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June 8, 2017

Student/Alumni Club Human Services Collaborative Hosts Third “Bling Your Cap” Commencement Preparation Event

Student/alumni club Human Services Collaborative cap decorating event.

Hosted and supported by the college’s Human Services Collaborative student/alumni club, the third consecutive “Bling Your Cap” commencement event attracted more than 35 people, including 26 graduating students, their friends and family.

Bling Your Cap provides students the opportunity to gather and decorate their mortar boards, the “cap” of their cap and gown, in advance of SUNY Empire State College’s downstate commencement events at Purchase, New York City and Long Island.

“It is so exciting for me to see students who are about to graduate so bubbly and enthusiastic, the room was full of positive energy,” said club President Tanya Rice Thompson ’14, who, together with club member and adjunct faculty Layla Abdullah-Poulos ’10, ’16, organized and ran the event.

“Of all the events the club hosts, this is the one I look forward to most,” said Thompson, who completed her B.S. in Community and Human Services and will be a candidate for a Master of Arts in Adult Learning at this year’s Long Island commencement event. “Commencement represents the culmination of such a big commitment and so much perseverance, sacrifice and hard work.”

The event took place June 5 at the college’s Manhattan location.

Marie Bellanton ‘15, alumni member at large of the club, posted digital images of the event to the club’s Facebook page.

Club Secretary Patricia Williams ’16 shared her artistic talents and helped students with the design of their caps.

Thompson said that attendance this year was the largest of the three events. She had brought in her own cap, complete with bling, and prepared a PowerPoint presentation with ideas and guidelines for those who wanted to decorate, but did not have specific ideas.

“Decorating caps together builds camaraderie,” said Thompson. “Often, events like these are the first face-to-face interaction some students have with each other. I told everyone that after graduation, you can continue to participate in the life of the college, just check the events page and stay connected.”

Thompson pointed to Bellanton and Williams as alumni who continue to benefit from participation in college events.

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