State Rep Jennifer Carroll to speak at NE Florida Commencement

June 25, 2010

State Rep Jennifer Carroll Saint Leo University’s 2010 commencement season concludes Saturday, June 26, in Palatka, when graduates of the Northeast Florida region gather for their local ceremony at 2 p.m. at the Florida School for the Arts at Johns River Community College.

Florida House Rep. Jennifer Carroll (R-Fleming Island) will deliver the commencement address.

Carroll is a U.S. Navy veteran who retired with the rank of lieutenant commander after 20 years of service. After her Navy career, she worked at state and national levels on behalf of veterans, and continues to follow veterans issues. She became a state representative after winning a special election in April 2003 for District 13, which is comprised of parts of Clay and Duval counties. That 2003 vote also made her the first African-American woman elected to the Florida Legislature. She has been re-elected unopposed since then. The representative holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Leo and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Mexico.

Her audience will include adult military students and civilians who attended university classes at Naval Station Mayport, or at St. Johns River Community College in Palatka, Orange Park or Saint Augustine.

Graduate and U.S. Navy veteran Lawrence Fields is a noteworthy exception to this pattern. He actually studied at Saint Leo University’s Continuing Education Center at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, but wanted to participate in the Northeast Florida commencement to allow his mother and extended family from Jacksonville to attend. Fields is to receive the Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a concentration in management.

Two other graduating students have been selected as class speakers. They are Edward Robertson of Middleburg, who will receive his Bachelor of Arts cum laude in elementary education, and Roberto Garcia of Jacksonville, who will receive the Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice.

The local class of 2010 includes 96 students. The degrees to be awarded include: the Master of Science in criminal justice, Master of Education in educational leadership, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Associate of Arts.

Most of the degrees to be awarded Saturday are bachelor’s degrees. The four-year degree candidates studied business administration, education, psychology, criminal justice or computer information systems.

The Northeast Florida commencement is the 15th and final ceremony in 2010 honoring Saint Leo University’s most recent graduates.