The SJC Long Island Class of 2021 commencement speakers have an important message for their fellow graduates: never stop serving your community.
Yicel E. Moreno ’21 and Michael V. DeCicco ’18 ’21, the respective undergraduate and graduate speakers, congratulated their classmates on their monumental achievement of completing their studies amid a pandemic and stressed the importance of service during their speeches at the Office of Student Life’s virtual “A Toast to Our Graduates,” held the night before graduation on June 3.
“We have become experts in technology,” said Moreno, who majored in child study with a concentration in speech. “We have learned how to use technology and social media to spread awareness and connect with the world.
“We are the generation who will take advantage of today’s technological advancements to reshape this world,” she continued. “As we do so, let us remember the motto of our college, ‘Esse non videri – To be, not to seem.’ We must make a commitment now that we will be of service to others in the future.”
DeCicco, who earned his second SJC degree this spring — an MBA in Health Care Management — reflected on his experience working as an employee relations specialist for Northwell Health during the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his colleagues managed a virtual visit command center to help patients connect with their loved ones via FaceTime, Zoom and Skype while state social distancing mandates caused the hospital to pause in-person visits.
“This experience has taught me the true definition of service,” DeCicco said. “And (it taught me) the importance of incorporating this into my everyday life as a son, brother, friend, boyfriend, co-worker and leader in both my professional and personal life.”
He challenged his classmates to join him in a life dedicated to service by asking themselves four questions every day: Have you checked in with the people you love today? Have you helped someone recently? Have you taken responsibility for the impact you have on others? Is there more you could have done or can do?
“We, the Class of 2021, can be doing these things daily to live a life of service,” DeCicco said.
Celebrating the Class of 2021
Christopher R. Carroll ’88, Esq., president of SJC’s board of trustees, joined the student speakers in congratulating the Class of 2021.
“I remember the days leading up to my graduation — how special they were and how special tomorrow will be for you,” Carroll said. “I’m really grateful to be part of this with you.”
Carroll announced SJC Long Island’s recipient of the inaugural Donald R. Boomgaarden Leadership in Action award, which honors a student from each campus who has embraced characteristics of positive leadership, have continuously displayed traits that contribute to a positive campus environment and who have supported connections between various campus groups aimed to enhance the quality of student life. It’s named for the St. Joseph’s current president.
Carly Credidio, the recipient of the award, holds all these qualities, and more. Credidio, a business administration major, has a passion for service. She was a three-time orientation leader, served as the operations manager of the Campus Activities Board, and was president of Students Taking an Active Role in Society and captain of the women’s soccer team. Throughout the course of her SJC experience, Credidio attended multiple alternative spring break trips, volunteered for the Special Olympics and worked as a volunteer coach in the Sachem Youth Soccer League.
SJC Long Island’s Class of 2021 is bursting with accomplished graduates, prepared to move on to the next chapter of their lives. The pre-commencement toast gave the college the opportunity to celebrate the class’ unique achievements during the academic journeys.
“Congratulations to all of you,” said Eileen White Jahn, Ph.D., executive dean and professor at SJC Long Island. “On behalf of all the faculty, I want to say we are all very proud of you and we congratulate you tremendously.”