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Students to speak at Commencement

By : Gina Pellrine

Graduates will hear from their peers during Commencement ceremonies on May 17 and 18. Jeremy Schraffenberger, Alexis Stecker, David Belsky and Kamron Pourmand have been selected to serve as student speakers.

Schraffenberger, who is receiving his doctorate in English, will address the Graduate School ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 17. Stecker, who will be getting a bachelor of science in management with a concentration in finance, will speak at the professional schools ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18.  Pourmand, a biology major, will speak at the Harpur ceremony at 9 a.m. Sunday, while David Belsky, a political science major with plans in public administration, will speak at the Harpur ceremony at 4 p.m. that day.

All ceremonies will be held in the Events Center.

Schraffenberger, 32, of Louisville, Ky., has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, where he will teach creative writing and literature.

He has published books of poems such as Saint Joe’s Passion. His essay “Full Gospel” was included in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 1, which was published in July by Norton. He is at work on another collection of “ecopoems” called The Ravenous Dark.

Schraffenberger said he feels especially lucky to have had an opportunity to teach a variety of English and creative writing courses at Binghamton. He received numerous awards such as the Link Fellowship in Creative Writing from Binghamton University and the Alfred Bendixen Award for English in 2007.

Stecker, 21, of Syosset, will begin her career with AllianceBernstein, a global asset management firm in Manhattan. She will be an associate in the firm’s Fixed Income group, working in portfolio management.

She has been co-president of the Binghamton Scholars Program this year, a teaching assistant for two international business courses and completed a finance independent study.

Throughout her years at Binghamton she has been active with the debate team, Hillel and Chabad and has worked as a tutor for the Center for Academic Excellence. She is also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society and has interned with Columbia University and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Pourmand, 22, of Stony Brook, will attend Stony Brook University School of Medicine next fall.

He has been a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee at Binghamton since 2005, addressing public health issues on campus and working with the head of health services. He has also been a member of Harpur’s Ferry EMT for the past three years.

He has done research on multiple sclerosis at Stony Brook University Hospital and microbiology research at Binghamton.

Pourmand is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and has made the dean’s list every semester since freshman year. He has also been a teaching assistant for chemistry 108 and 231.

Belsky, 21, of Queens, plans to pursue a master’s of public administration, concentrating in nonprofit management and higher education administration.

“I’m grateful to be able to speak at commencement,” said Belsky, “because Binghamton has provided me with so many opportunities to develop my professional skills and helped to shape my future. I’m excited to have the chance to share that story and evoke similar feelings I know my classmates have as well.”

Belsky is interning with the vice president for administration at Binghamton. He also interned for U.S. Rep. Gary L. Ackerman and served as executive vice president of the student association last year. This year he has been director of communications for the SA.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08