NUMBER OF GRADUATES
SUNY Empire State College Long Island Center conferred 233 degrees Saturday at LIU Post's Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville: 186 bachelor's, 6 master's and 41 associate.
Michael Spitzer, dean of the Long Island Center of SUNY Empire State College, told graduates: "The investments you made in your education and your future will now pay dividends for you as you apply the knowledge, the skills and ways of thinking you have developed fully at Empire State College."
Carol Evans, president and founder of Working Mother Media, said: "The first thing to learn that I want to share with you is that failure is OK. I have failed so many times that I can barely stand to think about it . . . It was that pick-me-up, that 'do it again,' 'figure it out,' 'do better,' that makes failing so important. Don't ignore your failures. Next, be prepared to follow the path in front of you, instead of the path you chose . . . If you're ever down about your life, just remember 'Yes, you can.' "
Geri Milan, 30, bachelor's degree in cultural studies
"I currently work for an immigration law office, and I've been there for three years now. I know that's where my passion is." Milan hopes to attend law school.
Dennis Hendrickson, 43, bachelor's degree in community and health management
"In the hospital system, I work as a police officer as well as a paramedic supervisor for Nassau County." He wants to further his experiences in the medical industry.
Carol Faulkner, 54, bachelor's degree in human development, student graduation speaker
"For the past five years, I've been volunteering at an elder-care facility. Throughout my degree program I was utilizing that knowledge." Faulkner also hopes to pursue a master's.
Bernadine Bauser, 55, bachelor's degree in educational studies, student graduation speaker
"I work in a [Level 2] trauma hospital in radiology. I teach in a radiology program . . . It's a wide-open field; you can do anything." Bauser will start a master's program in January.