2018-06-13 / Features

Queensborough Community College’s 57th Commencement


(From l.): Assembly Member David Weprin, NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Queensborough Community College President Diane B. Call, and NYC Council Member Barry Grodenchik. (From l.): Assembly Member David Weprin, NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Queensborough Community College President Diane B. Call, and NYC Council Member Barry Grodenchik. Queensborough Community College held its 57th Commencement Ceremony on June 1. During the ceremony, President Diane B. Call, who will retire from Queensborough Community College this summer, received a standing ovation from students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and legislators for her tireless dedication and service to the college for 47 years. Dr. Call has served in all the major areas of administration and academics at Queensborough, and for the last eight years has had he added distinction of being the college’s first female president.

President Call, along with two student awardees, welcomed graduates, family and friends in Spanish, Mandarin, Creole, Korean, Farsi, Hindi and Urdu. The college’s student body has roots in 127 countries of origin, with 78 native languages represented. Many are the first in their family to attend college. Thousands of people from around the world watched the live stream of the ceremony on PCs, mobile phones, and tablets.

President Call noted, “Each of you has a personal story of courage, determination and sacrifice to achieve the dream of a better life for you and your family with education.”

This year more than 2,300 students graduated from Queensborough. Some will go on to university study at CUNY schools including Queens College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice; other graduates will continue at SUNY schools including Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Oneonta, Fashion Institute of Technology, Purchase College and Binghamton University; and other graduates have chosen to attend private colleges, including New York University, Columbia University, Hofstra University, St. John’s University, Adelphi University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University. Students also graduated from rigorous career programs in the health, business and technology fields.

Additional highlights of the ceremony included a salute to the graduating students who served in the military. They were asked to stand to be recognized for their valor, and for protecting our freedoms and our way of life.

At the close of the ceremony Dr. Call declared: “Class of 2018 please stand. Move your tassel from your right to your left. Congratulations! You are now official graduates of Queensborough Community College!”

The following students received Presidential Awards:

Nazia Bonori: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for exceptional leadership in promoting racial harmony and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Mabely Salvador: The 2016 John F. Kennedy Memorial Award for demonstrating outstanding College and community leadership, as well as scholastic achievement.

Sarah Aguirre: Ray Ricketts Memorial Award presented to a returning student who exhibits exceptional scholarship and leadership.

Mouad Chemrah: President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Associate in Applied Science Degree.

Xi Chen (Chelsea): President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Associate in Science Degree.

Joelle Desrosiers: President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Associate in Arts Degree.

Distinguished guests included Hon. Toby Ann Stavisky, New York State Senator and ranking member on the Senate Higher Education Committee, and Barry Grodenchik, City Council Member. David I. Weprin, member of the New York State Assembly, presented President Call with a proclamation in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education.

Greetings were offered by Hon. Ken Sunshine as a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees. Greetings from Vita C. Rabinowitz, Interim Chancellor of the City University of New York, were offered by Loretta P. Martinez, General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs for the City University of New York. Bringing greetings from the college’s Academic Senate was the chair of the Academic Steering Committee, Dr. Peter Bales, associate professor of social sciences and history; and Dr. Philip A. Pecorino, professor of social sciences and chair of the Faculty Executive Committee. Bringing greetings from students was Mabely Salvador, president of the Student Government Association and Presidential Awardee.

From the college: Sr. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Sherri Newcomb; Dr. Timothy Lynch, Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Vice Presidents Stephen Di Dio, Rosemary Zins, William Faulkner and Denise Ward; Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Brian Kerr; and Deans Liza Larios, Arthur Corradetti, Glenn Burdi, Sandra Palmer, and Jeff Chen. Also recognized were the Chairs from the College’s 17 academic departments.

Representing Queensborough’s Fund Board of Directors was Eleanor Imperato.

Queensborough alumni who graduated as the College celebrated its 50th and 25th anniversaries were also honored.

Class of 1968: Claire and Leslie Appel, Joanne Cecere and Michael Feiner.

Class of 1993: Barbara Ahern, Marcia Campbell, Cecily Cruz, Rene Fils, Vincent Franco, Ellen Hochstein, Kathy King, Cyrus Lashkari, Naomi Pelage Lovejoy, Lois Johnson Rodney, Marvene Worrell Spencer, Rodriq and Roxann Stubbs, Angela B. Thomas and Sam Younessian.

The family members of the late Dana Rhodes, ’93, attended to honor the memory of Dana: their wife, mother and grandmother.

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