|Robert Schultheis||Megan Ozman|
SALISBURY, MD---Most Salisbury University graduates walk on stage at commencement once, maybe twice if they continue on to graduate school at their Alma Mater.
On Saturday, December 14, Robert Schultheis makes his 10th appearance on stage during SU’s 88th-year Fall Commencement, scheduled 10:30 a.m. at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.
In addition to earning his B.S. in elementary education from SU in 2000, Schultheis has been a familiar face among the stage party at the University’s semi-annual commencement ceremonies since 2009 as president of the SU Alumni Association board of directors. In that capacity, he congratulated graduating students, offering them a small gift and welcoming them into the association. Having stepped down from that position earlier this year, he receives the Alumni Leadership Award at the December ceremony.
In addition to Schutheis, the association also honors four SU faculty at Commencement with its annual Faculty Appreciation Awards. This year’s recipients are Robert Smith of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Dr. Kimberly Hunter of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, Dr. Jill Caviglia-Harris of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and Dr. Starlin Weaver of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.
The Commencement speaker is Megan Ozman of Trappe, MD, who receives her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. Having earned her B.A. in English from SU in 2008, she said she never considered any other schools when deciding to return to pursue a master’s degree.
“I loved the one-on-one support I received at SU,” she said. “I can’t say enough about how wonderful SU is.”
Much of her admiration stemmed from her instructors. She praised faculty including her advisor, Dr. Nancy Michelson (“my biggest cheerleader”), Dr. Ron Dotterer (“I was scared to death of Shakespeare until I took his class”), Dr. Maida Finch (“so intelligent and very understanding of the demands placed upon graduate students”), Dr. Kimberly McCormick (“an asset to SU”), Dr. Kristen Walton (“she taught me that standing on desks and speaking in accents are surefire methods of captivating your students”) and Ron Siers, who led her first education class at SU (“I will never forget what he taught us about reaching out to students who desperately need it”).
The seventh-grade language arts teacher at Colonel Richardson Middle School in Federalsburg, MD, said she was inspired to pursue a career in education by those who taught her as a student in the Caroline County Public School System and the many hats they wore.
“You’re a social worker. You’re a counselor. You’re a nurse. You’re a liaison between school and home. If I can help just one child, that’s worth it to me.”
She offered the following advice to her fellow graduates, many of whom are in the same position she was five years ago, about to begin their post-college careers:
“Make positive connections everywhere you go. You never know; the person you strike up a conversation with at the gas station might be a CEO in search of an employee just like you. Always be friendly and treat everyone with respect.
“The job market is more competitive now than ever. Do not take your job for granted. Arrive at work on time, have a positive attitude, accept feedback graciously, do more than you are required to, support your fellow staff members and strive for perfect attendance. People notice and value these traits.
“Prayer is a powerful thing. If you are healthy and blessed, give thanks with a grateful heart. If you are weary and troubled, pray for your burden to be lifted. Never underestimate the power of faith.”
Among undergraduates, 550 students receive the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. Some 95 receive master’s degrees.
Admission to Commencement is by ticket only. A reception at the Civic Center follows. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.