Spring 2023 Graduation Spotlight: Meet Nelsie Nash

Congrats Grads!

Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrates more than 2,740 graduates at its spring 2023 commencement ceremony. This commencement ceremony marks the college’s 50th anniversary.

Friends and family are invited to congratulate students Friday, May 12, at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park.

One of those students is Nelsie Nash. Hear more about her journey at ACC.

Written by: Nelsie Nash

Tell me about your time at ACC: As a Filipino immigrant student at Austin Community College, I have found both challenges and joy in learning Math, Science, Government, and U.S. History. Despite the challenges of adjusting to a new country, culture, and education system, I gain comfort and inspiration in the classroom. I have discovered that learning can be both fun and enriching, especially when surrounded by supportive professors and fellow students who encourage me to ask questions, explore new ideas, and challenge myself. I have gained knowledge in the courses I have taken and a deeper understanding and appreciation of American culture and history, which has helped me feel more connected to my new home. Overall, my time as an immigrant student at Austin Community College has been a joyful and rewarding experience I will carry with me as I continue my academic journey.

How does it feel to be graduating: I am so excited and ready to receive my associate degree in business from Austin Community College in May. It’s been a long journey filled with adjustments and hard work, long nights of studying, and endless cups of coffee, but it was all worth it. Walking across the stage soon and receiving my diploma is a moment I will cherish forever. It is even more compelling to receive the Scholastic Excellence Award, which is truly the cherry on top of this academic success. I’m grateful to my academic advisors, professors, classmates, and family who supported me throughout this journey. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my business degree. 

What was your favorite part of ACC: As an honor student at ACC, my favorite part is the sense of accomplishment that comes with being recognized for my hard work and dedication to my studies. Knowing I am among the students given unique opportunities like this spring’s University of Texas-Austin Youth and Community Studies (YCS) Fellows program is a great feeling. I enjoy participating in this program because it teaches community building, collaboration, social justice, and civic leadership. I’m learning a lot from Dr. Arcelia Hernandez and my fellow ACC Honors students from different backgrounds. This program has allowed me to expand my leadership knowledge and skills and put them into practice in real-world situations. 

Any faculty or staff you want to recognize supporting you: I cannot express enough how grateful I am to my academic advisor Sarah Piechowicz and professor, Deborah Hoag. Sarah has been instrumental in guiding me toward finishing my associate degree. Her thoroughness and clarity have been invaluable in helping me navigate the complexities of academic life. When it comes to the most supportive professors I’ve had at ACC, Professor Hoag is the outstanding one. She is very kind, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about U.S. and Texas Government which I really appreciate given that I’m an immigrant. She shared her knowledge with us and extended her support to my application for the Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award. These two individuals are a big part of my academic success at ACC, and I will always be thankful for their contributions to my education. 

What is next for you: I am excited about my plan to continue my education after graduating with my associate degree from ACC. My goal is to transfer to either the University of Texas at Austin or Texas A&M University to earn a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. I believe this will give me the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in marketing. After obtaining my degree, I see myself as a marketing manager in a prestigious company. This career path aligns with my passion for creativity, strategy, and communication, and I am determined to achieve my goals through hard work and dedication. I am eager to learn all that I can and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way to make my dreams a reality.

What would you tell someone considering applying for college: As someone who advocates for academic success and lifelong learning, I highly recommend anyone unsure about pursuing a college education to consider applying for college. College provides a unique opportunity to learn, grow and expand students’ horizons in a way that cannot be obtained elsewhere. It allows students to develop new skills, knowledge, and beneficial experiences throughout life. I believe every opportunity to learn should be taken advantage of, and college provides one of the best opportunities for lifelong learning. Many colleges, especially public colleges, offer various scholarship programs and organizations that support students’ learning. These programs can provide anyone who qualifies with financial assistance and resources to help students achieve their academic goals. So, anyone who is thinking about getting their college education done should go for it because knowledge is power and is one thing that will never be taken from us. 

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