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BCC honors Outstanding Graduates at commencement
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Courtesy photo Brandon Steinert Outstanding Graduate Kieora Nichols accepts her award Friday evening at Barton Community College. Nolan Riley was not able to attend the ceremony.


Special to the Tribune

Kieora Nichols of Jacksonville, N.C. and Nolan Riley of Augusta were named Barton Community College’s 2019 Outstanding Graduates. Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy introduced them and presented their awards during the college’s 49th commencement ceremony Friday.

Kieora Nichols is the daughter of Felicia Washington and David Nichols.  During her Barton career, Kieora was inducted as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and has participated in the track and field program, while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. 

Additionally, she has worked as a peer tutor in the Student Support Services Tutoring Center and has assisted with Barton’s Field Operations Day event. Nichols has engaged in multiple community service initiatives including helping with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Great Bend Dream Center, the Special Olympics and the Great Bend Rodeo. She will continue her education at Kansas State University in pursuit of her bachelor’s degree in social work and eventually a master’s degree in social work as well.    

Academic Advisor Chris Stott said Nichols is always working hard and genuinely cares about other people. 

“Since I have known Kieora, I have seen her grow and develop into a mature young adult that clearly has a set of goals in mind that represent her passions and heart for serving others,” Stott said. “She has a strong grasp of what she wants to accomplish in her life but she also understands that hard work and dedication are required to achieve all of her goals.”

Nolan Riley of Augusta is the son of Renissa and Darren Riley. While attending Barton, Nolan has participated on the baseball team and been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, serving this year as the co-president of PTK.  Nolan has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has participated in a variety of community service initiatives including PTK Parent’s Night Out and 5K fundraisers for Campus Hope, volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holiday season, and assisting in the Watchdog Program, which is a student and parent involvement program at a local elementary school in Great Bend.  He will continue his academic and baseball career at Arkansas Fort Smith where he will work toward his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Nolan is everything you can ask for in a student-athlete,” Barton Baseball Coach Brent Biggs said of his interactions with Riley both on and off the field.

For more information, contact Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy at or (620) 792-9226.