June 24, 2013
Grandmother and graduate Patricia Rampolla ’13, center right with flowers, is joined by David Rampolla, far right, Allison and Amy Rampolla, commencement speaker Carol Evans ’77, Jen and Mark Rampolla, who is holding grandson John.
(BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – June 15, 2013) In stark contrast to most other college and university commencements, at the SUNY Empire State College Long Island Center graduation today, parents donned cap and gown and were congratulated by their children for earning a degree. In fact, undergraduate students at the college are on average more than 35 years old and master’s student are more than 40.
Carol Evans ’77, an alumna of the college’s Genesee Valley Center and president of Working Mother Media, gave the commencement address.
Newsday reporter Candice Norwood was on hand to interview student speaker Bernadine Bauser and several other students right after graduation.
Bernadine Bauser ‘13 and Carol Faulkner ’11, ’13, were selected to represent their fellow graduates and provide remarks on behalf of the class of 2013. They were among the more than 230 students who were awarded associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Long Island Center ceremony and among the more than 3,400 who will earn degrees this year from the college.
“Empire State College embraces the student that has to work while going to school, as well the older student who has life experiences,” said Bauser. “All of you here today have your own life experiences that are invaluable and helped shape who you are. I challenge the younger generation to try putting your smartphone down every once in a while and look at people’s faces, listen to their stories and see how smart you become. To everyone who shares this day as the celebration of one journey and possibly the beginning of another, I say ‘thank you for letting me share it with you’.”
Acting President Meg Benke congratulates student speaker Carol Faulkner ’13.
“With the encouragement and support of my family, I decided to take the first step on the path to the rest of my future,” said Faulkner. “At the age of 49, I found myself at the starting line. I made a commitment to myself that mediocrity was not an option, nor was I willing to generate assignments and research papers that would fall short of excellence. I decided that if I were willing to embark on this long journey of knowledge and self-discovery that I was also willing to persevere until the journey was successfully completed. Today, I stand with all of you as successful graduates.”
“You are adult learners who bring experience and passion to your studies,” said Meg Benke, acting president of the college. “You are adult learners who wanted to continue your education by following the road less traveled. Interestingly enough, what was once seen as the exception, nontraditional aged, often part-time students balancing work and school, is now the new ‘normal.’ So if anyone asks, you are the new face of higher education. I hope that you continue to learn and grow for both professional and personal gain and to continue to contribute to your communities. Congratulations to the Class of 2013.”
“Today marks a significant milestone in your lives, and you should be proud of your achievement,” said Michael Spitzer, dean of the Long Island Center. “You worked hard, sacrificed time with family and friends and gave up sleep in order to achieve your degree. The investment you made in your education and in your future will now pay dividends for you, as you apply the knowledge, skills and ways of thinking you have developed and honed at Empire State College. You will benefit personally, but equally important, you are positioned to enrich the lives of those around you, in your community and in society.”
Bauser earned a B.S. in educational studies with a concentration in studies in radiologic science from the college’s Long Island Center.
As the 2011 valedictorian, she earned her certificate from the School of Radiologic Technology at the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and received the Mallinckrodt Award of Excellence and the Clinical Excellence Award.
Bauser has been employed at the Peconic Bay Medical Center since 2011 as an instructor for the courses Medical Terminology, Introduction to Radiologic Science, Radiographic Technique I, Radiographic Technique II and Professional Ethics and Law.
She also works at the Peconic Bay Medical Center and Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in East Patchogue as a staff radiographer, where her responsibilities include performing inpatient, outpatient, trauma, portable and surgical radiography.
Bauser is a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the Association of Educators in Radiologic Technology of the State of New York and the Association of New York State Notary Publics.
Her community service includes volunteering at the East End Hospice, acting as co-chair for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Southold Town committee, serving as a member of the church council committee at St. Peter’s Church in Greenport and as a volunteer at Maureen’s Haven.
Previously Bauser was employed for 19 years with American Airlines.
Bauser is the owner and operation of East End Cleaners in Cutchogue and lives in Peconic with her husband, Fred, and daughter, Allison.
Faulkner graduated with a B.S. in human development with a concentration in social psychology this spring. She served this past year on the college’s Student Activity Fee Committee. In 2011, she earned a B.A. in human development with a concentration in society and aging from the college.
For the past five years, she has volunteered at Queen of Peace Elder Care Facility, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, and was recognized by the Louis Pasteur School of Literature PTA for her service as co-vice president of fundraising.
For more than 16 years, she has been employed as an executive assistant supporting corporate functions such as internal audit, global quality and operations and finance. Currently, Faulkner is employed with HARMAN International, a global infotainment and multimedia company, and is a member of the Global Executive Assistants group.
She is a New York state licensed real estate agent, member of the National Association of Realtors and Long Island Board of Realtors and a notary public.
Faulkner, 54, resides in Cambria Heights, Queens, with her husband, Leslie, and her children Tracy and Matthew.
Commencement speaker Carol Evans ’77, Genesee Valley Center, reveals to one and all how she got a kiss on the cheek from President Obama at the White House. She completed all the students on achieving an important milestone in their lives, completing their degree.
Evans is president of Working Mother Media, which includes the National Association for Female Executives, Diversity Best Practices and Working Mother magazine. Her involvement with Working Mother dates back to 1978, when she played a critical role in its launch and then led the magazine for its first decade. During that time she founded the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, which is the most important workplace benchmark in the country.
Evans left Working Mother in 1989 to run Stagebill Inc., and then Chief Executive magazine. In 2001, Working Mother came up for sale and Evans acquired her beloved magazine and related properties just three weeks before 9/11, becoming the first mom to own Working Mother. In the last 12 years, she has launched key initiatives including the Multicultural Women's National Initiative, Best Companies for Hourly Workers and the Global Advancement of Women Conference.
Evans serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the March of Dimes. She has won numerous awards including the Admiral Grace Hopper Champion Award from the U.S. Navy and 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising. She speaks nationwide and has appeared on major talk shows, including “Today” and “Oprah.” Her first book, “This is How We Do It: The Working Mother’s Manifesto,” was published by Penguin.
Evans is a graduate of the college’s Genesee Valley Center, in Rochester. She is married to Bob Coulombe and has two children, Robert, 26, and Julia Rose, 23, who is currently a student at Empire State College. The Evans family lives in Manhattan with their Welsh corgi, Buster.
The college’s Long Island Center is located on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury and oversees the Hauppauge and Riverhead Offices.
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.
Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)
David M. Henahan, Director of Communications 518-587-2100, ext. 2918 David.Henahan@esc.edu
518-321-7038(after 5 p.m. and weekends)