MIDWAY, Ky. (April 24, 2015) — The Honorable Ing. Marcela Paredes de Vásquez, Minister of Education for the Republic of Panama will be the Midway College keynote speaker at its commencement ceremony on May 9. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in the Graves Amphitheater on Midway College’s campus.
“It is a great honor for us to welcome Marcela Paredes de Vásquez to Midway College,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, President. “She is an incredibly accomplished, well-educated woman who I am sure will inspire our graduates to continue expanding their horizons and exploring the world.”
Minister Paredes de Vásquez is a Fulbright Scholar who holds the Master of Science in Electrical Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Before taking her current role as Minister of Education, she was Executive Secretary of National Assessment and Accreditation of Panama, where she was responsible for implementing policies, programs and agreements to improve the quality of university education. She has received recognition from Panama’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as one of its “Groundbreaking Women of Science in Panama,” and has been named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Municipal Council of the City of Panama.
Midway’s 2015 Commencement will honor 302 graduates, including those who completed their degrees in December 2014 and at the end of the 2015 spring semester. This year’s class will be the last to graduate from Midway College before the institution becomes Midway University on July 1, 2015.
The Minister was personally invited by Dr. Marsden during his trip to Panama in January. Midway has partnered with the Panamanian government on several initiatives over the last two years, including a program with IFARHU which brought 26 undergraduate students upon their high school graduation to participate in a college readiness program at Midway for nine months. These students have now matriculated into degree programs at the College. In addition, Midway is partnering with the Panamanian government program Panama Bilingue to provide professional development for Panamanian teachers to enhance their knowledge of pedagogical methodologies and to advance their English-speaking skills.