aide; James Budnaitis, CNC Programming and Operations; Susan Maria Butler, Practical Nursing; Wesley Michael Clark, CNC Programming and Operations; Michael Elazeruth Hagood, Manufacturing Production I; Elijah Robert Harbin, Associate in Arts; Autum Spencer-Dawn Hardin, Practical Nursing; Katlyn Nicole Holden, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting; Ethan Luke Nicholson, Mechatronics Technology; Kendall L. Robinson, Accounting; and Caleb Roy Stafford, Welding Technology

From Six Mile:

Denver Bradshaw Averette, Associate in Science; Benjamin Shaw Broom, Industrial Electronics Technology; Hunter Bryson Childers, Welding Technology; Carson Samuel Montgomery Haynes, Mechatronics Technology; Carly Marrelle McMaster, Associate in Arts; Michael Anthony Heath Moore, Jr., Associate in Arts; Angela M. Orr, Emergency Medical Technology; and Wesley Prescott Shaw, University Studies


From Aiken:

Patricia I. Bronikowski, Associate in Science

From Chester:

Kristen Rianne Gregory, University Studies

From Columbia:

Laneshia Pearl Brown, Practical Nursing

From Florence:

Madelyn Elizabeth Holladay, Practical Nursing

From Fountain Inn:

Zachary Tyler Davis, Associate in Arts

From Greenville

Cameron James Alldredge, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; Cynthia Sherita Boyd, Practical Nursing; Lauren Amore Bufford, Computer Technology - Software and Web Development Emphasis; Robert Walker DeLoach, Welding Technology; Monique Radcliffe Hackett, Practical Nursing; Joshua Thomas Honeycutt, Welding Technology; Jacob Seth Kendall, Welding Technology; Briana Quinsha Ryans, Associate in Science; and Briana Alexis Wilkins, Business Administration - Entrepreneur Emphasis

From Greer:

Joshua Louis Frattolin, Computer Technology - Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis; Timothy Odell Gault, Logistics & Supply Chain Mgmt.; Ryan Harrison Porter, Associate in Science; and Brooke Elizabeth Satterfield, Practical Nursing

From Hodges:

Joseph Niess Mccoy, Practical Nursing

From Laurens:

Kayla M. Padgett, Veterinary Technology

From Lexington:

Brandon Alan Flanigan, Welding Technology

From Marietta:

Devin Michael Brazell, Welding Technology

From Mauldin:

Francis James Haskins, Associate in Science; and Kandace Blake Watkins-Canzater, Practical Nursing

From Mountville:

Naisha Randasia Goggins, Practical Nursing

From Ruffin:

Lane Jackson Hiott Lee, Industrial Electronics Technology

From Shallotte:

Quenten Kaleb Clark, Media Arts Production

From Simpsonville:

Ataxia Glenn, Practical Nursing; Natasha Renee Houston, Practical Nursing; Samantha Jane Jones, Practical Nursing

From Spartanburg:

Dalton Cole Bradley, Business Administration

From Tega Cay:

Kylie Shay Costanzo, Associate in Arts

From Wagener:

Justus A. Miller, Associate in Science

From Wellford:

Cierra Nicole Smith, Veterinary Technology

From York:

Gunner Thomas Ashford, Welding Technology; and Kincade James Brandon, Multi-Process Welding

From Youngstown:

Kane Anthony Tidswell, Business Administration - Management Emphasis

Other Graduates:

Margaret Mary Cannon, Associate in Arts; Dera Faith Holbrooks, Accounting; Joshua Ryan Keasler, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology; William Aaron Odell, Media Arts Production; and Natalie Eve Rushing, Expanded Duty Dental Assisting

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit