Immediate: May 15, 2009
Alicia Steger 516.572.9634
Gary Jacobelli Named Valedictorian for the Class of 2009 at Nassau Community College
Garden City, NY – Gary Jacobelli, the valedictorian for Nassau Community College’s Class of 2009, will be the first to tell you that he was a less than serious student in high school. After graduating from Mepham High School in Bellmore in 2002, financial and other issues kept Gary from immediately continuing his education. Although he always loved science, at that time, Gary had his heart set on becoming a rock star. He decided to move to Boston and attend the Berklee College of Music. A roommate with a passion about mechanical engineering and friends who were deeply interested in everything from politics to physics inspired Gary to reevaluate his plans. He came back to Long Island and began saving for college.
Gary worked at a Dave and Busters and cared for his ailing grandmother, who has since passed away. By the summer of 2007, he had some money and plenty of motivation to return to school. Enter Nassau Community College. Gary was pleasantly surprised by what he ended up calling “an Ivy League community college” and “a magical place.” Although he took many different types of courses, Gary’s nurturing professors helped him focus his energies on what became his passion for science — particularly medicine. And Gary certainly took their encouragement to heart: While earning mostly ‘A’s in challenging courses, he found the time to be a volunteer EMT and president of the NCC Earth Science Field and Research Club. Gary also assists in ongoing neuroscience research at the Queens College Neuroscience lab under the supervision of a professor. He’s a recipient of SUNY Chancellor’s, Who’s Who and Student Activities awards, as well as being a member of the honor society.
This fall Gary will begin studies at Cornell University, a position he earned through his hard work and the assistance of the NCC Transfer Office. His intention is to major in nutritional and biological sciences at Cornell, move on to graduate and medical school and ultimately pursue a career that combines medicine and public health policy.