Now that it's summer vacation time, take a few minutes to bask in the reflected glow of Wagner's newest alumni, the class of 2012, and their legacy of academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to civic engagement.
Twenty-nine members of this class completed honor theses, and several received national recognition for their scholarly research. More than 100 of them studied abroad in 33 countries, ranging from Argentina to Thailand. While abroad, many committed themselves to public service, such as Eileen McPartlan and other nursing students who worked with refugees in Haiti, and Sierra Marantz, who supported the Pisgat Ze'ev community center in Jerusalem.
The class strongly participated in Wagner's broad tapestry of civic commitments across New York City and in Staten Island, particularly with our Port Richmond Partnership. Students like Lisa Imbriano, a Spanish major, spent hours tutoring Mexican children, and Jennifer Ida, a very talented anthropology major with minors in microbiology and Spanish, who worked closely with El Centro del Inmigrante in Port Richmond. Jennifer Claycombe worked with Make the Road New York, in Port Richmond, setting up friendship dinners between Mexican and African-American families to help reduce stereotyping and build mutual understanding.
The many academic, civic, campus, and athletic achievements of this class are becoming the building blocks of bright futures. Hugh Gilmore, who majored in Spanish and minored in French, studied in Argentina and France; he will pursue a master's in design in Milan, Italy. Jennie Riverso, an education student, will head to the Bank Street School in Manhattan to complete a master's in literacy. Jessica Verderosa will attend Fordham University's graduate program in English. Her honors thesis, “Vampires as Home-Wreckers: Gender Roles in 'Carmilla,' Dracula, and Coraline,” could become the latest film rage in a few years.
Rose Tobiassen, an anthropology major and a member of Habitat for Humanity, studied in Kenya and Peru. Next year, Rose will be studying at Durham University in England, pursuing a master's in development and anthropology. Joining her in England will be Lacey Flint, a history and education double major, who will start her master's program in museum and gallery studies at the University of Leicester. Yet more are headed to excellent law, dental, and medical schools.
Among those entering professional careers immediately are graduate students Maria DeSantis, Michael DiTommaso, Alexandra Ricciardi and Vincent DeLuca with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Lauren Pettinato, a Spiro Scholar, exemplifies our spectacular nursing students, who continue to meet the highest professional expectations with an ethic of care. She will begin her career at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
These young people face a time of great challenges in our global economy, in our environment, in issues of justice and opportunity, and in issues of war and peace. Along with the faculty and staff of this community, I have confidence that their commitment to learning and compassion for others will thaw the chill of these global problems, and set all of us on a path to a better world. They have my deepest affection and best wishes.