Marlboro Grad Center graduates largest class

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BRATTLEBORO -- It was an afternoon of "wow" said one of Marlboro College Graduate School's most recent graduates, Pat Csurny.

Csurny, 64, who earned a master's of business administration in managing for sustainability, said she'll use her degree to help businesses change how they utilize resources.

"It's all about future generations," Csurny said.

During her commencement speech, she said the 27 months it took to finish graduate school flew by and that the experience was much like being pregnant.

"Hard labor, giving birth, and once the process is completed all that remains is the gift of life," she said. "And for me the gift has been an education that challenged and helped me grow beyond my wildest dreams."

The 14th graduation in the school's history, featuring its largest class ever, took a new turn this year, having the ceremony held at the Latchis Theater.

Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Marlboro College's president, said the change was a great success, especially the reception that followed at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden.

"It was fantastic to see the recessional march from the Latchis up to the River Garden," she said. "I've been very dedicated to making Marlboro Graduate School Brattleboro's college, and this move is another step in that direction."

There were 52 graduates in all -- 32 master's degrees, 16 graduate certificates and five people who finished their undergraduate degree, McCulloch-Lovell said.

Lisa Whalen, 43, earned two degrees last weekend, completing a master's in science information technologies and a master's of art in teaching Internet technologies.

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Whalen was honored for her work creating an educational reading program geared toward teens and adults at the ceremony.

"Having to carry around a children's book can be demeaning," Whalen said.

Her program, On My Own Reading, is a computer-based reading program that can be self-taught but works better with an assistant, she said.

"Parent's can use it for home schooling, teachers can use in their classroom, and the best part is it's reusable," Whalen said.

By purchasing individual reading difficulty levels, it makes the program more affordable, she said.

"Parent's need the tools to teach their children on a budget," Whalen said.

Angel Abuin, 38, was also honored for his work during his tenure.

A systems administration and tech lead for the virtual computer lab at New York University, Abuin designed and orchestrated a program that allows students to use the school's computer lab software remotely.

"Space for classes is limited," he said. "Transitioning from computer labs to online resources and providing apps allows students to use their necessary applications throughout their tenure at NYU."

Josh Stilts can be reached at jstilts@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.


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