The first respiratory therapist cohort from Cochise College in Arizona graduated in December 2015.

The end of 2015 marked the completion of the first respiratory therapist cohort from Cochise College. The group took its final steps as students this last December at the Cochise College graduation ceremony, and sixteen students crossed the stage as young professionals in the health care field.
“There are many things we do at colleges and universities over and over and over again, but one of the things that we don’t do again, is the first one,” said Cochise College President J.D. Rottweiler.

The ceremony was packed with families, friends, and fellow students to share an emotional moment of achievement with the graduates and to share one last, final goodbye to their alma mater. A long line of mentors stood by as each graduate received an honorary pin, signifying their successful completion of the program.

Jennifer Lakosil, dean of the Cochise College Allied Health Department, attended the ceremony. The dean initiated the concept for a Respiratory Therapist Program when she saw a need for one in Southeast Arizona.

Lakosil said, nostalgically, “After four years, I’m nervous; this was my baby, and it’s the first.”

Read the full story at