Garnett Salmon was chosen by his peers and professors to address his fellow graduates at Edison State’s first Fall Commencement held December 10th at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Garnett received his diploma for a Bachelor in Supervision and Management and spoke passionately about his journey:
“Tonight I stand among you, my mentors, my fellow graduates, and those future graduates, as an example of how to be successful in college. As an international student it has been a very rough road, getting accustomed to the life, the culture, the people, and of course the food. However, on top of that I needed to be a successful student and earn good grades. After struggling my first semester, I still had a fiery passion for success, which drove me to earn my Associates in Arts (AA) degree in one year. This achievement brought me much satisfaction, and a thirst for pursuing my studies further. If you are as stubborn as I am, in a positive way, you can achieve great things. I then earned my Associate in Science (AS) degree in Business Administration six months later. How did I do all this? Well, constant support of my Academic Advisor, and little sleep.
After these accomplishments, I did not hesitate to embark upon my current degree-Bachelors in Supervision and Management. There are many things that I am thankful for during my time at Edison State College. One of the most valuable was the interaction with my professors both in and out of the classroom. Not only do they impart the knowledge of the courses in an effective and interactive manner, but they also bring us real world comparisons and examples. Many of the examples they share are ones they’ve experienced themselves. I was able to see the connections between the theory and practical applications of this degree, preparing me for the next step in my career.
Online courses and blended classes were another aspect of my studies that I believe made the program more manageable. This facilitates many of our students having a full time day job. For me, being a professional musician, always on the road, these class options were ideal. Blended classes for me were quite effective, as the class sessions compliment my independent study. Additionally, it teaches us ‘responsibility’ and ‘discipline’ which we need as graduates going out in the working world.
I have displayed the knowledge and skills I have adapted from my professors in my role of being the president of the West Indian Student Association (W.I.S.A.), which I am proud to say, is currently the club of the year 2008-2009. Many techniques and tactics from my courses were applicable to being an effective leader of this group. The constant positive results and rewards motivated me to study harder and created a hunger for knowledge.
In closing, to the faculty and staff of Edison State College, thank you for the many opportunities and caring concern you have provided us throughout the years. We strived to make you proud. To future graduates, toil on, seek the help you need, and earn what you deserve. And to my fellow graduates, to paraphrase II Timothy 4:7 “We have fought the fight, we’ve kept the faith, and we’ve finished this race”.