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Fraser, Macomb County

Published December 20, 2013

Fraser resident named MCC’s Most Distinguished Graduate

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Charles Cammarata, of Fraser, addresses fellow graduates during the Macomb Community College graduation ceremony Dec. 14 at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on the college’s Center Campus in Clinton Township. Cammarata was named as the school’s Most Distinguished Graduate for the fall 2013 semester.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Charles Cammarata had a similar story to many other hard-working employees who felt the burden of Michigan’s economic downturn.

The Fraser resident was laid off from his job. Needing to get back on his feet, Cammarata returned to the classroom at Macomb Community College through the Michigan Works No Worker Left Behind program.

After much hard work and dedication to his schooling, Cammarata was named as the college’s Most Distinguished Graduate for the fall 2013 semester.

On Dec. 14, Cammarata addressed his fellow graduates during the commencement ceremony at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on the college’s Center Campus in Clinton Township. According to school officials, about 1,270 associate degrees were granted.

Cammarata received an associate of applied science degree in climate control technology. In addition to his MCC degree, Cammarata received a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and management from Ferris State University.

School officials select a Most Distinguished Graduate every semester.

“Macomb Community College is a place filled with inspiring stories,” James Sawyer, MCC provost and senior vice president, Learning Unit, said in a prepared statement. “Charles Cammarata is a fine example of that. He used education to reinvent himself and, while here, was a student leader.”

“I guess I was a little shocked but mostly happy I guess,” Cammarata, 38, said of the honor. 

Cammarata plans to look for a job that will utilize his skills. He also plans to continue with classes at MCC.

Cammarata began classes at MCC in 2010, and since January 2012, was concurrently enrolled at both Macomb and Ferris State, attending Ferris classes at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren.

“My first class, I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be or if I would like it,” Cammarata said. “After my first couple of classes, I realized I liked it. I got a lot of encouragement from the instructors.”

Cammarata took school very seriously.

“I treated school like it was my job,” he said. “I went to class every day. I did what I was supposed to do.”

While at Macomb, Cammarata was inducted in to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

“There were a few basic criteria you have to meet,” he said. “Your involvement is really up to you. I just felt a close connection with the other members right away.”

The members bonded over various community service projects.

“We determined a need in the community — how we can best serve the community,” he said.

MCC officials host two commencement ceremonies each year: one in December and one in May.

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