Maciarello Addresses Wor-Wic Graduates
May 10, 2012

During commencement ceremonies for Wor-Wic Community College at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello spoke about how his experience as a Wor-Wic student gave him “a taste of success, a solid educational foundation, better writing, logic and reasoning skills, and most of all, encouragement.”

While encouraging this year’s graduates to thank themselves for all of their hard work, Maciarello also reminded the graduates to thank others who helped along the way.

Maciarello then shared some things that he has learned since his time at Wor-Wic. He told the students that “the first and most important is the value of reflection and planning.”

He encouraged the graduates to “reflect and decide upon what you stand for,” to “reflect and meditate about where you want to go from here” and “define your goals.”

“Every day we have a choice. You can start off your day reflecting on your plan and choose to adhere to your principles and your values that you have adopted and you value, not the ones that the world and others acting upon you and against you, choose for you,” Maciarello said.

“Try to love life and find work you love,” Maciarello added. “I love being a lawyer. I truly and honestly believe that being a lawyer is one of the things that God intended me to be. Practicing law, writing and reasoning, matching my work product against another lawyer in open court, and using my talents now in service to my county and my state to protect my family and your family – for me this is not work, it’s my passion, it’s my bliss. My work is a part of me, and I hope that one day you can find a synergy and connection with your work because there’s true happiness when you can match your talents and your desires with what you must to do to earn a living wage for your families.”

Next, he encouraged the graduates to work hard and maintain a balance by also focusing on the other things they value in life like family, friends, religion and recreation.

“Don’t be afraid to move, don’t be afraid to take risks,” Maciarello continued. “I encourage you to wear your successes, along with failures like souvenirs from your journey – because your failures should tell you and the world that you have the guts to take the chance….”

Maciarello concluded by thanking everyone and saying that “in all honesty, being asked to speak at my own alma mater, the place that gave me my start, is among the highest honor I could ever receive.”

Morgan Hazel, chairperson of Wor-Wic’s board of trustees, introduced the commencement speaker, members of the board of trustees and other guests on stage. After the commencement address by Maciarello, Dr. Ray Hoy, college president, presented him with a plaque on behalf of the 2012 graduating class.

Dr. Stephen L. Capelli, vice president for academic and student affairs, introduced the student speaker, Sgt. Aaron Genter of Berlin, a combat medic for the Maryland Army National Guard. Genter graduated from Wor-Wic with an associate degree in nursing.

Addressing the Class of 2012, Genter shared a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It was because of this message, Genter added, that “I decided to be that change I wanted to see. I became an instrument of change, duty, motivation, dedication and scholarship.”

Genter spoke about his involvement in the college’s Alpha Nu Omicron chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society: “In joining Phi Theta Kappa, I was able to further my desire to do my best and try to make a positive difference in other’s lives through kindness and selfless service…. I learned to become a better student, a better leader, scholar, and most importantly, to be a team player.”

Genter served as the chapter’s vice president of scholarship in 2010. In 2011, he received the Distinguished Chapter Officer Hallmark Award at the PTK Middle States Regional Convention. Genter has served as treasurer of the nursing student organization and he helped to found the college’s Veterans Group, for which he also served as treasurer. During his time at Wor-Wic, he was also a student ambassador, and a student worker in the financial aid office.

"I can say through the faculty and staff at Wor-Wic, I find hope, determination, inspiration and integrity…. I have grown more as a person, a student and a man in the past three years than I have in the past 10 of my life. I owe all of my accomplishments to the individuals at Wor-Wic that had confidence and faith in me when I did not have it in myself. Wor-Wic has instilled in me the drive and the desire to reach for that next step in my life.”

“Wor-Wic has also given me the opportunity to touch and help countless lives through my completion of my associate degree. While being a registered nurse here on the Eastern Shore, Wor-Wic will be the reason for all the hearts I touch and lives I change through my medical career. Wor-Wic is the reason I will be able to say on this day I have followed my dream, I have completed my degree, and will now be able to finally give that altruistic care and compassion I that have longed to my whole life.”

In concluding his speech, Genter used Wor-Wic's slogan, “Start Here, Go Anywhere!” to remind his fellow graduates that “We have started at Wor-Wic, we have finished at Wor-Wic, and now, well now only the sky is the limit…. We have the tools, the knowledge and the dedication. So, I challenge you...to realize it is never too late to follow your heart or your dreams...[and to] be that change you want to see in the world.”

After graduating from Wor-Wic, Genter plans to pursue a master’s degree in nursing.

General studies was the most popular major among members of the graduating class. Receiving an associate degree in general studies Alex Tingle, 15, of Salisbury, is the youngest student to graduate from Wor-Wic since the college was founded 37 years ago.

When Tingle was in the fourth grade, test results from Johns Hopkins University indicated that he was in the top one percent in all academic areas. Because regular elementary school and homeschooling curricula weren’t academically challenging enough for Tingle, his parents investigated many options and decided it would be beneficial for him to attend Wor-Wic part time.

At the age of 10, Tingle enrolled in his first college class at Wor-Wic. To make sure he was acclimating well, his mom and dad took turns accompanying him to his first few classes. He quickly took to math and science and eventually began taking honors classes.

Tingle plans to attend the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University this fall to major in business and minor in economics. Ultimately, he sees himself attending law school.

Also receiving an associate degree in general studies, Mark Culver, 17, of Salisbury, graduated from Wor-Wic before he will receive his high school diploma later this month – because he took advantage of the college’s dual enrollment program. Culver’s older brother, Matt Adkins, did the same thing in 2005.

A Wicomico High School student, Culver chose dual enrollment so that he could get a head start at completing the first two years of a four-year degree and to save money on higher education costs. He plans to transfer to Salisbury University to major in biology and mathematics.

Following general studies, nursing was the second most popular major this year, followed by education. Other graduates received degrees or certificates in accounting, business, chemical dependency counseling, computer studies, construction engineering technology, criminal justice, electronics, emergency medical services, hotel-motel-restaurant management, manufacturing, office technology, radiologic technology, science and turf management.

The majority of the graduates were from Salisbury or other parts of Wicomico County, followed by Worcester and Somerset counties. Graduates were also from Dorchester, Caroline, Talbot and other counties in Maryland, as well as from nearby states.

In addition to the speakers, dignitaries included members of the college's board of trustees, Andrew W. Booth, D. Gary Boggs and Martin T. Neat of Salisbury, Velda E. Henry of Berlin and Russell W. Blake of Pocomoke City; Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt Jr. of Allen; members of the Wicomico County Council, Joe Holloway of Parsonsburg, president, Gail M. Bartkovich and Bob Culver, both of Salisbury; and members of the Worcester County Commissioners, Bud Church, president, of Ocean City, Judy Boggs of Berlin and Virgil L. Shockley of Snow Hill. Other guests included Sen. Richard F. Colburn, R-37, of Cambridge; Sen. James N. Mathias Jr., D-38, of Ocean City; Del. Norman H. Conway, D-38B, of Salisbury; Del. Michael A. McDermott, R-38B, of Pocomoke City; Del. Charles J. Otto, R-38A, of Princess Anne; and Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt, R-37B, of Cambridge. Pastor Brian Moss of Salisbury gave the invocation and benediction.

FROM SOUTHERN WORCESTER. Del. Michael A. McDermott, R-38B, of Pocomoke City, and Virgil L. Shockley of Snow Hill, a member of the Worcester County Commissioners, congratulate some of the graduates from southern Worcester County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. From left, next to Shockley, are Victoria Overholt of Pocomoke City, an office technology graduate, Katherine Bailey of Snow Hill, a chemical dependency counseling graduate, and Allen Payne of Pocomoke City, a science transfer graduate.

FROM OCEAN CITY. Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. of Ocean City congratulates some of the graduates from Ocean City who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. From left, next to Mathias, are Nicole Wright, a general studies graduate, Michael Heilman, a general studies graduate, and Ebenezer Kassa, a science transfer graduate.

FROM BERLIN. Velda E. Henry of Berlin, a member of the board of trustees at Wor-Wic Community College, congratulates some of the graduates from Berlin who received their associate degrees at commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. From left, next to Henry, are her daughter, Stephanie Henry, a general studies graduate, and Aaron Genter, a nursing graduate.

SOMERSET GRADUATES. Del. Charles J. Otto, R-38A, of Princess Anne, congratulates some of the graduates from Somerset County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. From left next to Otto are Amber Lee of Dames Quarter, an education graduate, Vernetta Mason of Princess Anne, an education graduate, and Christopher Goldsborough of Crisfield, a general studies graduate.

WICOMICO GRADUATES. Richard M. Pollitt Jr. of Allen, Wicomico County executive, and Joe Holloway of Parsonsburg, president of the Wicomico County Council, congratulate some of the graduates from Wicomico County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. From left, next to Holloway, are Lindsay James of Fruitland, an education graduate, Alex Tingle of Salisbury, a general studies graduate, and Mark Culver of Salisbury, a general studies graduate.

FROM THE UPPER SHORE. Sen. Richard F. Colburn, R-37, of Cambridge,
congratulates Sharlene Harris of Hurlock, an office technology graduate, and Danelle Bramble-Kaneko of Cambridge, a general studies graduate, at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

ON STAGE. Some of the officials seated on stage for Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center are shown, from left, Morgan Hazel of Hebron, chairperson of the board of trustees at Wor-Wic; Dr. Ray Hoy of Salisbury, president of the college; Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello of Salisbury who was the commencement speaker; Bud Church of Ocean City, president of the Worcester County Commissioners; Joe Holloway of Parsonsburg, president of the Wicomico County Council; and Richard M. Pollitt Jr. of Allen, Wicomico County executive.

WICOMICO COUNCIL. Wicomico County officials attended Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. Shown in the front row from left, are Joe Holloway, president of the Wicomico County Council, Gail M. Bartkovich, a member of the council, and Richard M. Pollitt Jr., Wicomico County executive. Shown in the back row, from left, are council member Bob Culver and Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello.