Provost's Graduates of Excellence

General Studies
Chamil Soufianou

“I found my college experience to be more enjoyable when I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I did that by talking and meeting different people. I was fortunate to meet a lot of amazing people at Salt Lake Community College who helped open so many doors for me. They all helped play a role in my success and goal of completing my associate’s degree. During my time at SLCC, I achieved many goals. Looking back and seeing where I'm at now, it is evident that I improved in many areas. My people skills, communication and habits improved, and I apply them in everything I do. Experiences like this are something that many people, including myself, appreciate about college. You can come in headstrong and plan what you want to gain out of it, or you can wing it, and it will not be the same experience as everyone else.”

Influential faculty: Jason Roberts

School of applied technologies & Technical Specialties
Tonya Timothy, Construction Management


“Most people in my position have a four‐year degree, but that is not the reason I returned to school. I am not a quitter, and I have always regretted not finishing. Although schooling enhanced my knowledge and ability to be a better employee, I came back to fulfill my personal goal set over 20 years ago. It took a lot of courage for me to jump back in after all this time, and I am very proud that I did it while balancing a family, a full-time job and living through a pandemic. I am very proud I was brave enough to face my insecurities and return to school. I am a leader and have felt it a privilege to meet all my classmates, be a mentor and share my experiences.”

Influential faculty: David James and Boyd Johnson

school of arts, communication & media
Leonardo Garcia, Architecture

“Kevin King and Naima Nawabi greatly influenced what I know so far about architecture. They helped me with ideas and concepts for class projects, concept development, design review and brainstorming, which I took seriously. Professor King was the person who influenced most of what I developed in architecture. I even made progress in my career by getting a part-time job at an architectural firm where I will be able to cultivate and the practice skills I learned from SLCC. My plans after graduation are to continue my education, work as a drafter assistant and get my license to become an architect.”

Influential faculty: Kevin King and Naima Nawabi

Gail Miller School of Business
Brenda Johnson, Paralegal Studies

“My education at Salt Lake Community College has been a positive experience for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always privately wanted to be a paralegal. I always thought I wanted to work for someone who helped people who could not afford an attorney. Then I learned of legal aid. I thought, ‘That is what I want to do.’ When I graduated, I was lucky enough to get an interview for a job in legal aid, and I got the position. I am thoroughly content with my job. I am always at ease at work because my education at Salt Lake Community College prepared me for anything. I still have a lot to learn and always will, but it doesn’t feel like work when you enjoy it. SLCC made that possible for me.”

Influential faculty: Monte Sleight

school of health sciences
Melissa Smith, Nursing

“For my first degree, I graduated just to finish and did not consider what my education could do for me. After being accepted into the nursing program, I was able to find my niche. It was not easy, but I proved my abilities to myself. I was not sure what I would experience in the program, and while it has been tough, I was able to find myself. I have been able to build confidence and make friends along the way. Starting the nursing program online during COVID-19 was a different way of learning, but it was successful for me. I am grateful that I have been able to come so far for myself and my family during the last two years.”

Influential Faculty: Geoff Osmond and Brian Hoskins

school of humanities & social Sciences
Amora Floyd, Psychology


“As a 50-year-old single mother of four children, starting college from square one was a terrifying prospect. However, I quickly found that Salt Lake Community College had a solid support system. There was never an issue without an academic, technical, clerical, health or emotional support system to assist me. I am grateful that SLCC has such an amazing online system. Without it, returning to school would have been nearly impossible and less time-efficient, and I would not have been able to complete my degree within two years. I also benefitted from interacting and learning from my classmates, who expanded my worldview in innumerable ways. As I prepare to graduate, my time at SLCC was pivotal in preparing me to pursue higher education. I will leave SLCC feeling confident in my ability as a student to learn and successfully achieve my goals.”

Influential faculty: Shannon Flynt and Marissa Shaver

school of science, mathematics & engineering
Kaden Wall, Biology


"At the beginning of my college career, I encountered a major life event that shaped me into the person I am today. That event was my coming out to my family and friends as gay. My life had been completely altered, resulting in my failure of the entirety of my first college semester. Following this semester, I felt defeated. I didn't feel that I could ever redeem myself from the mistakes I had made while trying to maneuver my newly structured life. However, my progress in subsequent semesters surely outshined the failures I originally endured. I like to look at my first semester of college as a unique learning opportunity. As an LGBTQ student in the sciences, I am a part of a highly underrepresented group of students, and I take pride in demonstrating the potential to achieve greatness, despite downfalls.”

Influential Faculty: Ron Valcarce