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Graduate has “High Hopes” for communication career

Ron Imel is one of the first Tidewater Community College graduates to earn an Associate of Science in General Studies with a Specialization in Professional Communication.

Imel’s program included a semester-long internship with the Norfolk Campus Student Center.

TCC’s 67th Commencement Exercises are Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

“At TCC, I gained confidence in my abilities and learned how to communicate effectively,” Imel said. “I definitely developed those soft skills important for today’s workforce. From conflict resolution to writing an effective email, I have those tools in my toolkit now.”

He produced a campus Lip Sync Challenge to the upbeat song “High Hopes,” which was viewed more than 1,800 times on Facebook.

High Hopes Lip Sync

He also provided social media support for the college’s Interactive Communications division.

Imel chose TCC because it was affordable, close to home and familiar. He started at the college several times in his early 20s before tackling the degree at age 28.

Before coming to the college, the Indian River High graduate worked in customer service.

He chose the professional communication degree because of the diverse curriculum that includes courses in interpersonal, business and professional, and intercultural communication.

He touts communications professor Mark Frederick, who challenged him with engaging assignments and lectures.  “Dr. Frederick is very knowledgeable, really funny and invested in his students,” he said.

“I’m happy to be finally getting a degree,” Imel said. “I feel prepared for the work ahead and know that doors are going to open.”

Passionate about film production, Imel hopes to become a voice actor and also do production work. He is considering studying at Regent University.

“TCC is a great place to start,” Imel said. “The college is well-known in the community and for good reason.”