Atlantic Cape Community College awarded 854 associate in arts, associate in science and associate in applied science degrees at the school’s 49th commencement, Thursday, May 19. The Honorable H. Robert Switzer of Egg Harbor Township delivered the keynote address.
High honors student Kristina Krautblatt of Brigantine, who achieved a perfect 4.0 average, delivered the class farewell. Krautblatt earned an associate degree in psychology. She shared with graduates how she did not begin her college career until 20 years after high school, and did not want a traditional life. “I didn’t feel like high school was teaching me what I wanted to learn, and I thought college would be four more years of the same. So, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, all I knew is that I didn’t want to follow the traditional life path that is laid out for us,” Krautblatt said. “We are moldable, adaptable creatures. Our fears, attitudes, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us are not set in stone! We can continue to grow and learn at any age.”
Student Government Association President Katherine Melo of Mays Landing, who will transfer into the Nursing Program at Atlantic Cape, told the graduates: “Be bold and fearless. The world needs new, fresh ideas! The world needs you! Don’t conform or be afraid to try and fail. Failure is an important ingredient to success. Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. So take risks, challenge your fears and continue to broaden your horizons.”
Gloryvie Reyes and Terri Schieder received the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes an Atlantic Cape graduate who has distinguished him or herself through professional, personal, public or community-based accomplishments. Reyes graduated from Atlantic Cape in 2001 with associate degrees in psychology and general studies, and now works as a senior bilingual probation officer at Gloucester Country Probation Department. Schieder is a 1979 Atlantic Cape nursing graduate who went on to become an experienced health care executive in strategic and clinical operations, currently serving as vice president for Business Development and Clinical Integration at AtlantiCare Health System.
Matthew D. Moeller of Haddonfield, member of the Atlantic Cape Foundation Board of Trustees, received the President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award, which recognizes a current or past member of the board who has demonstrated leadership, advocacy and support on behalf of the college and its students.
Alma Albarran-Martinez of Hammonton was elected by the student body to serve as alumni representative to the college’s Board of Trustees, and was recognized.
Maria Ivette Torres, Board of Trustees chairperson, conferred and presented degrees to the graduates.