Ms. Katherine Maciol, president/CEO of the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO), Troy, NY, served as the University at Albany School of Public Health’s commencement speaker at the school’s May 17 ceremony. A recognized expert in the fields of child welfare and mental hygiene, Ms. Maciol shared with the graduates what she has learned during her career of over 30 years in the human services field with the hope to provide insight, ideas, and inspiration to the graduates.
As President and CEO of a $21 million private, nonprofit community action agency, Ms. Maciol spoke about innovation, partnerships, and community in her address to the graduates. She emphasized innovation in public health will result from partnerships and collaborative relationships between community organizations and government entities and help to reduce costs and improve service delivery systems. She encouraged the graduates to “be the one to take a program or organization to the next level and seek out those connections.”
In closing, Ms. Maciol encouraged the graduates to learn about the communities they will serve, telling them “when you emotionally invest in the people and the places around you, you will naturally become a more caring, more educated, and more grounded professional, better equipped to think strategically and make a difference.” And she reminded them to “take care of you.”
Prior to joining CEO, Ms. Maciol served as the commissioner of the Rensselaer County (NY) Department of Mental Health, overseeing the delivery of services to individuals with mental illness, mental retardation, and developmental disabilities, and those in need of substance abuse services. She earned her master’s in social work (MSW) from the University at Albany School of Social Welfare.