December grads move to head of the class
After spending her senior year in Japan, Kelly Long (Asian Studies) has returned to New Paltz to hand in her senior thesis and graduate as the December 2006 valedictorian.
Long is joined at the top of the class by salutatorian Kimberly VanVoorhis (Elementary Education/Biology). Both students are among 1,078 undergraduate and graduate students eligible for graduation at the end of the fall semester.
Long and VanVoorhis will attend the December Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Mid- Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. The Graduate Commencement Ceremony follows at 2:30 p.m.
Long chose New Paltz because the college allowed her to continue studying Japanese and play volleyball. The Endwell native first became interested in Japanese culture when, at 16, she spent a year in Japan as a Rotary International exchange student.
In August, Long returned to New Paltz from Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan where she had attended Kanazawa University and is applying to graduate school to study international and public administration, focusing on non-governmental organization (NGO) management.
“My desire is to make a positive impact on the world,” she said.
While Long immersed herself in
Japanese culture, VanVoorhis spent her
VanVoorhis arrived at New Paltz in 2003 with an associate degree in business from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie. She lives in Pleasant Valley with her husband, Roy, and their daughters, Mackenzie and Samantha.
On Dec. 17, her family will be cheering for her as she joins the other 558 ceremony participants. The number of students participating in this year’s ceremony is up 17 percent from last December. VanVoorhis, however, is not saying goodbye to New Paltz. She will pursue her master’s in literacy from the college’s Graduate School.
December 4 , 2006
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