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Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Commencement 2014Commencement Home

PCC would like to give special recognition to the 26 students who are graduating with highest distinction, summa cum laude.

Summa Cum Laude 2014


Maria Baldasseroni has earned an Associate degree in Psychology. She is double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. Born and raised in Italy, she speaks four languages; she is an actor, writer, teacher and yoga practitioner. Maria has published a poetry book and has written, coproduced and performed her first one-woman show three years ago. She is now writing a new solo show about the emotional and psychological struggles of immigrants living in a foreign country. Maria has decided to bring all her assets and her life experiences together and aims to get a Master in Psychology and work as an Art therapist. She wishes to be of service to the community by using the healing power of art. Maria has already been accepted at Cal State Long Beach and warmly thanks all her professors at PCC who had faith in her and supported her during this very exciting trip.

Barbara Beaser

Barbara Beaser majored in Communications/Journalism. Barbara Beaser is originally from Philadelphia, and moved to Los Angeles after a blizzard. While at PCC, she discovered that she was better at algebra than she previously thought and found that she liked going to school. She is grateful to her family and friends for supporting her and encouraging her academic endeavors. Barb enjoyed working for the school’s public relations department before a change in management. Accomplishments: Honors Extraordinary Social Sciences Division, Superior Achievement in Psychology, Shav Glick Scholarship, Emer Bates Award, JACC First Place News Story. Activities: Editor-in-Chief of PCC Courier, 2009-2010.

Anasse Dahan

Anasse Dahan immigrated to the United States in 2001 from Morocco in search of political and economic freedom. Despite not being able to attend college until 2010, he has taken full advantage of his opportunity at Pasadena City College and will be earning two associate degrees and will be transferring to California State University of Los Angeles to pursue his career in nursing. Twice the Natural Sciences Division has awarded Anasse with a superior achievement in the life sciences. Anasse has also been a guest speaker at the Borders of Diversity Conference hosted each year at Pasadena City College.

Sharon Gautama

Sharon Gautama began her studies at PCC in Spring 2012 after graduating from high school in Singapore. She will major in Industrial Engineering and plans to transfer to USC in the fall. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in business. During her time at PCC, Sharon completed her courses with a 4.0 GPA while also participating in the blood drive committee in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. She is grateful for her family and friends who have supported her throughout her educational years and is looking forward to pursue greater academic achievements in the future.

Lorena Gomez

Lorena Gomez will earn an Associates of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Science at Pasadena City College in the spring of 2014. The Duarte native is the first member of her family to attend college. In essence her college journey has been a huge challenge for her; however, despite the many obstacles, she is happy to announce that for once she is finally closer to achieving her dream of earning a bachelor degree. She hopes to attend California State University Los Angeles in the fall, from which she hopes to earn a bachelors in counseling. Lorena is very excited about her future, and wishes to give back to those who helped her through this journey. She knows that this degree would not be possible without the support of her family, friends, and professors. Therefore, she is grateful for their constant support and encouragement to seek a better future.

Win Htet Kyaw

Win Htet Kyaw, an immigrant from Myanmar (Burma), joined Pasadena City College in 2012 after graduating from Arcadia High School. Before he transfers to UC Berkeley in the fall, he will be receiving Associate degrees in Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. After completing undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Linguistics, he aspires to pursue advanced degrees in Philosophy and/or Buddhist Studies. In addition to being an Honors Program student, he works as a tutor at the ESL Center at PCC. Also, he is currently the president of PCC Burmese Association, an organization dedicated to fellow students from his native country. Striving for excellence as a young scholar, Win Htet Kyaw believes his two-year stay at PCC is one of the vital stepping-stones toward his dream of serving both his motherland Myanmar and stepmother-land America.

Nelson Lam

Nelson Lam began his studies at PCC in 2012 after graduating from high school in Hong Kong. With the intention to broaden his perspectives, he plans to transfer to one of the private schools on the East Coast. In addition, he plans to obtain a bachelor degree in biochemistry, which can serve as stepping-stones for his dream to pursue in health professions. During the course of Nelson’s education in PCC, he has volunteered for Red Cross and was an active member of AGSPCC. He is grateful to his family for their unconditional support and love. He is looking forward to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead of him.

Garam Lee

Garam Lee moved to the United States in 2011 to begin her studies at PCC as a Psychology major. Besides her major, she studied different cultures and cultural issues from different perspectives in depth for the past three years. She became interested in applying cultural study to Psychology field in order to understand the influence of culture on cognitive processes. She will be transferring to UCB in the fall, and her ultimate education goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology focused on Cultural Psychology. Garam was not afraid of experiencing new things in unfamiliar cultural settings. She actively involved herself in AGS Honors Society as a permanent member and in different opera productions as a soprano. Garam expresses deep gratitude for her family and friends throughout these years at PCC.

Phyllis Lun

Phyllis Lun studied psychology. She will transfer to UCLA or UC Berkeley in fall 2014. As the recipient of Opal Jones Scholarship in Psychology and a part of the graduating class of 2014, she is grateful for all the supportive faculty members and fellow students who have helped her reach her academic goals. Her aspirations are to become a clinical psychologist and raise awareness of mental health issues. Phyllis is also the public relations specialist of PCC Psychology Club in this academic year and an ESL tutor for two years.

  • Major: Psychology
  • Accomplishment: Recipient of Opal Jones Scholarship in Psychology‏ (Spring 2014)
  • Activities: PR Specialist of PCC Psychology Club, ESL Tutor

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen started as an ESL student at PCC in 2011 after graduating from a high school in Vietnam. Her major is Business Management, and she plans to transfer to UCB in the fall. After earning a bachelor’s degree, she hopes to enroll in the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business for her MBA. Completion of Tutor Training at the Advanced Level at PCC gives her a lot of courage to fulfill her role as an Accounting and Economics tutor. Through tutoring, she is reminded of how she will always be a student, learning from those that she tutors and realizing that vast knowledge fills the world, some of which she knows but most of which she will have to experience.

Elizabeth Perfitt

Elizabeth Perfitt hopes to explore new connections between language and music related to degenerative diseases through the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics and Languages. Elizabeth is a working mother who has been a singer in the music industry most of her life, professionally known as Libby Lavella. She has received a Grammy Nomination, performed on The Tonight Show and recently was a featured voice on The Curious George Halloween Movie alongside Train’s Pat Monahan.

  • Intended Major: Linguistics
  • Achievements: Graduating PCC with a 4.0 and an Associate’s Degree in Italian and Humanities. Received an honours award for extraordinary excellence in Italian in 2013. Elizabeth has been an active member of the school, available as a tutor in Italian and an active member of the Italian Club. During her time here, Elizabeth has steered committees for the PCC Child Development Centre where her son, Vincent attends Pre-School.

Matthew Shintaku

After beginning his studies at PCC two years ago, Matthew Shintaku will be graduating in the spring of 2014. He plans to transfer in the fall and major in economics/applied mathematics. During his time at PCC, Matthew served as the president of the Economics Club and was a member of both the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) and Omicron Delta Mu (OMD) Honors societies. Off-campus, he has interned with Congressman Schiff and was a Global Innovation Fellow. Matthew grew up in Pasadena attending high school at Flintridge Prep and Pasadena Christian School. As an accomplished pianist and cellist, he has performed with the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra and several other musical groups throughout his life. Matthew is also an enthusiastic golfer and an alumnus of The First Tee of Pasadena.

Emmeline Tjong

Emmeline Tjong came to the United States in Fall 2012 to further my education after completing high school in Singapore. I am currently waiting for Berkeley’s transfer decision. I plan to earn an MBA and pursue my career in management consulting. I am grateful for the support given from my family, and for the opportunity to gain knowledge and exposure in the states.

  • Major: Business Administration
  • Accomplishments: Earned an Associate in Arts degree with a 4.0 GPA. I completed the PCC Honors program and have been accepted to UCLA’s Business Economics program this fall.
  • Activities: I have been an active member of Alpha Gamma Sigma since Fall 2012, and became a permanent member of the club. I also tutor Accounting in the PCC Career and Technical Education Center in the LAC in my last semester (Spring 14).

Yu Ying Tong

Yu Ying Tong (Erica) will earn two associate degrees at PCC in the spring of 2014. She will be transferring to UCLA in the fall as a psychology major student. Her ultimate educational goal is to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Erica completed her courses at PCC with a 4.0 GPA. In the past one and a half year, she worked as a Statistics tutor at the PCC Learning Assistance Center. She would like to thank her family and friends who supported her in these years while she was studying at PCC. She is looking forward to her future university life and wants to give back to the society after her educational career. Major: Psychology. Accomplishments: AA Social Behavioral Science, AA-T Psychology. Activities: Statistics tutor at Learning Assistance Center.

Lili Wang

Lili Wang began her studies at PCC with ESL courses since spring 2012. She will transfer to UCSB and major in economics and accounting this summer. She plans to get the CPA license and work in one of the big four accounting firms after graduating from a four-year university. She completed her PCC courses with a 4.0 GPA while she had two part-time jobs. One of her jobs was accounting tutor working in Learning Assistant Center. In addition, she is the only recipient of Julie scholarship in 2013-2014 academic year. She would like to thank her parents, fiancé, and all the faculties in PCC for all the support she received.

Hongxi Xu

Hongxi Xu began his studies at PCC in 2011 after graduating from LA SIERRA ACADEMY from riverside. He will major in applied math and plants to transfer to UCB in this fall. As an international student coming from China, he really enjoys the life in America. During his time in PCC, Hongxi completed his courses with a 4.0 GPA, which is a great accomplishment. He feels grateful to all his family and friends who encourage him within these years in America and he is looking forward to start his new life in the new school.

Betty Zhu

Betty Zhu started her college career at Pasadena City College since Summer 2012. While maintaining excellent academic achievements, she is also dedicated to her community. Being part of the President’s Ambassador Program of PCC, she has been promoting the opportunities of higher education, programs, and services at Pasadena City College to different cultural groups at local college fairs and community events. Also, she has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills being a co-founder of the PCC Academic Support Club, board of the Associated Student Finance Committee, and board of Omicron Mu Delta. After earning an AA for Business and AS for Natural Science at PCC, she will be transferring to a prestigious four-year university, where she will continue on learning skills and knowledge in Economics in order to realize her entrepreneurial ambition.

  • Major: ECONOMICS

Brianna McElrath
Brianna McElrath
Yangyifan Wang
Yangyifan Wang

Students not pictured

  • Caniggia Chandra
  • Arak Hamparsoomi
  • Yuan Jin
  • Tony Liu
  • Stacia Wilson
  • Carissa Yunandi
  • Xiaodan Zhang