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Alvarez, Barton represent Class of 2012 as senior class marshals

May 08, 2012

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Senior class marshals Patrick J. Alvarez and Stephen A. Barton will carry the Class of 2012 banner to open Syracuse University’s 158th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 13, and continue a longstanding tradition by representing their class on this special occasion.

Senior class marshals—among the most prestigious honors at SU—serve as the all-University student representatives for graduation and lead the Commencement procession onto the floor of the Dome. Senior class marshals are distinguished individuals who have excelled during their time at SU and who exemplify the spirit of the senior class. The criteria used to determine qualified nominees include scholarship, academic honors, student organization involvement, campus service and community service. An essay and a copy of an official SU transcript are also required. 

Alvarez of Bronx N.Y., will graduate with a bachelor's degree in communication and rhetorical studies from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. During his SU experience, Alvarez started the nonprofit agency Project Feed Me, mobilizing students to provide food for those in need. In its first year, Project Feed Me fed more than 500 people at the Frederick Douglass Center in Harlem, N.Y. In 2009, the expanded program hosted Thanksgiving Day meals for more than 1,000 people, with events at the Southwest Community Center in Syracuse and the Frederick Douglass Center.

AlvarezDriven by helping others, Alvarez also coordinated several basketball tournaments on campus to raise awareness of the problem of poverty and hunger, and build support for Project Feed Me.

For all of these altruistic accomplishments, Alvarez has been recognized with the Class New York Times Fund scholarship, awarded for making a difference in the world through a community engagement project; the Liberty Mutual Responsible Scholars Award, honoring four national scholars who exhibit excellence in academic achievement and community service projects; Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement & Scholarship, awarded to a student who has established a sustainable project to make an impact and create change in their community; and the New York Knicks Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton Award, awarded to a local hero who has made a significant difference.

Following graduation, Alvarez will join Teach For America in New York City.

BartonBarton, of Southbury, Conn., is a triple major in international relations, economics and Russian language, literature and culture in The College of Arts & Sciences. Since his first semester at SU, Barton has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, starting as an events coordinator and growing to serve as executive director of the SU student chapter.

He has also volunteered his time to SU's Advocacy Center, serving as editor of the newsletter; a member of e5m, a peer education theater group; and helping plan the annual Take Back the Night rally against sexual violence.

A member of the national honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi, a Coronat Scholar, University Scholar and Orientation Leader, Barton has been honored with a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant (2012-2013), was named a Remembrance Scholar and recently received a Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Student Fellow award.

Barton already has experience with Teach For America, serving as a Campus Campaign Coordinator during his senior year at SU, and his post-graduation plans include enrolling in the Teach For America program in North Carolina, following a cross-country cycling trip and time in Russia teaching English through his Fulbright Scholarship.

Student Marshals

Marshals for each of the University’s schools and colleges have also been selected to lead the procession of graduates from each school or college into the Commencement ceremony. Selected for distinguished achievement in scholarship, leadership, service and collegiality, the 2012 marshals are:

School of Architecture

  • Joe Cannon, an architecture major;
  • Caitlin M. Pontrella, an architecture major.

The College of Arts and Sciences

  • Firdaus H. Arastu, a psychology and anthropology double major;
  • Stephen A. Barton;
  • Tanesha S. Beckford, a biology major.

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

  • Michael Edward Lewan, an international relations and public relations double-major (master's program).

School of Education

  • Emily J. Harman, a health and exercise science major;
  • Angie L. Kwon, an inclusive early childhood and special education major.

L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science

  • Janique Cheesman, an environmental engineering major;
  • Yifeng Yuan, an electrical engineering major.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Michael Miles, an environmental resources engineering major;
  • Meagan Pepper, an environmental studies major.

Graduate School 

  • Monica J. Young of the School of Education.

School of Information Studies

  • Nicole L. May, an information management and technology, and marketing management double major;
  • Richard Tehan, an information management and technology, and entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises double major.

College of Law

  • Michael A. Lehmann

Martin J. Whitman School of Management

  • Jeffrey L. Rickert, an accounting major;
  • Iris S. Schulner, a finance and marketing management double major.

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

  • Sarah Jane Capper, a magazine and art history double major;
  • Erin Christine Scialabba, a magazine journalism major.

Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

  • Shelby Keys, a nutrition major;
  • Sarah D. Lee, a child & family studies and psychology double major.

University College

  • Anthea Miranda McMaster-Davis, an organizational leadership major.

College of Visual and Performing Arts

  • Myriam Doremy Diatta, an interior design major;
  • Jenna Michelle Loadman, a music and entertainment industries major.

For full information on SU’s Commencement weekend, visit

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