Frostburg grads take cues for future

May 31, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ


From a planeful of passengers to a roomful of children, Jeffrey Cohen of Hagerstown is launching a new career.

He was an airline pilot, most recently for Independence Air, which went bankrupt.

On Tuesday, he received his master of arts degree in teaching from Frostburg State University. He said teaching seems like a good family occupation. Besides, he loves kids.

Others who graduated Tuesday at The Maryland Theatre received master's degrees in business administration and education. A handful received bachelor's degrees from Frostburg's College of Business and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The commencement program listed more than 100 degree candidates, but about 45 walked across the stage to pick up bachelor's degrees or have master's hoods draped around their necks.


Keynote speaker JoEllen Barnhart, associate director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown campus, which includes Frostburg State, gave the graduates an easy parting assignment.

She instructed them to say "I believe" when she said "future," "to the Batmobile" when she said "economy," and "Hallelujah" when she said "graduation."

Lewis Muth, director of Frostburg State University services, held up cue cards as reminders.

Barnhart's speech touched on the 19 ways a person can smile, the hardships students conquered to get diplomas and "The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People" by David Niven, such as "Understand that life has purpose and meaning" and "Believe in yourself."

"Find that place from which poetry flows within you and go out and share it with the rest of the world," Barnhart added.

For Trey Cobb of Hagerstown, it's teaching lessons in a classroom or as a baseball coach. He was glad to do his student teaching at Salem Avenue Elementary School, which he attended as a child.

Celebrating outside with her family, Tammara Sharperson Randall of Hagerstown said her bachelor's degree in sociology fulfilled a goal she's had for 25 years.

A Gulf War Army veteran, she said she'll continue working as a behavioral specialist at Brook Lane Health Services.

Her four children - Chesmond, 16; Chesney, 12; Christine, 10; and Chester, 7 - took turns posing with her as family friend Julie Fitz snapped pictures.

"It was quite a challenge," Randall said. "I had to work at least eight hours a day, then come home and work at least eight more, with (children's) homework and school activities."

Her own homework squeezed the last hours out of her day, she said.

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