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Commencement 2016 preview: Meet the student speakers
May 16, 2016Tweet
Ten students have been selected to represent their fellow graduates as speakers at Commencement ceremonies being held in the Events Center throughout Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22. Here is a brief look at the speakers:
Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science
8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21
Tyler Mehlman, a native of Merrick, N.Y., will receive his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. While at Binghamton, he has conducted research on coatings for electronic circuitry and served as team lead for a capstone project to design a passenger capsule capable of traveling at high speeds through evacuated tubing. Also a Student Advisory Committee member for his department, he was a resident assistant and an undergraduate course assistant.
Following graduation, Mehlman heads to Thailand for the summer to conduct research. He’ll return to Binghamton in the fall to being a dual-degree program with a university in Thailand, spending half of his time over the next two years at Binghamton and half in Thailand, to complete master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and chemical engineering.
“I’ve been happy here at Binghamton,” he said. “I’ve only had good experiences here, and I’m taking opportunities as they come.”
Tremayne Stewart, who chose Binghamton because of its accelerated BS/MS program, is receiving his bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering this spring, and will complete his master’s degree in computer engineering next year. He is the president of the campus chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, has been an advisor and mentor for the Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP) and took first place in the 2014 Coding for a Cause Hackathon, and second place in the 2016 B-Innovate Idea Pitch competition.
A transfer to Binghamton, Stewart compared a number of programs before choosing to attend here. He’s spend the summer as an intern for Lockheed Martin’s space systems program in Littleton, Colo., before returning to the Watson School for his final year.
He has worked with Binghamton’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships and his dream, he said, is “to be entrepreneurial,” such as through the Hackathon app he created to help organizations engage their members.
College of Community and Public Affairs
Noon Saturday, May 21
Nicolette Roselli, from Montgomery, N.Y., transferred to Binghamton’s College of Community and Public Affairs after one semester at another school. “I wanted to go to the best SUNY school,” she said.
While at Binghamton, she has volunteered at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, interned at the Willow Point Nursing Home, taught Sunday School at a local church, mentored middle-school students in Johnson City and been an Admissions Student Ambassador, among her many activities.
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human development and a minor in health and wellness studies, Roselli will apply to nursing schools following Commencement.
“I chose human development as a major because I’ve always wanted to help people, and becoming a nurse will also allow me to do that,” she said.
Recipient of the 2015 CAMERA’s David Bar Ilan Award for Outstanding Campus Leadership, Justin Hayet will receive his master’s degree in public administration (MPA), after earning his bachelor’s degree in political science from Binghamton University one year ago. On campus, he was been the graduate student representative to the CCPA Advisory Committee and vice president of the MPA Graduate Student Union. He was also Freshman Class Council President. He has been heavily involved with Hillel at Binghamton and served as campus recruitment intern for the Masa Israel Journey.
Off campus, he was a fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America for two years, was a freelance communications and public relations associate for Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and interned at the Baltimore Jewish Times and for the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.
He fell in love with Binghamton near the vending machines in the library while on a tour, he said. “I saw myself here. Binghamton chose me and it’s been a great experience.”
School of Management
2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21
Jacob “Jake” Weiss, from Chappaqua, N.Y., will receive his bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in history. Jake chose Binghamton for a number of reasons, not the least being accepted as a PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) Scholar. Recipient of the School of Management Student of the Year Award in 2015, he has been active on campus as president of the PwC Scholars Program, project manager for the PwC Scholars’ Our Space project to install an all-accessible play space in Binghamton’s Recreation Park, and on the Binghamton University champion and national finalist team in the PwC xTax Competition. He spent his Fall 2015 semester at Bond University on the Gold Coast of Australia! He has also hosted a sports radio show on campus radio station WHRW since fall 2012, and twice directed the Ignite Competition, raising a total of $13,000 for the PwC Scholars.
He spent the past two summers working first for Guggenheim Securities as a summer analyst, actively learning about investment banking, and then for PwC Advisory as a summer associate, helping to implement a finance transformation strategy for a large medical technology company following a multi-billion dollar acquisition.
He will start the next phase of his life with a trip to South America with some friends, followed by serving as a staff member for a cross-country teen tour that will visit 30 states. Upon his return, he will begin his career as a management consultant for PwC in New York City, and cannot wait to begin the next stage of his life.
Decker School of Nursing
6 p.m. Saturday, May 21
Camryn Benjamin was accepted into seven nursing schools before settling on the Decker School of Nursing, and “I never regretted it once,” she said. “I’m lucky I chose here.” She will receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
On campus, she served as a nursing tutor, managed the payroll for over 100 students in the University’s tour guide program and was a tour guide herself. She also served as team leader for a community health assessment of Broome County, N.Y., assessing the effects of obesity in the county with emphasis on nutrition, recreation and marketing.
Her off-campus activities revolved around healthcare, working as a homecare aide and also as a patient care technician at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y. Her clinical experience spanned departments of oncology, psychiatry, community health, medical/surgical, pediatric, maternal/newborn and geriatric at locations in Syracuse, Binghamton, Towanda, Pa., and Endicott, N.Y.
After she passes her NCLEX-RN exam in June, she will begin a position as a full-time registered nurse at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, where she will work on the surgical unit with an oncology focus.
An officer in the United States Army, as well as a married mother of four, Estacy Porter was selected for a program that would send her to graduate school. A licensed registered nurse in New York, Virginia and Georgia – where she was based at the time – she chose to attend the Decker School of Nursing “because of its proximity to the Bronx, where I was raised and my parents still live,” she said.
She already holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University and a master’s in nursing education from Liberty University, and will cross the stage to receive her community health nurse practitioner degree. She holds certifications in pediatric advanced lifesaving, advanced public health, basic cardiac life support, trauma nurse care and ambulatory care nursing, and her professional experience is extensive.
She is a Graduate Student Nurse Academy liaison to the American College of Nursing; and has been a public health advisor for the 14th Combat Support Hospital; a pediatric health consultant, child youth service program manager and health consultant, and a staff development educator for the Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, Ga. She also served as a registered nurse at Brian Allgood Community Hospital in Yonsang, Korea, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga.
As for the future, she will continue at the Decker School next year, expecting to earn her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner degree in May 2017. After that, she will await orders from the Army of where she will be stationed next.
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
Sunday, May 22
Zoe Liebmann, from Fair Lawn, N.J., will receive her bachelor’s degree in political science with plans to attend graduate school following Commencement. She chose Binghamton because of a sense of comfort after her tour. “Everyone is so helpful and you never have someone not hold a door open for you.”
Her on-campus activities have been many. She has been a senior consultant in the Public Speaking Lab since 2012, news director and producer for the student-run BTV television station since 2013, a member of the Student Conduct Board since 2014 and a member of the Student Association Judicial Board since 2015.
In addition, she has been an event planner and program coordinator for Harpur Edge, organizing more than 30 networking and social event between students and alumni, a teaching assistant for political science and a news intern off campus for Fox 40 News (WICZ TV). She has also shadowed Sunny Hostin ’90, a lawyer best known as a legal analyst for major networks including CNN, ABC and Fox.
She plans to “get out of her comfort zone because you make the most amazing experiences when you do,” she said. Following graduation, she will be studying for the LSAT and GRE exams and hopes to have a career where she can work with people and utilize her public speaking skills, perhaps in news.
Elizabeth “Eliza” Gellis, from Flushing, Mich., will receive her bachelor’s degree in English, general literature and rhetoric. For her, Binghamton has been “the perfect mix of size, the opportunity to live in a different part of the country, and excitement about its Jewish population,” she said. “It was fate and has everything I want.”
She has been a teaching assistant, completed an honors thesis titled “Premodern Female Rhetorics” and presented at a National Collegiate Honors Council conference. She is a Binghamton University Scholar and directed the program’s student art gallery.
Her extracurricular involvement has been extensive, including serving on the Hillel Assembly as director of iNext (Birthright) and director of unity/major events. She has also served on the Hillel Pluralism Council as co-leader of Reform Jews of Hillel, and on the Shabbat Team and Student Group Outreach Team. She has been a member of the executive board of the Binghamton University Fencing Club; an active member of Dickinson Community Players, involved in directing as well as costuming and makeup; and filled costuming and makeup roles for Hinman Production Company as well.
After Commencement, she will attend Purdue University on a full-tuition scholarship to earn her master’s degree in English with plans to pursue the PhD. Her hope is to teach at a University.
Robin Stieglitz, from White Plains, N.Y., will receive dual bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and in French, with minors in education and comparative literature. She originally had her heart set on attending another university, but found that everyone at Binghamton “was so passionate about academic interests as well as extracurricular interests that it was a nice balance.”
Her activities show that she took advantage of the broad range of possibilities while a student. She has been a tour guide, a French tutor for the Campus Pre-School & Early Childhood Center, a student-athlete tutor in both Spanish and French, a front-desk worker at the Admissions Center and a teaching assistant for Spanish and theatre courses. She also held several executive positions for a number of organizations, including vice president for Hinman Production Company; treasurer and vice president for the a cappella group No Strings Attached; president of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honor society; secretary and co-president for Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Language honor society; leader of the Community Based Council for Hillel; and social vice president for Hunter Hall.
Off campus, she served as a social media and language intern for Terranga, a start-up company, and was a trip leader supervising teenage campers on humanitarian projects in Ecuador and Costa Rica.
She will attend Columbia Teachers College in the fall, pursuing her master’s degree in bilingual/bicultural education.