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May 15, 2010

Mary O’Neil Is Named 2010 Valedictorian At Farmingdale State

Leads the College's First Class of BS Nursing Graduates

Mary O'Neil, a BS nursing major and Amity Harbor resident, has been named valedictorian of the 2010 Farmingdale State College graduating class. She will present the valedictory address during commencement exercises on Sunday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. in Nold Hall.

O'Neil, who holds a 3.98 grade point average and has been a member of the President's List throughout her tenure at Farmingdale State, received the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. She served as co-president of the Student Nurses Association (SNA), of which she was previously co-secretary.  A student member of the Nursing Department Simulation Committee, she is also member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing. In 2008, she was hired as a student assistant in the College's nursing lab.

From her very first semester at Farmingdale State, O'Neil, who was home-schooled up until college, served as a leader. In working with the Farmingdale faculty, she quickly blossomed into a highly effective and persuasive communicator.

O'Neil went on to provide faculty with new ideas with which to meaningfully educate undergraduates, and to offer instructional support staff suggestions to build more student-friendly experiences. As a volunteer, she worked with freshman nursing students, helping to develop in them a clear understanding of a professional nurse's role.

Recently, O'Neil was selected to provide testimonial to "The Power of SUNY" as Chancellor Nancy Zimpher rolled out her strategic plan for the State University.

Upon graduation, O'Neil plans to work in critical care in an intensive care unit at one of the region's top hospitals. And in the not-too-distant future, she plans to pursue graduate studies.

The 2010 commencement marks the first year of BS nursing class graduates at Farmingdale State. In addition, this year 1,064 students will be eligible to participate in commencement. Alumnus Robert Ench, who will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters, will deliver the keynote address.