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Graphic depicting head-and-shoulders photos of two men in suits on a background of graduates.

Fayetteville Technical Community College is honored to welcome Mike Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health System, and Dr. Y. Sammy Choi, Director of the Department of Research at Womack Army Medical Center, as the keynote speakers for the College’s 60th Annual Commencement Exercises.

The two prominent healthcare figures will speak in separate ceremonies May 13 at the Crown Coliseum.

The public is welcome to attend both of FTCC’ commencement ceremonies in person. A live video stream of the ceremonies will also be available at

Nagowski is the keynote speaker for the 10 a.m. ceremony, addressing graduates of FTCC’s Public Service, Engineering & Applied Technology, Healthcare (Nursing and Allied Health Technologies) and Continuing Education programs.

Choi will deliver the keynote during the 2 p.m. ceremony for graduates from the Arts & Humanities, Business, Math & Sciences and Computer Information Technology programs.

Head-and-shoulders photo of a man in a suit overlaid on a background of graduates.

Nagowski has served as chief executive officer of Cape Fear Valley for 14 years, during which time the health system has expanded to one of the largest in the state, serving more than 1 million patients each year in facilities across four counties.

Since Nagowski’s arrival in 2008, Cape Fear Valley has earned numerous national quality recognitions, improved patient satisfaction scores and added a number of advanced clinical programs.

The system’s most recent projects include a new Center for Medical Education and Research, which will house and allow for expansion of Cape Fear Valley’s residency program. The center is expected to open this summer.

Nagowski, a native of Buffalo, New York, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Park University and his master’s degree in business administration from St. Bonaventure University.

Nagowski and his wife, Kim, have three children and two grandchildren.

Head-and-shoulders photo of a man in a suit overlaid on a background of graduates.

Choi has worked at Fort Bragg and Womack for over 32 years, holding various roles and often building programs. He founded the Department of Research in 2009 to serve the needs of the growing professional and graduate medical educational programs.

Choi founded the Cape Fear Research Consortium to build collaborative research with area institutions and through this effort has had a collaboratively funded effort with FTCC. In 2017, through a partnership between WAMC, Fort Bragg and the Geneva Foundation, the Fort Bragg Research Institute was created with a mission to optimize human performance and military readiness.

He also directs the Active Duty Type 1 Diabetes Clinic in support of service members at Fort Bragg and has co-directed the state’s first NextGen Health Sector Partnership, which launched in 2018.

Choi served in both the U.S. Army Reserve and in active duty service for 12 years. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.

He has been married for over 40 years and has eight children and several grandchildren.