Jessica Goodell, '07Jessica Goodell, '07, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and author of Shade It Black, will deliver the 2016 commencement keynote address at JCC's Cattaraugus County Campus on May 20 and at the Jamestown Campus on May 21.

The Cattaraugus County Campus ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in the Olean YMCA/JCC Physical Education Center on Wayne Street in Olean. The commencement program in Jamestown begins at 10 a.m. in the Physical Education Complex.

Ms. Goodell earned a degree in social sciences from JCC in just two semesters, graduating at the top of her class and earning the college’s top social sciences award. She went on to earn a degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2010 and is in the final year of a doctorate program in counseling psychology at the University at Buffalo. She hopes to work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and other combat-related mental illnesses.

Her book is a memoir chronicling her service as a member of the Marine Corps’ first officially declared mortuary affairs unit at Camp Al-Taqaddum in Iraq. At the time of her service, Ms. Goodell was one of two women on the platoon and earned the rank of lance corporal.

Ms. Goodell will also be a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor presented by the JCC Alumni Association. The award has been presented annually since 1980 to alumni who have typified the college’s tradition of excellence and brought credit to the college through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service. Each year, the award is given at Commencement in the hopes that the award recipients will inspire JCC's newest alumni — its graduates — to achieve great things.

Monday, May 16, 2016 - 10:11am
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