Syracuse Abroad has once again been recognized as one of the country’s best study abroad programs, with Syracuse checking in at No. 9 according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings for 2022-23. Each year, U.S. News &…
Bellot, Geiss Named Class of 2023 Senior Class Marshals
Simone Bellot and Michael “MP” Geiss have been named the University’s Class of 2023 Senior Class Marshals. Bellot and Geiss will represent their graduating class and lead the student procession during the 2023 Commencement ceremony. Throughout their senior year, Bellot and Geiss will serve as the all-University representatives for the Class of 2023.
“Simone and MP have made an incredible impact on campus across their academic pursuits, research opportunities, campus involvement and community service. They are passionate and driven about their goals and have fully embraced the opportunities around them to shape a meaningful student experience. They will serve as great representatives for their graduating class,” says Rob Hradsky, vice president for the student experience and dean of students.
Bellot, a rising senior majoring in communication sciences and disorders and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, is originally from Nassau, Bahamas. In her early academic career, Bellot earned the Invest in Success Scholarship for her academic accomplishments in her first semester at Syracuse University, which continued throughout her time here as she earned Dean’s List honors each semester. Bellot is also in the Renée Crown University Honors Program.
As an aspiring professor of speech language pathology, Bellot has immersed herself in research and academic opportunities. Working in the Voice and Swallowing Lab, Bellot is an undergraduate researcher studying treatment techniques for muscle tension dysphonia, as well as a research lab assistant supporting a Ph.D. candidate conducting a comparative study on the swallowing patterns of adults with dysphagia. In addition, Bellot is currently conducting independent research through the Diversity in Language and Literacy (DILL) Lab evaluating the morphosyntax and vocabulary production in Bahamian Creole English-speaking preschool-aged children, a research opportunity funded through the Syracuse Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE).
Bellot has also embraced experiential opportunities to gain hands-on experience in her field. She has served as an intern with the Doctor’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center, assisting in post-traumatic brain injury speech therapy sessions, as well as an intern with Bahamas Plastic Surgery, scrubbing in on cleft lip and palate repair surgeries and supporting patient rehabilitation. She also interned for the Renee O’Neil Center for Childhood Development, assisting in therapy sessions with speech-language pathologists and applied behavioral analysis therapists.
In addition to her experience in the classroom, lab and field, Bellot has fully engaged in campus and community service. She serves as the vice president of external affairs for the Caribbean Student Association, an executive board member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Team, an international student peer leader for the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a First-Year Seminar 101 peer facilitator.
Bellot’s leadership and drive to support other students extends to her role as a student research mentor and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) peer leader with SOURCE. In this role, Bellot is part of the first class of DEI peer leaders who will help educate students on the intersection and importance of DEI in research.
Bellot is also a member in the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Women of Color in STEM Career Preparation Program, the Black Honors Society, Iota Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. She was also a member of the WellsLink Leadership Program as a first-year student.
Outside of campus, Bellot volunteers with the Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment Program, assisting with tutoring, fundraising activities and promotional materials.
“Serving as a Senior Class Marshal has been a dream of mine since freshman year. Having this come to fruition given the unconventional journey I have had at Syracuse is a display that when I navigate the University with intention and passion, my goals can be realized,” says Bellot.
“I placed a great focus on using the tools available to me to become a holistic student. My engagement, coupled with my perspective as a black woman international student has afforded me the ability to have a diverse perspective on the student experience. Putting this perspective into practice and having the opportunity to enhance the student experience as a Senior Class Marshal is a service I am honored to give back to the student body that has crafted my unsurpassed undergraduate experience,” adds Bellot.
Michael “MP” Geiss
Geiss, a Syracuse, New York native, is a rising senior in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in policy studies and physics and minoring in biology and economics. He is also a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program and is a Maxwell Leadership Scholar recipient.
Academically, Geiss has excelled with the opportunity to combine his interests in the natural sciences and policy. He is part of the Maxwell School’s accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program and has been conditionally accepted to SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Early Assurance Program to pursue an M.D. degree.
Geiss has dedicated himself to pursuing his intellectual interests outside the classroom through long-term research projects. He joined Dr. Teng Zeng’s water chemistry group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in 2018 to characterize organic micropollutants (OMPs) in Central New York lakes through Syracuse University’s Summer High School Research Internship Program and has continued related work as an undergraduate.
Geiss earned a SOURCE research grant to study how varying land-use practices and onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) impact the concentrations and frequencies of OMPs and their transformation products (TPs) in Suffolk County groundwater. Earlier this month, he presented the project’s progress as a Syracuse University representative at the 2022 ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference at the University of Virginia.
Geiss has also earned SOURCE funding to work as a research assistant for Dr. Robert Bifulco for the Municipal Finance Journal paper, “Assessing How COVID-19 Impacts NYS Fiscal Practices and Pending State Economic Struggles,” and to test synthetic hydrogel drug delivery systems for encapsulating Osteoarthritis inflammatory inhibitors with the Jain group in the Syracuse BioInspired Institute. This summer, Geiss is interning this summer at SUNY Upstate’s Center for Vision Research with Dr. Samuel Herberg’s group to study how YAP (Yes Associated Protein) mechanotransduction and epigenetic chromatin remodeling modulate glaucomatous trabecular meshwork cell dysfunction.
As a SOURCE student research mentor, Geiss has worked to grow the campus undergraduate research community by serving as a peer mentor and is outreach coordinator for the Syracuse Undergraduate Research Yearbook’s first edition.
Following a four-year varsity high school career at Christian Brothers Academy in the Syracuse area, Geiss has continued to play on the University’s club baseball team and will represent the University at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Symposium on Baseball and American Culture in June. There, he will present about baseball’s rich history at Syracuse University and honor its legacy 50 years after the varsity program ended.
In addition, Geiss has served as a summer camp unit leader and treasurer for the Camp Kesem chapter at Syracuse University, a teaching assistant for the Urban and AI Policy Smart Cities course sequence, and an ophthalmic technician at Eye Associates of Central New York (CNY).
Geiss looks forward to representing his class as a student liaison to the administration and greater Orange community as a Senior Class Marshal.
“As a Syracuse native and lifelong Orange fan, I am deeply humbled to receive this honor to serve our campus community over the next year,” says Geiss. “Syracuse University’s collaborative and innovative community has inspired me to challenge myself academically while trying new things that have helped grow my perspectives. As a Senior Class Marshal, I aim to give back by working with my peers and administrators to tangibly improve each student’s Orange experience. I cannot wait to get started!”