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Farmingdale State College 2013 commencement
Number of graduates 1,200 bachelor's, 430 associate and 22 certificate degrees
Ligia Amada Melo de Cardona, minister of higher education, science and technology for the Dominican Republic, told the graduates: "It is essential to love what you do. You must do it with passion and give it your best. This will give you the ability to accomplish your job and give you personal satisfaction. You will feel good."
Valedictorian Eric G. Vosper, who received a bachelor's degree in computer programming and information systems, told his classmates: "We embark on this journey with knowledge and power to profit. And by profit, I do not merely mean in the monetary sense. Yes, earning a good, honest living is important, but more important is the wealth and the knowledge that you have received. This wealth . . . will guide you in all of your future endeavors. It will drive your dreams, your passions and future successes."
Students speak out
Michelle J. Haughton, 44
associate degree, nursing
"I love to know that I'm there for someone -- to make them smile, to feel better." Hopes to continue advancing in her career at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack.
Steve Carbonaro, 23
bachelor's, criminal justice
"The world is charging so much, and with the events these days, I want to use technology to protect people and communities." Applying to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan for its master's program in protection management.
Richard Lampeter, 60
bachelor's, science, technology and society
"With my two kids having graduated from college, I thought it was about time I got my degree. College has made me a more well-rounded individual." Works in quality assurance for Siemens Electrical and may pursue a master's degree in engineering.
Ahsan Muhammad, 21
"I've always wanted to help people; I find it satisfying."
Wants to go to medical school and specialize in neurology.
Kimberly M. Bailey, 25
bachelor's, professional communications
"I'd like to be a recruiter, to have the satisfaction of seeing a person who is looking for a job find happiness in a career." Plans to pursue a master's degree in human resource management at Stony Brook University.
David Lin, 22
bachelor's in electrical and computer engineering
"The amount of creativity you put into each and every project has no limitation. I find that very challenging." Works in applications engineering at a Bohemia company, but hopes to design automobile interiors in the future.