NOVA alumnus Dan Nechita will be the guest speaker at Northern Virginia Community College’s 46th Commencement on Saturday, May 12. This year’s graduating class will be NOVA’s largest, with more than 7,700 degrees and certificates expected to be awarded. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in George Mason University’s Patriot Center and is open to the public.
Originally from Romania, Nechita moved to the United States 10 years ago. He began his education at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus where he majored in psychology and computer science and earned a 4.0 GPA. In 2006, he was the first NOVA student to be selected for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, a prestigious award that provides up to $30,000 per year to support outstanding community college students as they complete bachelor’s degrees. In 2010, Nechita was selected by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 to support his graduate studies.
Nechita earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science at Columbia University where he wrote an honors thesis under the guidance of Professors Kenneth Waltz and Robert Jervis, two of the foremost scholars in the field of international relations. He is currently in the second year of a Ph.D. program in political science at George Washington University.
Nechita has worked or interned at ABC News, the Brookings Institution, the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and the World Security Institute. He currently serves as chairman of the Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Association. He is also the CEO of the 7,000-members strong League of Romanian Students Abroad, and co-founder and CEO of a Romanian think tank called CAESAR (Center for Accessing the Expertise of Students and Alumni from Romania).
Nechita and his wife, Cristina, live in Arlington with their 5-year-old son, Vlad.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.