Class of 2010, alumni, and staff sitting in gym @ Glen Oaks Community College

Glen Oaks graduates urged to take chances

One hundred and sixty graduates were honored Friday, April 30, at the 42nd annual commencement at Glen Oaks Community College.
The largest numbers of graduates earned Associate of Business Degree and Associate of General Studies transfer degrees. An equal number of graduates received applied science degrees in Allied Health, Business, Nursing and Technology. Graduates also earned occupational certificates in 18 areas, though most were in health-related fields like Practical Nursing and Medical Assistant.

Lydia Bungart and Michelle Romeo receiving 2010 President's Award.

Glen Oaks President Dr. Gary Wheeler reminded visiting family and friends, “Commencement is a time of transition for these graduates who will now study for bachelor degrees or begin new jobs. These graduates each make our community stronger. After tonight our community will be stronger by 160 graduates.” Dr. Wheeler singled out two exceptional students for the President’s Award. He said his presentation was twice as difficult this year, “I had two very fine students who excelled in every way, so I decided to award each the President’s Award.” Receiving the President’s Award were Lydia Bungart of Three Rivers and Michelle Romeo of Mendon. Bungart graduated Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA) with an Associate of Business Degree and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the International Scholastic Organization for Two Year
College Students. Romeo also graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree.

Dr. Wheeler named Chad Worthington the E. J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence 2010 award winner. The faculty award is presented each spring following voting by students, peers, graduates and community members. Worthington is an instructor of Psychology. He earned his Bachelor Degree from Trinity International University and two Master’s Degrees from North Central University and Western Michigan University. As one of the younger instructors at Glen Oaks, Worthington related

Chad Worthington giving speech after receiving E.J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence 2010 award.

well with the graduates and reminded them, “Ten years ago I graduated like you and I was glad to be done with the tests, study sessions, projects and so much more.” Worthington said the hours of study paid off by preparing him for the challenges ahead. Worthington was given the opportunity to fill in for an instructor while in graduate school. The experience opened a new world of excitement in him for the profession of teaching. He told the story because, “I want you to know we are all capable of going out on a limb and trying something new. Don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes and take chances.” Worthington said he was honored to receive the E.J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence Award, but noted that all the full and part-time faculty at Glen Oaks are excellent and have “big hearts” when it comes to caring about their students. “I am grateful to receive this award. I sincerely believe that I have the best job in the world,” he concluded.

Student speaker Carol Naccarato, an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing graduate, said she was prompted to seek her new profession after the plant she worked at closed. Naccarato said she learned that failure was not an option, there is no reason to feel sorry for yourself, and “there is no such thing as CAN’T. I learned a person can do anything he or she puts their mind to and that life is all about ATTITUDE!” She urged the Glen Oaks graduates to take that same winning attitude with them as they continue their educations or seek employment.

Dr. Ana Gaillat, Dean of the College, presented the graduating class of 2010 and Dr. Wheeler, along with members of the Board of Trustees, conferred and presented the degrees and certificates as each graduate crossed the stage to the shouts and camera flashes of well-wishers. Following the commencement ceremony the graduates, faculty and families met on the Concourse for refreshments.