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Danagogo, Koss Named Class of 2021 Senior Class Marshals
The Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience (ESE) announced today the selection of Alaba Anna Tam Danagogo and Paige Koss as the Senior Class Marshals for the Class of 2021. As Senior Class Marshals, Danagogo and Koss will represent their class and lead Syracuse University’s 167th Commencement ceremony.
A prestigious honor for two seniors, Senior Class Marshals exemplify academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and Orange spirit. The selection process, managed by ESE, includes an application, recommendations, an essay and an interview. The Senior Class Marshals not only lead the Commencement ceremony, they spend their senior year serving as representatives of their class at University events and on committees, as well as meet with senior leaders to share their experience.
“Alaba and Paige are exemplary students, scholars, leaders and community members. Their accomplishments across all facets of the student experience in and out of the classroom, in and beyond Syracuse, are prime examples of what it means to be Orange,” says Rob Hradsky, vice president for the student experience. “They will be excellent representatives for their class throughout their senior year.”
Alaba Anna Tam Danagogo
A rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, Danagogo is majoring in biology and minoring in English and textual studies. Among her academic accomplishments are dean’s list honors, distinction in biology and the 1870 Scholarship, the highest recognition offered by the Office of Admissions. Danagogo was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and came to the United States to pursue her interest in becoming a physician and a writer. At Syracuse University, Danagogo feels that she has lived the best of both worlds by being able to gain the necessary scientific skills to provide care for those in need while also learning about literature and creative writing.
Danagogo’s studies in biology have also included experience as an undergraduate researcher, performing routine laboratory experiments and analyzing experimental data in support of graduate students’ research. Her current independent research focuses on the precise mechanisms of Cited2, a transcriptional co-regulator that is expressed during a phase of neocortical development in the brain. Through this research, Danagogo hopes to increase the knowledge surrounding development of the neocortex, which could act as the basis of a possible medical model for understanding and rescuing phenotypes of related neurodevelopmental disorders.
In addition to her research and academic pursuits, Danagogo has been an active volunteer and aide in the clinical field. She has worked with Crouse Hospital, first serving as a medical imaging patient care aide and now as a medical and surgical unit patient care aid. She also volunteered at the Ophthalmic Specialist Clinics in Port Harcourt, assisting nurses with administering visual acuity tests.
Beyond her work in biology and the clinical field, Danagogo has also found a passion for service through her involvement activities. She is the event coordinator for the Food Recovery Network, planning and organizing events to increase awareness of food waste on college campuses and raising funds for local shelters. She also serves as an international student mentor through the Connections Program with the Center for International Services. In this role, she assists first-year and transfer international students with adjusting to life at Syracuse University and connecting with relevant resources. Danagogo also works with the Center for Learning and Student Success as a tutor providing academic support to other students. Among her many involvement activities, Danagogo also found a new passion through the aikido sport club. Now serving as vice president, Danagogo enjoys practicing aikido and is on the sixth kyu.
Much like all of her experiences at Syracuse University over the last three years, Danagogo looks forward to how her involvement and growth will evolve next year by taking on a new role as Senior Class Marshal.
“Being selected as a Senior Class Marshal makes me appreciate just how different my SU story is shaping up from how it started,” she says. “I feel honored and excited to be able to hold this position and communicate with people on important issues that pertain to University life and so much more.”
Hailing from Hilton, New York, Koss is a rising senior in the Whitman School majoring in finance and supply chain management and minoring in information management and technology in the School of Information Studies. A member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, Koss has earned dean’s list honors, was named a Whitman Leadership Scholar, and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honors society.
Building on her studies in finance and supply chain management, Koss has held two internships so far during her time at Syracuse University. First, as a service partner with Paychex Inc. and then as a financial management program intern at General Electric-Corporate. These experiences have helped her build professional skills in customer experience, financial walk-throughs and financial data analysis. This summer, she is working with Crowe in their financial services consulting group, continuing to build on her business and technology background.
In addition to her professional experience, Koss has been an active member of the campus community through her leadership roles. Koss currently serves as one of the Honors Learning Community resident advisors through the Office of Student Living, providing 65 first-year students with support, assisting them in acclimating to University life and building community and connections. Her role in helping younger students is also exemplified as a Whitman Ambassador, for which she helps prospective and incoming students learn about Whitman and the Syracuse University experience.
Koss also holds leadership positions in her student organizations, including as senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi, the world’s leading professional fraternity for future business leaders. She is also a founding member of the Spanish Club, in which she also served as secretary. Reflecting on all her student organization experiences, Koss says one of the most memorable has been through her work with Enactus, a student-run organization that aims to create long-lasting economic, social and environmental improvements by assisting and empowering partners through entrepreneurship and service. Koss traveled to Guatemala this year to meet the women who make the products sold by Enactus and their daughters, who receive scholarships through the profits raised by Enactus. Seeing the impact of their collective effort on the lives of so many women, Koss says, was an amazing experience.
A resounding theme throughout her time as a student is finding opportunities to meet people and make lasting change on campus and beyond. This is something she relishes the opportunity to continue in her role as Senior Class Marshal.
“I look forward to continuing to meet and interact with individuals from all different backgrounds while serving in this role,” Koss says. “The single best part of this university is the people who make it up, and I look forward to meeting more of them. Most importantly, I am excited to learn. I am excited to expose myself to new situations in which I can grow, interact with people who have more wisdom than me, and continue to affect change on a meaningful level.”