Northeast Alabama Community College’s fiftieth graduation ceremony will take place at 7 PM, Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Northeast Alabama AgriBusiness Center on Highway 75 in Rainsville. Dr. David Campbell, NACC President, is pleased to announce the keynote speaker this year is Mrs. Brenda Standridge, Future Site Manager of the Google Widow’s Creek Data Center.
“We at Northeast are very excited to have Mrs. Standridge as our Commencement Speaker,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “Google of course is considered one of the world’s cutting edge companies and it is an honor to have Mrs. Standridge with us. We of course look forward with anticipation having Google with us in our area as a company. Many local officials and individuals, as well as state and Tennessee Valley Authority leaders, worked tirelessly to bring Google to Jackson County.”
Mrs. Standridge grew up in Brazos County, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Mrs. Standridge has worked for such companies as IBM, Business Information Services, Wolf Camera, Simmons Bedding Company, and Lend Lease (Global Construction and Property Management).
She joined Google in 2014 and has served as a Hardware Operations Manager and Operations Manager with the company. As Hardware Operations Manager she monitors state-of-the-art infrastructure that supports Google’s technology offerings.
As a manager, Mrs. Standridge states that she believes in empowering individuals, allowing active decision making, engaging all levels of associates in business, and allowing everyone to reach their full potential. Her Motto for work is “work hard, learn from mistakes and help others”. She proves the latter by her community service time serving as IBM’s United Way Ambassador. While with Simmons Bedding she was on the Charitable Contributions Committee. Additionally, as a member of Timothy Lutheran Church she taught Sunday School, was a youth leader, served as Chair of the Board of Stewardship, and was on the Long Range Planning Committee.
Last year, Google selected the Widow’s Creek site in Jackson County for the location of the 600 million data center, for which she will serve as Site Manager. The Data Center will employ one hundred people. This data center will act as a hub for Internet traffic. According to a state of Alabama news release on the project, the data center will operate in a network that keeps the Google search engine and other company products such as Gmail and YouTube running for global users 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This data center will be the 14th globally for the company and the first built by Google in the United States since 2007. The center will be powered by renewable energy.
Google itself is one of the world’s leading business organizations. Google consistently is ranked at the top in the nation by employees as an outstanding company for which to work. The Widow’s Creek Data Center is scheduled to open in 2018.
"Graduation is the highlight of the year for us," added President Campbell. "Completing their programs is what our students have worked toward, and it is so rewarding for our faculty and staff to see students reach this level of achievement.”
While far more students graduate with associate degrees from Northeast each year, this year 195 will participate in the graduation ceremony. Another 174 graduates (including Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016) not participating will receive diplomas. Many of these Northeast graduates will transfer to universities to further their education and work toward obtaining higher degrees while others will go on to immediately begin work, make higher salaries, and advance in their careers.
Not only will graduates receive their diplomas on this special evening, but the college’s outstanding students and faculty member will be recognized as well. The All USA/Alabama Academic Team Members and the President’s Cup Recipient will be recognized, as well as the recipient of the Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Award. The NACC Chorus and Concert Band will perform.
This graduation ceremony is open to the public. All families and friends of Northeast graduates are invited and encouraged to attend this event. “Our college personnel put much work and effort into the graduation ceremony, and it is really a spectacular event to see,” added President Campbell. “We encourage everyone to attend.”