June 14, 2012

SUNY Empire State College Metropolitan New York Region to Host its Annual Graduation Ceremony

More than 380 students, including 14 students who have earned master’s degrees, are eligible to participate.

(NEW YORK CITY – June 14, 2012) SUNY Empire State College will host its annual graduation ceremony for the Metropolitan New York Region at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 in Alfred Lerner Hall on the Columbia University Campus, 2920 Broadway, New York City.

More than 380 students from the college’s Metropolitan region, including 14 students who have earned master’s degrees, are eligible to participate. They are among the more than 3,300 graduates from across the state in the record-setting class of 2012.

The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Michael A. Peters, professor of policy, cultural and social studies in education at The University of Waikato, in New Zealand, emeritus professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Peters also will  receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.

H. Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees, will confer the Doctor of Letters on behalf of the board.

“It is my great pleasure to spend such an important day with Empire State College’s Class of 2012, and to confer an honorary degree to Dr. Michael Peters, whose scholarship on open education and commitment to education policy and social justice are highly deserving of this recognition,” said McCall. “On behalf of the board of trustees and all of SUNY, I congratulate today’s graduates and I wish them our best as they put their SUNY degrees to work.”

“Sharing the joy of our graduates and their friends and family is the highlight of the college year,” said Alan R. Davis, president of the college. “My congratulations go out to the students of the Metropolitan Center and my appreciation goes to the college’s faculty mentors and staff who have supported their hard work.”

The program also includes student speakers, two of whom, Edward Cromarty and Lois Barth, will reflect on their experiences with the college’s unique approaches to higher education.

“Our students reach their educational goals by many paths, but all are enriched by the process of flexible, individualized learning and empowered by the achievement of their degrees,” said Cynthia Ward, dean of the college’s Metropolitan Center. We are proud to serve this great city of which we are a part, enrolling 2,300 students from New York City at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.”

Many students who started their undergraduate education elsewhere finish their degrees with Empire State College. The college's innovative design provides flexible options that allow faculty mentors to work with undergraduate students to design their degree program to meet their educational, career and personal goals.

In addition to credit transferred from previous college experience, students very often bring with them learning gained through training at the workplace, in service to the military and other life experiences. The college assesses this knowledge and in many cases awards credit for college-level learning, which saves time and money.

At the graduate level, students also work closely with faculty to plan their degrees across a range of program and certificate options. A growing number of graduate students enroll with the college each year, taking advantage of the flexibility of approach and the ability to earn a graduate degree while exploring their intellectual and professional interests.

“Our pride is dual in that given our service to working professionals, not only have our students succeeded academically, but so many of them have advanced in their careers as a result of completing their degrees," said Robert Clougherty, dean of the School for Graduate Studies. “The School for Graduate Studies is proud of all 201 graduates across the state this year.”

About Lois Barth

Lois Barth earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development with a concentration in studies in transformation. She was mentored by Professor Lisa Parkins.

Barth’s career path includes comedienne, massage therapist and, for about the last decade, life coaching, speaking and training. Throughout her professional life there always has been a theme of self-awareness and human development in her work.

As a comedienne, she highlighted social commentary on relationships, addiction and family dynamics. Barth worked both in traditional venues, as well as alcohol and drug rehabs, eating disorder units and homeless shelters.

Her solo shows focused on the theme of transformation, and as an arts educator she used storytelling as a catalyst for increased literacy, self-esteem and diversity with the K-12 population around the country.

As a licensed massage therapist, she had her own onsite  massage company and private practice and helped to rejuvenate the rescue workers during 9/11.

Over the last decade, her work has transitioned into life coaching, speaking and training in the areas of self-care, productivity, stress management and career transition.

She integrates her background as a humorist and her experiential learning to create highly interactive and upbeat programs.

Barth was the life coach for SELF magazine's SELF Challenge and FITNESS magazine's Fitness Challenge, and has both spoken and created training curriculum for diverse groups including the Naval Underwater Warfare Center, Girl Scouts, l'Oreal and the Society of Women Engineers.

After celebrating a milestone birthday, Barth decided to complete her degree and chose Empire State College because of the flexibility afforded by the college. She says that going back to Empire State College to complete her degree, was the best birthday gift, to date, she has ever given herself.

About Edward Cromarty

Edward Cromarty earned his MBA from Empire State College with a concentration in education. Since his graduation from the college, he has been taking doctoral courses in education and plans to continue his doctoral studies part time.

He chose Empire State College because it offered the opportunity to continue his education and earn a valuable SUNY master’s degree affordably in a flexible environment.

Cromarty also holds degrees from the Institute of Education-University of London (teaching and learning in post-secondary education), SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology (design and marketing) and West Virginia University (history). He also earned the CFA Society of the UK’s Investment Management Certificate and successfully completed the College for Financial Planning’s accredited wealth management advisor program.

He has been published several times as a researcher for the Jonestown Institute of San Diego State University, has taught as an adjunct for New School University and began working in education for FIT.

Along with his interests in education, Cromarty maintains Cromarty Market Research, a research and investment management business licensed with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities. His first business, Cromarty Designs, also is active in the bridal and fashion industry. 

Cromarty’s primary interests are in social sciences, behavioral sciences, education and management. He credits his understanding of society, culture and human behavior, and his ability to research, to be essential foundations.

Cromarty plans on continuing his career in education while continuing to develop his business endeavors.

About SUNY Empire State College

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 63,000 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.


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David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
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