The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) reaffirms its commitment to opportunity and access with a newly created high-level appointment. Kishi Animashaun Ducre, associate professor of African American studies (AAS), is the college’s inaugural associate dean of diversity, equity and…
Brown, Pati Named Class of 2018 Senior Class Marshals
Gerald Brown and Anjana “Angie” Pati were named senior class marshals for the Class of 2018 by the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, which oversees the selection process. Brown and Pati will lead their class and carry the Class of 2018 banner to open Syracuse University’s 164th Commencement ceremony.
Junior Patrick Castle was named senior class marshal alternate. He is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in biotechnology. Castle is a student-athlete on the Men’s Soccer team and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The prestigious honor of senior class marshal is a distinction with deep roots at Syracuse University. Not only do the senior class marshals lead their class at Commencement, but they serve as student leaders year-round, representing their class at University-wide events and programs, and engaging with senior-level administrators.
“Each year, the selection committee is presented with an outstanding applicant pool, and this year was no different. Those nominated for this honor are exemplary students—representing the spirit, academic achievement and engagement of their class,” says Colleen O’Connor Bench, associate vice president in Enrollment and the Student Experience. “Gerald and Angie have made the most of their student experience as evidenced by their academic pursuits, campus and community involvement, and leadership. This honor is well-deserved.”
Brown, from the South Side of Chicago, is a junior in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) majoring in sculpture and minoring in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Brown is a Ronald McNair Scholar, a VPA Artistic Merit Scholar and VPA Dean’s List awardee. Brown’s sculpture work earned her recognition for her talents, most recently, being nominated and selected to showcase her work as part of the “People of Color. People of Clay.” exhibition at Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland.
Brown’s passion for art extends beyond her own artistic works and studies. She also applies her talents and education in arts administration and teaching. Brown serves as an arts administration intern with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, where she created the Teen Alumni Network and leads summer teen art programs. She also served as a teaching artist with the Positive Force Youth Foundation NFP, where she designed and instructed a summer art course for children in first-through-seventh grade. This teaching experience led her to join the Syracuse University Art Workshops for Young People as an assistant art teacher. In this capacity, Brown teaches various techniques and practices to children.
Throughout her time at Syracuse University, Brown has also been passionate about community building. Inspired by former senior class marshal Ronald Taylor ’15 and other alumni mentors, Brown has dedicated much of her time to leading efforts that celebrate and embrace the many cultures represented in the campus community.
Brown helped to reestablish the Black Artist League, a historical artistic organization, and served as the organization’s visual arts events coordinator, curating visual art showcases and inviting guest artists. She also founded, and currently leads, Ubuntu: Black Leadership Network, a student organization that unites the 40-plus presidents of Black student organizations. Through this effort, Brown works with the presidents, campus leaders and University administrators to collaborate on campuswide initiatives, as well as support and amplify the efforts of each of the organizations. Her efforts earned her the Bob Marley Spirit Award from Caribbean Student Association and Most Philanthropic Student from the Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
During her time on campus, Brown has also been active with fullCIRCLE, a mentoring program housed within the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Brown joined the program as a first-year student, and after completing the program, wanted to serve as a mentor for other first-year and transfer students. Brown now serves as a peer leader within the Office of Multicultural Affairs, volunteering for events and connecting with students. Continuing to help new students is something Brown looks forward to as an orientation leader this year as well. She sees her opportunity to lead and support others as a way to fulfill her life’s goal to “not be the voice of the people, but to pass the mic to others.”
These vast experiences across campus are what motivated Brown to apply to be a senior class marshal.
“Learning more about the position and reflecting on the experience I had on campus, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to continue some of the work I have done throughout my time at Syracuse,” says Brown. “From volunteering at Own the Dome and giving residence hall tours, to having the opportunity to fly home to Chicago to speak at the same admitted student reception I went to only a few years prior has been truly rewarding. I am eager to use the skills I learned from these different moments in my life and apply them to a larger context.”
As far as what is ahead for Brown, her career plans are reminiscent of the experiences she has had while an undergraduate at Syracuse University—combining her passion for the arts and commitment to serving others.
“I am an artist. I love making art, particularly sculptures, and working with wood and clay,” Brown says. “My goal is to continue as a practicing artist, but also start my own art programs for students and adults of all ages, and ultimately, my own art center.”
Pati, hailing from Millstone Township, New Jersey, is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in psychology and neuroscience on the pre-med track. She is also minoring in public communications, health and wellness, and biology. Pati is in the Renée Crown University Honors Program, a Coronat Scholarship recipient and College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List awardee.
As early as her first year, Pati embraced opportunities to engage in research. She served as an undergraduate researcher at Syracuse University, and, beginning in 2015, joined the National Institute of Malaria Research in India as a researcher studying cerebral malaria and other forms of severe and complex malaria. She is currently co-authoring a malaria diagnosis review for medical practitioners to effectively identify and treat malaria, as well as writing another publication that explores the relationship between certain biological aspects of malarial parasite DNA and complicated forms of malaria.
Pati has also applied her studies and research experience through volunteering. She has served as a medical volunteer at the Ispat General Hospital in India, in addition to volunteering for Inkululeko in South Africa, a nonprofit that supports South African youth in pursuing education. These experiences inspired her to launch her own blog, Hemispheres of Healthcare, to raise awareness of and support for underrepresented diseases and issues internationally.
In addition to her academic and research pursuits, Pati’s undergraduate experience has been rooted in student organization involvement and leadership opportunities. She serves as vice president of Love Your Melon Syracuse University, an initiative that provides hats to children battling cancer; executive board and executive council member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, a gender-inclusive honor fraternity based on ideals of scholarship, leadership and fellowship; and a member of the Student Affairs Advisory Board, a group of student leaders that provide insight on key student life issues. Pati joined OrangeSeeds First-Year Leadership Empowerment Program during her first year at Syracuse, and she now serves on the membership board of the organization. Her positive experience with OrangeSeeds led her to be interested in making the transition to Syracuse University seamless for first-year students, and Pati therefore serves as an orientation leader during Syracuse Welcome.
From her time leading student organizations, to conducting research, to volunteering, Pati has met countless students who have inspired her. When considering applying to be senior class marshal, it was the opportunity to be a voice and represent these incredible peers that led her to apply.
“I’m continuously inspired by my peers at Syracuse University; their motivation, passion and genuine intent to make the world a better place makes me proud to be a member of Orange Nation,” says Pati. “These incredible people are our future. I applied for senior class marshal because you’re given the opportunity to represent these individuals and therefore represent the future that we, as Syracuse University graduates, have the power to create. To me, this is an unparalleled honor, and I feel truly humbled to have received it!”
When reflecting on what it means to be selected as a senior class marshal, Pati sees the honor as a culmination of her growth.
“Syracuse University has given me the opportunity to take insightful classes within three different colleges, acquire leadership positions in impactful organizations on campus, travel to pursue my passions by volunteering in hospitals and nonprofit organizations worldwide in addition to working in international laboratories, and most important of all, make lifelong friendships that I will cherish forever,” says Pati. “This University has shaped me as a student, leader, philanthropist and person.”