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Graduates value lessons from beyond the classroom

Life lessons about teamwork and tolerance are among the most important pieces of knowledge the Class of 2006 will take with them, graduates said last weekend.

Syracuse resident Rebecca Meseroll, a biochemistry major, will attend Dartmouth University to pursue a doctorate in molecular biology.

“The most important things you take out of college are about learning how to relate with people,” she said. “I realize now

how useful it was to live with other people my age and be able to strike out on my own and solve my own problems.”

Milton Biswas and Anindita Sarkar, Watson School graduates from India who married in 2004, received MBAs on Saturday. They often worked on the same team for class projects, though they occasionally got a taste of competing against each other, too.

Biswas, 26, was working full time for Johnson Outdoors while

attending school. He said his wife’s help was key to his success in the program.

“We had a great team,” he said. Sarkar, 28, finished with a 3.63 GPA, one point above her husband’s 3.53, she noted with a smile.

Political science major Mike Blair of Far Rockaway plans to attend law school.

“The most valuable thing I have learned is not to judge a book by its cover,” he said. “Bingham

ton has made me more tolerant of other people because of its commitment to diversity.”

Blair said he’ll remember David Cingranelli’s labor politics class, both because of the enthusiasm Cingranelli brought to the 8:30 a.m. sessions and because he could never tell whether the professor was a Republican or a Democrat.

Kwaku Siaw, an industrial and systems engineering major from the Bronx, still hasn’t decided whether he

’ll look for a job or go to graduate school. Either way, he believes networking with other Watson students and with professors will help him succeed.

“The campus environment is very warm,” he added. “The professors are genuine. They care whether their students are learning the material.”

Psychobiology major Yung-Han Chen of Bayside, Queens, hopes to go to graduate school for a master’s degree. He

said life in the residence halls taught him to respect people – and to delegate chores such as cleaning. “I learned a lot of things,” he said, “especially about being tolerant of other people’s opinions.”

Decker School graduate Cathleen Mc- Farland of Garden City plans to work at a hospital near her Long Island home.

“I think you learn how to be independent,” she said.

McFarland sa

id she will remember Yvonne Johnston, a clinical assistant professor, as her favorite instructor.

“She did anything she could to get us to do well,” McFarland said.

Ridge Choi, a finance major who plans to live in Brooklyn and work for Ernst & Young, said he will treasure the friends he made at Binghamton. “There’s no other time in my life I’ll be hanging out with eight guys under one roof,” he


Endicott resident Jessica Esquivel, a marketing major, has to take one more class this summer before she’s done with her School of Management degree. She said joining Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, taught her some important lessons.

“Learning to help the community and building friendships with strangers, that’s something I hope to continue in the future in my professional life,” she said.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08