2019 Commencement Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Joyce Colemon

Commencement 2019 Keynote Speaker: Joyce ColemonJoyce Colemon’s relationship with Blue Ridge Community College began in 2001 when she was appointed to the College Board representing the city of Waynesboro. Previously, she served as Chair and is currently Vice Chair.

Service to her community and church is paramount in Ms. Colemon’s life, as she has served, and continues to serve, on numerous advisory boards and commissions. Mr. Coleman is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the City of Waynesboro National Volunteer "Star of the City" Award; a Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Leadership Award in 2009; a Million Dollar Medallion Award from the NAACP; and recognition of her church mission efforts by Ghana, West Africa.

Ms. Colemon, one of thirteen children, was born and raised in western Albemarle County, VA. She is a proud graduate of Jackson Price Burley High School in 1966. Ms. Colemon continued her education at Old Dominion Business School in Business Accounting and received missionary training through Frederick K.C. Price and other religious educational institutions. She has been employed by Waynesboro Public Schools since 1993, currently serving as Facilitator for the ISAEP/GED Program.

Her family includes three sons, two daughters-in-law, one granddaughter, a foster son, and guardianship of a niece and two nephews. She is a world traveler and life-long learner. A favorite quote is "People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do."

Student Speaker: Brad Ridder

Commencement 2019 Student Speaker: Brad Ridder Brad Ridder is receiving his Associate of Science in Computer Science as well as a Career Studies Certificate in Cyber Security today, and is graduating Summa Cum Laude. He plans to transfer to James Madison University to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

During his time at BRCC, Brad has been heavily involved in the student career and technical organization SkillsUSA as both a Massanutten Technical Center postsecondary student and BRCC transfer student by serving as the SkillsUSA National College/Postsecondary Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors, representing over 375,000 student members across the nation. This position led him to personally advocating for community college and CTE education at the local, state, and national level, speaking with officials such as the Governor and Senators of Virginia, CTE advocate Mike Rowe, the U. S. Secretary of Education, and many others. Brad was the Student Government Association President this year, and held a work-study position in the financial aid office. He said he enjoyed, “interacting and working with the phenomenal staff, faculty, and students at Blue Ridge.”

His future aspirations are to work for the United States Government as a cybersecurity engineer and perhaps one day return to the classroom as a college professor.

Brad’s parents are Scott and Karen. His hobbies are acting, singing, and watching Netflix and anything Marvel related.