On Dec. 21, 2012, faculty, staff, families, friends and graduates gathered at Maple Grove High School to celebrate many successes during the quarterly graduation ceremony for the Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus. Jana Gymer-Koch, campus director, welcomed all in attendance before passing the microphone off to the keynote speaker of the evening, Michael Zdychnec.
Zdychnec began his career in the health care field over 30 years ago and has had many positions in the industry during that period. He began teaching as an adjunct instructor for Minnesota School of Business in 2008 and is currently the health care program chair for both the Brooklyn Center and Elk River campuses. Just recently, he also assumed the position of executive program chair for health care management for Minnesota and South Dakota campuses in the Globe University/Minnesota School of Business network.
As Zdychnec addressed the graduates, he reminded everyone that “learning is a lifelong endeavor” and then proceeded to explain the three main lessons that he has learned over the years. He called these “Michael Z’s life lessons.”
Lesson number one: “Find your passion and follow it.” Zdychnec believes that more passionate people are needed in our world because those individuals are the ones that make a difference. Those passionate people have not only found what they love to do, but they continue to do it on a daily basis with their whole self.
Lesson number two: “Make the sacrifices that you might need to make.” He said, “Life is about sacrifice, some big and some little. We can’t do a lot by ourselves without a group of loving, caring, and committed people around us to achieve real success, by whatever definition of success you may want to use.” To illustrate this point, Zdychnec explained the life of being in a military family. Several military families would tell him that they do what they have to do back home while their soldier is away because that soldier is doing what they love to do. It’s about sacrifices.
Lesson number three: “Keep the faith and keep the perspective.” Zdychnec simply explained the following: “Try to see the good in things around you whenever you can. Make a difference when you can. Keep the faith, and keep a positive outlook even when others are thinking otherwise.”
While all three lessons were directed to the graduates, the advice was heard by everyone in attendance. Following Zdychnec’s speech, Dana Mueller addressed the audience as the student speaker. Mueller graduated with an associate degree in paralegal studies.
Mueller began her speech by explaining that she had failed her first attempt at a local community college shortly after graduating from high school. Two years went by, and she decided to call Minnesota School of Business to enroll in college. Mueller said that the phone call was “probably one of the best decisions of my life, because they got me on track to start the beginning of the rest of my life.”
Kofi Montzka, paralegal program chair, was given credit by Mueller for helping her to succeed and empowering her to “keep on reaching higher because if you try, nothing is impossible.”
Mueller secured a position at the The Law Office of Thomas D. Mottaz as a paralegal and is excited to continue her new career for many years to come.
After Mueller finished, Gymer-Koch announced two more awards that are given at a campus level on a yearly basis. The first award was faculty member of the year and was given to Michelle Rivard, AVID liaison and faculty. The second award was staff member of the year and was given to Kathy Chan, registrar.
Ann Deiman-Thornton, dean of faculty, concluded the ceremony by passing out the awards and the degrees. Congratulations and best wishes to all 30 graduates!