Members of St. The Lawrence's of 2023 are academic athletes, global citizens, campus leaders and advocates. They are future diplomats, doctors, financial analysts, curators and more.
Our future graduates reminisced about their years at St. Lawrence - including your favorite classes and proudest achievements. Now that they've made their mark on campus, read on to find out what their next adventures have in store.
Sarath Novas '23
Significant:art and art history
Minors: Health CaremPedagogical Studies
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Photojournalism" no doubt. I took this class sophomore year with Associate Professor of Art and Art History Sarah Knobel and it changed the course of my life. After completing my last project, The First Touch, a photo series featuring stories of sexual assault survivors, I began to take my artistic practice more seriously. It was the most challenging project I undertook at St. Lawrence, and completing it was one of my greatest accomplishments.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?Being a first generation college student. When I applied to college, I had no idea what I was doing. It's been four years and I'm now helping my younger siblings with their university applications. It was challenging at times, but I persevered and made it to the end in one piece, for which I am grateful.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;I was honored to receive a Gilman Scholarship to support my semester abroad in London. I used to be afraid of getting lost in a foreign country, using unfamiliar public transportation, and exploring new environments. Now I can't wait to try different foods, people and places next time. I was also allowed to spend my last month as an intern atTime Out Magazine, where I write and publish local London news, tips and guides to fun things to do in the city.
If you were to place an object in a time capsule to represent your time in St. Lawrence, what would you leave behind and why?A pool ball. Now this is rather strange, but when I think of St. Lawrence, I'm thinking of pool in the college center. I had so many great conversations while playing and just sitting at the table. It has brought me closer to some of the best people I have met here.
Derek Sherrange '23
Titles: Global Studiesand International CombinedBusiness—Multilingual
irrelevant:Caribbean and Latin American Studies
Hometown:Argyle, Nova York
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Race, Culture and Identity" with Assistant Professor of Global Studies Sandhya Ganapathy. This was the first Global Studies class I took on campus, and once I experienced the critical, interdisciplinary mindset of the department, I couldn't get enough. After this course I understood the world in a whole new way and knew that I had to do Global Studies.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?My time in the Department of Global Studies has made me a more critical and informed person. I did research and articles ononline newsI used ways of thinking that I never would have thought of before going to college. The Department of Global Studies has really helped me reach my full potential and this will remain my greatest achievement going forward.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?My most influential mentor is John Collins, Chair and Professor of Global Studies. John is incredibly passionate about his students, his work and the impact his work has on the world. It inspired me to apply the same principles to my work. John has spent countless hours mentoring me and I can only hope that one day I can be that kind of mentor to someone else.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;I have studied abroad since the beginning of my college experience when I attended the London New Year Program. During my stay in St. Lawrence, I studied, interned or worked in Spain, India (twice) and Kenya. This first adventure in London really inspired me to be bold and go wherever the opportunity presented itself.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?The summer after I graduate, I will be interning at the US State Department in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor for South and Central Asia. After that, I will do my Masters in International Relations at IE University in Madrid, Spain on a Fulbright scholarship. After graduating from IE, I became a Ph.D. adopted in Global Studies. program at the University of California, Irvine, where I am well on my way to earning my Ph.D. in 6 years.
Zhuoer Li '23
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Symbolic Logic" with Associate Professor of Philosophy Laura Rediehs. I was very moved when I saw the connection between mathematics and philosophy.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?I pride myself on realizing the value of community in St. Lawrence University after studying here! When I was a freshman, I knew little about the culture of St. Lawrence and I am grateful to have enjoyed the warm, engaging and resourceful community here in St. Laurentius.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?I can mention so much! Jessica Sierk, Assistant Professor of Education, believed in me and helped me with research grants! Beth Dixon '10 (General Manager of New York Internships and Laurentian Engagement) helped prepare me for my professional career. Stephanie Luedke (b. 1994) and curator Trip Samson (b. 1980) gave me internship opportunities, and Hook Huang (b. 2002) wrote countless letters of recommendation when I was job hunting!
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?I will be taking on a full-time role as an investment analyst at HQ Capital. I contacted Kyle Jonas (b. 1991) for a networking call and he mentioned that he was working with Stephen Wesson (b. 1991) at HQ Capital. After hearing about his positive experience there, I submitted my resume through the company's website. The company contacted me for interviews, and Kyle and former HQ interns Jack Suominen '20 and Julian d'Almeida Santos '20 helped me prepare.
Nishal Basnet '23
Titles: Business,sociology, Eliberal arts enterprises
Hometown:Syracuse, Nova York
What achievement are you particularly proud of?For the past four years, I have been the president of the Literacy for Nepal (LFN) association. Our association's mission is to fund the education expenses of at least one student in Nepal through our non-profit partners Sano Paila and the Himalayan Children's Fund. With the help of our dedicated Club members and Faculty Advisor, International Student Services Coordinator, Tsewang Lama '10, M'15, we sponsored three students. As a Nepalese Bhutanese, I am very proud of our association's achievements and look forward to continuing the good work.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?I will be attending the Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University to obtain a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Public and Community Management. After my master's degree, I will go abroad as a USAID contract employee. My focus will give me a solid foundation in federal government procurement law and consulting.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?To be Laurentian is to be part of the family. I have had tremendous support from many people and without their guidance and care I would not be the person I am today. My accomplishments are the result of tremendous support from HEOP Director Bill Short, HEOP Associate Director Erin Colvin, Retention and Academic Support Coordinator Tina Tao, CSTEP and McNair Associate Director Jenny Townsend, and CSTEP and McNair Director Marsha sawyer Chris Rich '18 guided me through the Payne Scholarship application process. Assistant Professor of Sociology Yesim Bayar praised my success over the past three years. Your course Nations and Nationalism inspired me to pursue a career in international development.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;My senior year was a great adventure. I majored in Sociology, Business Administration and Finance while working three part-time jobs. I also applied for scholarships, jobs and internships. The amount of rejection I received destroyed my self-esteem. Then came the spring semester, when I was selected to be a Payne Scholar in 2023. By mid-March, I had been accepted to seven of the eight graduate schools I applied to. I've had a rollercoaster of emotions this year. My achievements are from everyone who believed in me.
What is your favorite St. Lawrence and why?Goodbye weekend! I was a student ambassador in 2022 and it was unreal to see how deeply connected we Laurentians are. It was encouraging to see our graduates making the most of their time on campus and always giving back to their communities wherever they went.
Lilly Sullivan '23
Minors:Sports science and movement sciencemPedagogical Studies
Hometown:Parque Orchard, Nova York
Name a course that had a positive impact on you.Each of the five courses I took with Jeff Frank, Associate Professor of Education. Professor Frank truly cares about each of his students and makes the classroom a very comfortable and enjoyable place. Every class I took with him mentally pushed me to improve my critical thinking skills.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?I am very proud of the work I have done in the athletic department. I have been the assistant event manager for hockey games, the student manager for the Appleton Team Store, and the student assistant to assistant athletic director Franco Barry. Each experience gave me the tools and skills I needed to launch my professional career.
I am also proud of my accomplishments as a student athlete. I was a member of the women's tennis team for three years and finished my second season by being promoted to the All-Liberty League junior team. I was also able to move up the ranks and play number one singles and doubles my freshman year.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?Professor of Psychology Tom Greene, who was my tutor in the London Summer Program London Spaces and UK Places and in my Psychology Seminar. Tom was very supportive of my academic career and was willing to help in any way he could. He always made my day with his energy and enthusiasm.
Another influential mentor of mine is Franco Barry. Franco enabled me to work intensively in the sports department. The practical experience helped me know exactly what I want to do after graduation and showed me that I have a passion for sports.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?Once I graduate, I'm moving to Fort Lauderdale to work for the Florida Panthers NHL team. I will be a sales representative at C.A.T.S. to be. Academy and I am extremely excited to begin my career in professional sports.
Evan Holm '23
irrelevant: the statistics
Hometown:West Granby, Connecticut
Name a course that had a positive impact on you.The Fed Challenge with Charles A. Dana, Cynthia Bansak Professor of Economics. He taught me how to analyze incoming data from financial events to better understand how they affect the markets. We also connected with several finance alumni and took trips to New York and Ottawa. Also, "Econometrics" with Associate Professor of Economics Michael O'Hara is notable for teaching me how to conduct economic research and carefully analyze data.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;During my first year, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Living in a new city in Europe was a great experience that broadened my perspective. I also had the opportunity to travel all over Europe and was able to ski and surf in many countries I had never visited before.
What is your favorite St. Lawrence and why?I love Titus' weekend. It's great to spend two days skiing, being outside and hanging out with friends. It's a big event that brings the campus to life in the middle of the semester.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?I have accepted an offer at eBay in the Finance Futures Program, a two-year rotating financial development program, and I am moving to San Francisco, California. After a successful summer internship last year, I am excited to be back and starting my career in finance.
Marteas Johnson '23
Titles: mathematicsmliberal arts enterprises
Hometown:Brooklyn, New York
Name a course you took that had a positive impact on you.Community Based Learning 100. It gave me the opportunity to mentor high school students in a Potsdam school and act as a positive role model for their development. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to watch these students develop into confident individuals. I learned the importance of empathy, leadership and communication. Overall, this course was a life-changing experience that showed me the power of mentoring and the positive impact it can have on both mentee and mentor.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?Serves as central treasurer at Thelmo and manages funds for student activities. It was an incredible responsibility to be in charge of the budget that funds our clubs and organizations. This role gave me valuable financial management experience and I developed strong organizational and leadership skills. The opportunity to make a significant impact on the student community has been truly rewarding and I am proud to have contributed to the success of so many organizations.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?Vice President and Dean of Student Life Hagi Bradley; Not only is he kind, but he treats all students with so much love and kindness. Hague always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face. He is an inspiration to me and many others, and his guidance and support has been invaluable.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;Thanks to a grant from the Black Laurentian Initiative (BLI), I was able to embark on a life-changing trip to Jamaica, where I conducted research on black-owned businesses. This experience allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and learn about different business approaches. It was rewarding to present my findings to a wider audience and share my new knowledge.
What is your favorite St. Lawrence and why?College commencement is my favorite tradition because it is a powerful reminder of why we go to college—to work hard and achieve our goals. It's a celebration of all the effort we've put in and a moment to reflect on our achievements.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?I will be working as an analyst in the Goldman Sachs office in Newport Beach, California. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience and contribute to the success of such a renowned company.
Maddy Mercier '23
Significant: Multifields in Peace and Conflict Studies
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Introduction to Peace Studies". Without this course I would not be on the path I am on now. Peace studies opened my eyes to a kind of critical thinking that I didn't get to explore in high school. It has not only affected my studies, but also the way I travel around the world, especially in my relationships with others and the change I seek.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?What I am most proud of is the work I was able to do during my internship for the Flone Initiative during the Kenya Semester Program. During my time at Flone, I prepared the final draft of the Machakos County Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy on Public Transport, which came into effect last September, just a few months after the final draft was submitted .
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;Kenya was definitely an adventure. During much of this cultural exchange, I often didn't know what to expect next, but it helped me learn from it and return home grateful for those we met. Experience the full adventure with other 23 St. Lawrence (with the exception of our only friend at Union College) also meant the world.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?Over the summer, I will be interning at the Brookings Institution doing policy research for the African Security Initiative project. I will then pursue a Masters in Conflict and Human Rights Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Did you work with the Center of Professional Excellence during your studies?Yes! Although I have had few meetings with them overall, Michelle Gould, Associate Director of Professional Education, and Beth Larrabee, Senior Associate Director, Career Programming (Class 1997, P'20, 22, 25) have a wonderful way of encouraging and encourage motivation for students to feel that they are up to the things they want to achieve. It is a truly refreshing feeling in the midst of many moments of uncertainty and doubt.
If you were to place an object in a time capsule to represent your time in St. Lawrence, what would you leave behind and why?A single Java sticker! No matter how stressful or hectic it was, dancing to live music with the people I love the most was always the best therapy.
Nathan Turtledove '23
Triple Main Case:liberal arts enterprises,Government, EBusiness
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."International Relations" with Associate Professor of Government Mert Kartal. This was one of my first years and I fell in love with Professor Kartal's teaching style and international relations. At the end of the semester he called me into his office and I was scared - I thought I had failed an assignment or a class. Instead, he told me he enjoyed having me in his classes and guided me through all future government department courses and career opportunities. Four years later, I've reached the maximum number of classes I can take with him and I'm happy to call him a mentor, but mostly a friend.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?I really got the most out of my liberal arts experience at St. Laurentius. As a triple major, Admissions Senior Fellow, President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, President of the Jewish Student Union, Music columnist forDie Hill NewsAs captain of the tennis team, I took advantage of every opportunity that St. Lawrence had so much to offer and I made countless friends through her. I am very proud that I left with no regrets!
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?Trustee Emeritus David Officer '67 (Mr. O!). I met him at the Vilas Scholar semi-final tour in New York during my high school years and he was the first to welcome me into the Laurentian family. Since then, I've stayed in touch with him every step of the way and he's my go-to person whenever I need advice or just a great chat!
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;Summer semester of academic year 2020-2021. It still seems like a fever dream, but it was the adventure of a lifetime. It was amazing to be able to enjoy the Nordland summer and all you have to do in the heat!
What is your favorite St. Lawrence and why?The ringing of the bells at 5 in the afternoon! He always brings a smile to everyone's face and I love singing along to my alma mater when he plays. My favorite Card Day game is Happy Birthday. The bells are definitely one of the things I will miss the most after walking "down" these hills.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?This summer I will be going to Dartmouth College to participate in the Tuck Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business. While my future remains uncertain after this, I am excited for the next chapter of my journey knowing that wherever it takes me, St. Lawrence will always be a part of it!
Did you work with the Center of Professional Excellence during your studies?Absolutely – as a Vilas scholar, they supported me from the start. We traveled to New York and Boston to meet with Vilas Scholarship alumni, and throughout my time here, she was available whenever I asked for networking tips or help with resumes and cover letters. I also participated in and even moderated several panels!
If you were to place an object in a time capsule to represent your time in St. Lawrence, what would you leave behind and why?An autographed tennis ball from my last college tennis match and a polaroid of all my friends!
Toky Rakotoarisoa '23
Titles: GovernmentmGlobal Studies
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?My experience at St. Lawrence would not be the same without the professors, academic advisors, alumni, and friends from whom I have learned so much and who have always supported me in all my endeavors. I am extremely grateful to my academic advisors, Michael W. Ranger '80 and Virginia R. Ranger P'17 Professorship in Government and Chair Ronnie Olesker and Assistant Professor of Global Studies Sandhya Ganapathy, for helping me meet all of my requirements in time for the graduation and gave me kind advice and support at all times.
I am also grateful to alumni who encouraged me to achieve my goals, including Julius Johnson '89, P'22, founder and CEO of Johnson Development, and Andrew Dabalen '90, chief economist at the World Bank.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;My role as its creative directorthe metro, under the supervision of my mentor, Associate Professor of English and Performing Arts and Communication Juraj Kittler.the metrois a scholarly journal on representation issues. As Creative Director, I was able to focus on my artistic expression, which was previously overshadowed by my academic and professional priorities. During my last semester on campus, I published an article that offered a new artistic and political perspective on my hometown. I hope it attracts others.
Did you work with the Center of Professional Excellence during your studies?Yes. Finding and funding internships in the United States can be difficult for international students, especially when funds and connections are limited, but the center was a great resource. Special thanks to Sarah Coburn, Senior Associate Director of Internships, for listening and guiding me on my professional journey.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?It has always been my dream to work in Madagascar in the political sector, dealing with challenges such as increasing poverty and resurgence of political crises. Thanks to an internship at The Kaizen Company in Washington D.C. I now have experience working with international development organizations.
This summer, I will take advantage of my academic credit and professional opportunities through my internship at the World Bank. From autumn I will start my studies at Sciences Po Paris in International Business and Sustainability. Thank you to all the faculty and staff, friends and family who helped me overcome obstacles and make this experience possible.
Brian Uceta '23
Significant: Performance art and communication
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Tabu Body Politics" with Associate Professor of Performing and Communication Arts Jennifer Thomas. He asked us to consider which bodies and faces are commonly accepted on stage and which are considered 'taboo' or unacceptable by society. It made me rethink what performance really means and inspired me to create a space in the theater that includes everyone, no matter what they look like or what they identify with.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?My work as former secretary of the Black Laurentian Initiative (BLI). I value BLI's work as an organization dedicated to institutional change, which I believe is essential in higher education. In addition, my work at the University Theater and receiving the Jeffrey Campbell Award are also achievements that are very close to my heart.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;Studying abroad was definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made. I went to London and ate food from so many different cultures, experienced art in a way I had never seen before, and finally traveled to the Eastern Hemisphere for the first time. It was an unforgettable experience - we don't know how big our world is until we get out and see it for ourselves.
Caitlin Erb '23
Minors: Health CaremAfrican studies
Name a course you took that had a positive impact on you.Associate Professor of Anthropology in Mindy Pitre's Paleoepidemiology Course. In this course I realized that I had a passion for paleopathology and biological archaeology. I studied various historical diseases, the impact they had on people's lives, and how these diseases affect bones.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?Teacher Mindy Pitre. He taught me important laboratory practices and skills in biological anthropology and helped me further my studies in the field. Last year I also worked as his teaching assistant, which gave me a better understanding of effective teaching and lab organization. The passion with which he teaches and researches has inspired me and will remain in my memory throughout my career.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;Study Abroad in Kenya Semester Program. I was able to fully immerse myself in another culture for several months and learned a lot about myself and my skills as a result. I really appreciate this experience.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?This summer I will be interning at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I will be working on a project at your archaeological collections facility to better understand the responsibilities and daily routines expected of anyone working in museum archives. This internship is sponsored by St. Lawrence through the Internship Fellowship Program.
Keenan Wilson '23
irrelevant: Health Care
Hometown:Francestown, New Hampshire
Name a course that had a positive impact on you."Psychology and Law" was my favorite subject. Associate Professor of Psychology Kathy Crosby really changed my perspective on the legal system and how psychology works to inform the law and cases. Although I do not study law, it was enlightening and helpful to better understand the legal system.
What achievement are you particularly proud of?Admission to SUNY Upstate Medical School. It took a very difficult course overload and a lot of people told me I couldn't go to medical school even though I majored in psychology and decided to study abroad. I'm proud of everything I did to get in, but I'm also extremely grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. I couldn't do it alone.
Who is your most influential Laurentian mentor?My mother and father, both born in 1990, have been my most influential mentors. My father helped me fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor. It also taught me that you can balance work and life to be fun doing serious and meaningful work. My mom taught me how to overcome whatever life throws at me. I truly would not be the person or student that I am without her influence.
What was your biggest adventure while in St. Laurentius;After the semester abroad, my brother Reid and I cycled up and down the coast of Northern Ireland. We saw the most beautiful sunsets, the most remote island north of Rathlin and drank so much Guinness that our mother called the bank to dispute the charges, thinking our cards had been stolen. We had so much fun and made so many memories together.
What do you hope or plan to pursue in the future?I will be attending Upstate Medical School this summer for my M.D. To close.
If you were to place an object in a time capsule to represent your time in St. Lawrence, what would you leave behind and why?A cup of coffee because it gave me energy for every test, work and weekend full of fun. Whether it was hiking 25 miles a day with my friends to conquer 10 high peaks in one go, or driving to Whiteface to get down the mountain faster than anyone else, I needed energy for my early mornings and I certainly didn't want to go to bed early ..