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Spring Graduation Ceremony Held Friday

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Plattsburgh, New York,…More than two hundred fifty-five graduates are eligible to receive associate degrees and certificates at Clinton Community College's spring commencement exercises on Friday, May 11, 2007, at 6:00 p.m. in the gymnasium of the William H. Forrence Center. Margaret Courson, associate professor math and science, will lead the graduation processional carrying the ceremonial Mace with accompaniment by members of the Champlain District Bagpipe Band.

CCC president, Dr. Maurice B. Hickey, will preside over the commencement exercises. Nina D. Coolidge, chair of the CCC Board of Trustees, James R. Langley, Jr., chair of the Clinton County Legislature, and on behalf of the CCC Faculty Council, Dr. Rebecca Kasper, learning skills coordinator, will extend greetings to the graduates. They are followed by Kayleigh Allen, Student Senate president, and Noreen Barcomb, Student Speaker and Class of 2007 valedictorian.

Valedictorian, Noreen Barcomb, graduates with an associate in applied science degree in business information technology. Barcomb is a nontraditional student and mother of 4 from Chazy, New York. She is the secretary and director of religion for the Sacred Heart Parish in Chazy. "I was lost when my youngest went off to college," said Barcomb. "I came back to school because I needed something to fill my time." "I now feel a real sense of accomplishment and I’m a much more confidant person after this." Jodie Basmajian is the Class of 2007 salutatorian from Mooers Forks, New York, graduates with an associate in applied science degree in individual studies. "Returning as an adult student has made me realize the importance of getting a college education," explained Basmajian. "It’s nice to be able to focus on a career that I will enjoy."

The Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Michele Snyder, assistant professor of math and science. Snyder began her teaching career at CCC in 2003. She has an associate degree from Empire State College, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, master’s degrees from SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Albany, and she is currently working on her doctoral degree from SUNY Albany. Snyder believes in providing students a learning-centered environment. Being an active participant in College activities herself, she has developed an academic showcase, which gives her students a forum to present their research. Snyder is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers association and Sigma Xi Research Society. In recognition of her professional qualifications and leadership potential, Snyder was recently inducted into the Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society for Women Educators.

The Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service will be presented to Martha Hewitt, admissions advisor. Hewitt received her bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College and began her career at CCC in 1996. Hewitt serves on a number of campus committees including President of the CCC Faculty Association, and she is the 2006 nominee for SUNYCAP Community College Representative. As Admissions Advisor, Hewitt spends much of her time making high school visits around the state and in Vermont, as well as coordinating campus visits. In addition to her work in recruitment, Hewitt developed the College’s General Studies Certificate program and is currently working on a Health Studies Certificate program. Active in the community, Hewitt is on the board of directors of the North County Ballet and a member of the Girl Scout Council.

The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship will be presented to Mary Ann Weiglhofer, librarian/assistant professor. Weiglhofer effectively manages CCC’s library collection development, acquisitions, cataloging and college archives. She is also credited with the implementation and subsequent maintenance of the ALEPH library management system including staff training, and she has applied technology to enhance access to collections by using the library’s website. In addition to her teaching students online through the SUNY Learning Network, Weiglhofer’s love of history has prompted her to co-found the Bluff Point History Project where efforts to preserve the College’s historic past are recorded from people willing to share their stories and the preservation of artifacts from the period.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was awarded to two students this year, Matthew Ormsby of Peru, New York and Trisha Hanson of Bristol, Vermont. Both students graduated with honors. Ormsby graduated with an associate of science degree in Business Administration in December of 2006, and Hanson graduates Friday with an associate in applied science degree in Business Information Technology, and a certificate in Medical Administration Assistant. On April 18, 2007 Chancellor John R. Ryan honored Ormsby and Hanson, along with 283 other students from SUNY colleges around the state, with the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. These awards are given out annually to students who earn a Grade Point Average of 3.78 or higher and record a significant contribution to their campus or local community. "Clinton Community College has offered me some really great opportunities that have helped me to grow. I’ve been able to expand my skills in public speaking, program planning, peer education, and organizational oversight," explained Hanson. "It’s been great to be involved in several aspects of the college. The faculty and staff have been extremely supportive. It’s quite an honor to join the selective ranks of the Chancellor’s Award Winners." Ormsby, who has transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh, added, "I’ve really enjoyed my time at Clinton Community College, especially the time I spent as a Student Trustee for the College. It was a good experience. The faculty and staff are very supportive."

The College’s Alumni Association will present the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award to Patricia Foran-Wilkowski, of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, at Friday’s ceremony. Wilkowski graduated from Clinton Community College in 1980 with an associate of science degree, she went on to get a bachelor of science degree from Post College, and a master’s in business administration degree from Western New England College. She is also a licensed Registered Nurse and Nursing Home Administrator. Wilkowski serves on a number of industry committees focusing on regulatory policy incentives, risk management, and quality service delivery. Wilkowski is currently President of C.O.R. Services, LLC, a solely owned consulting company providing services to the Senior Services and Senior Housing Industry. She is a frequent speaker and advisor at both national and local levels on topics related to assisted living and social service. She was the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut Assisted Living Association. Wilkowski spends her free time trekking in far off places, most currently Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas.

Dr. Paul Almonte, vice president for academic affairs, will present the 2007 candidates for graduation. President Hickey and CCC Board of Trustees Chair, Nina Coolidge, will confer the degrees. This year’s graduating class has 51 students with Honors and 17 students with High Honors. Thirty-eight students are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Society of the Two-Year College.

The evening's music will be performed by the CCC College Chorale under the direction of Saundra Stortz and accompanied on the piano by Jerry Wong. The College Chorale will sing a selection entitled, "Take Five," by Desmond and Brubeck, arrangement by Shaw. The National Anthem will be sung by Leah Alford, Precious LaFountain, Rachel Reynolds, Jerry Wong, and Steven Hebert.

Family and friends are invited to join the graduates for refreshments immediately following the commencement exercises.