Over 550 degrees and certificates to be conferred during Signal Peak commencement

By Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist 

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – More than 550 degrees and certificates will be conferred upon students on Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m. during the 2013 Central Arizona College Signal Peak Campus Commencement Ceremony. 

The Signal Peak Campus is located at 8470 N. Overfield Road, nestled between the cities of Casa Grande and Coolidge, just east of Interstate 10 at the McCartney Road exit. 

A total of 423 degrees along with 136 certificates will be distributed during the Saturday night event that will be held on The Green before several thousand family and friends. 

Each student will be wearing specific medallions, stoles and cords signifying the programs with which they are affiliated. Students wearing gold medallions are graduates of the honors program, while those wearing gold stoles are members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. 

Students wearing blue cords are graduates of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program, while those wearing red cords belong to CAC’s TRIO student success program and students donning silver stoles are members of CAC’s Student Leadership Organization. 

Graduates also will wear various tassels depending on the degrees that they are receiving. Those with white tassels are receiving associate of arts degrees, while those wearing gold tassels are earning an associate of science degree. Associate of business degree recipients will sport drab tassels, associate of applied science will wear green, associate of general studies will wear gray, and those earning certificates will don blue tassels. 

Serving as the commencement speaker for the ceremony is Leslie Carlyle-Burnett. A 1998 graduate of CAC, Carlyle-Burnett is senior planner of the Ak-Chin Indian Community. Although she was born in Casa Grande, she has not only spent her entire life in the Ak-Chin Community, but she also has put her stamp on the community, serving in several leadership and strategic planning positions for the last 12 years. 

While pursuing her associate degree at CAC, the Harrah’s corporation began moving forward with plans to construct a casino in the Ak-Chin Community. During this time, the corporation implemented a fast-track management program for tribal members to gain management skills as it relates to the casino industry. Intrigued by this program and all of the things she would learn, Carlyle-Burnett happily joined. 

After completing the management program and earning her associate degree, Carlyle-Burnett became a valuable member of the Ak-Chin Community’s administration in 2001. She served the community as an assistant planner for seven years before being elected to the tribal council in 2008. She would then go on to a community vice chairman position before assuming her current role as the Ak-Chin Community senior planner. 

In her position, Carlyle-Burnett oversees the community’s planning and zoning commission, through which all of the planning and development of the community is filtered. 

A graduate of Maricopa High School, Carlyle-Burnett possesses a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. 

In 2012, Carlyle-Burnett was inducted into the CAC Wall of Success.
Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814