Byline: Lee Hammel
WORCESTER - "Go, Susan, you can do it!" Gail E. Carberry, president of Quinsigamond Community College, said to Susan McKenna, who graduated with honors yesterday from the college.
Ms. McKenna, 44, of Sturbridge, was among 828 students to receive associate degrees and certificates at the community college.
Ms. Carberry participated in her first graduation ceremony since coming here from Springfield Technical Community College, where she had been a vice president.
Ms. McKenna, who has a scholarship to go to Mount Holyoke College next year, has dyslexia. Ms. Carberry knows Ms. McKenna can make it, because she too has dyslexia, a disorder that makes it hard to read. Ms. Carberry joked that when she graduated in 1970 from Worcester State College she had a 4.0 - total, not average - grade point index.
However, the David Prouty High School graduate went on to get master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Massachusetts.
Ms. McKenna dropped out of school in the ninth grade because of family problems, but has overcome those as well as the dyslexia to get her GED, and she picked up her associate's degree wearing the stole of an honors society member. Her form of dyslexia makes spelling particularly difficult.
Ms. McKenna's disability hurt her self-esteem so much that she didn't apply for a job as an executive secretary and became an office administrator instead. And she lived in fear that people would discover her terrible spelling. "That's the thing that Quinsig gave me - I'm not ashamed to tell you," she said.
Following are the graduates in the Class of 2007
Associate in Applied Science
Ashby: Richard Caron.
Auburn: Paul Soloperto.
Brookfield: Steven Scott.
Charlton: George Farrar.
Fitchburg: Mohamed Fnine.
Holden: Anthony Davenport and Daniel Thibeault.
Hubbardston: Jeremy Tobin.
Leicester: Mark Soojian.
Leominster: Richard Pearson.
Linwood: Michael Roy.
Lunenburg: Peter Schreiner.
Middleboro: Robert DelGiudice and Michael Lacroix.
North Grosvenordale: Kyle Morin.
Oxford: Bryan Nartowt.
Rochdale: Kevin Connor.
South Grafton: Stanley Matuzek.
Sterling: Gary Smith.
Sturbridge: Nicholas Gibney.
Townsend: Matthew Melnicki.
Webster: Jason Miller.
Westboro: Paul Snow.
Worcester: Steven McCrohon.
Associate in Arts
Ashland: Christopher Lage.
Athol: Olga Koulisis.
Auburn: Kimberlyn Evers, Nicole George, William Jessie, Michael Nowicki, Sarah Stuczko and Lynn Valerio.
Barre: Jennifer Bates and Shane Francoeur.
Berlin: Ashley Sullivan.
Boylston: Samantha Adelman and Karen Stanton.
Brookfield: Albert Cardenas and Sherrie Carroll.
Charlton: Brian Blozie, Tamara Kneeland, Katie Paige, Christine Porth, Laura Prunier, Christina Rehm and Crystal Zereski.
Cherry Valley: Katie Hennessy and Nicole Howard.
Clinton: Jennifer Chevalier and Adrienne Maillet.
Danvers: Arielle Stella.
Douglas: Ashley Chapman and Heather Freeman.
Dudley: Jaclyn Brown and Lindsay McMahan.
East Brookfield: Kelli Gemboski and Susan Hilton.
East Douglas: Melissa O'Hanlon.
Fiskdale: Susan McKenna.
Fitchburg: Tina Laramie.
Franklin: Loriann Driscoll.
Grafton: William Allen, Patrick Binienda, Ruth Phelps and Amanda Swanson.
Holden: Douglas Balko, Susan Berthiaume, James O'Neil, Kimberley Pulsifer, Greg Rosen and Ilyse Sugar.
Hopkinton: Rose McHugh.
Hudson: Lindsay Jordan and Tracey Pertarb.
Jefferson: Jeffrey Ezen, Emily Quist, Michael Sotak and Jessica VanWinkle.
Leicester: Jennifer Ducharme, Danielle Layden and Leo Le.
Leominster: Anh Nguyen.
Marlboro: Brianne Courtemanche, Rubyane Marques, Heather Olson and Ashley Seymour.
Milford: Melissa Lodi.
Millbury: Jenna Desimone, Francine Morton and Samantha Vigliatura.
North Grafton: Victoria Bachand, Charles Kagone and Timothy Roy.
Northboro: Sheena Carlin, Emilie Gagne, Sabrina Lanciault and Christopher Moreno.
Oxford: Bridget Lever, Lori Picard, Kraig Thebado and Kristy Walley.
Paxton: Mary Carlson.
Pleasantville: Joshua Teter.
Rutland: John Bell, Evan Deane, Robert Little and Karl-Erik Snickars.
Shrewsbury: Jill Bryant, Arsen Dimentberg, Judith Fallon, Angela Halloran, Stephanie Higgins, Theresa Mastrofillippo, Stephanie Pavone and Michelle Vieira.
Sidney: Jacob VanEvery.
South Barre: Rachel Pelkey.
Southbridge: Adam Alicea and Jessica Lopez.
Southington: Charles Remington.
Spencer: Fallyn Kauppila and Scott Witt.
Sterling: Karen Schiller.
Stow: Kellie Offeney.
Sudbury: Kathryn Fatherley.