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Nearly 700 students eligible to graduate from NIC

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North Idaho College student Patty Murk will graduate from NIC in the 2010 commencement ceremony May 14. North Idaho College student Patty Murk will graduate from NIC in the 2010 commencement ceremony May 14.

Nearly 300 North Idaho College graduates are expected to walk in NIC’s 2010 commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 14 in NIC’s Christianson Gym. Because limited seating is available, guest tickets have already been distributed to graduates and attendees will only be admitted to the ceremony with a ticket.

By Eli Francovich

NIC journalism student and College Relations intern

To graduate from North Idaho College in two years with a 3.98 grade point average makes driven students like Patricia Murk stand out above the nearly 700 students eligible for graduation from NIC this year.

And of the approximately 300 who plan to walk in the NIC Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m., she will stand out even more with her gold stole and tassel, designating her as a member of the NIC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for two-year colleges.

While working toward a degree in child development at NIC, Murk has served as president of Phi Theta Kappa for the past two years. This position has allowed her the opportunity to represent her chapter at the spring awards conference at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., in March as well as the annual Phi Theta Kappa National Convention in Florida in April, where she and another member presented a proposal to the convention participants for selection to serve as the host college for the summer conference July 31 and Aug. 1. More than 40 community colleges will be invited to that conference hosted by NIC.

“Since 2009, Patty has been the driving force as president for Phi Theta Kappa for the Delta Kappa Chapter to achieve Four-Star Hallmarks in leadership, service and scholarship and hopes to achieve the Five-Star Hallmark in 2010,” said NIC Phi Theta Kappa Delta Kappa Chapter Administrator Lynn Hill. “She is well-liked by her fellow officers and is striving to become a regional officer in 2011.”

At 20 years old, the Missoula native can’t wait to finish a degree in child development so that she can continue working with children. She worked in a child care facility in high school where she fell in love with working with young children and has been completing her practicum at the NIC Children’s Center (a 60-child care facility for children of students and employees at NIC) throughout the year.

“I’ve always loved kids, growing up,” Murk said. “I just really wanted to just get through and get done so I could start working with kids. My hope is to work with kids in high-risk areas as well as maybe special needs kids someday.”

While the child development program at NIC initially attracted her to the Coeur d’Alene community college, it’s the size and atmosphere of the school that kept her at NIC the past two years.

“It’s pretty, but yet small and nice, and I really like having the beach right there,” Murk said.

Murk plans to stay in Coeur d’Alene even after completing her associate’s degree at NIC. She will dual enroll at the University of Idaho next semester as she continues to work toward a bachelor’s degree.

Murk will be among the approximately 300 NIC graduates and their friends and family in the gym March 14 as Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem delivers the 2010 commencement address.

Before becoming Coeur d’Alene’s first female mayor and the city’s first third-term mayor, Bloem was an active community member. She co-chaired the city’s Downtown Revitalization Committee, chaired the city’s strategic planning committee Cd’A 2020 and served on the Planning Commission for four years. She also served on the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the EXCEL Foundation Board of Directors and on the NIC Foundation Board.

A fourth generation Coeur d’Alene resident, Mayor Bloem currently serves on the Association of Idaho Cities Board, chairs the North Idaho Mayors’ Coalition and still serves on the NIC Foundation Board and the University of Idaho Northern Idaho Advisory Board. She also chairs the Salvation Army Advisory Board, which is credited with bringing a $65 million Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center grant to Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho.

Because limited seating is available, guest tickets for NIC’s Commencement Ceremony

have already been distributed and attendees will only be admitted to the commencement ceremony with a ticket. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for seating and parking. Campus streets will close down at 9:45 a.m. for the processional. Parking permits will not be needed the day of commencement. Those needing special accommodations should call the NIC Center for Educational Access at (208) 769-5947.

Those who cannot attend can view the commencement ceremony live at 10 a.m. on CDA TV public access channel 19.

Graduates, friends and families are invited to a reception honoring this year’s graduates immediately following the commencement ceremony in the plaza outside NIC’s Edminster Student Union Building.

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Stacy Hudson is the Public Information Coordinator for North Idaho College

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