Commencement 2017


Marisa Cheedie, Valedictorian Class of 2016

Brooklyn native Marisa Cheedie is graduating as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Media Arts and Entrepreneurship. Marisa has used her time at LIU to pursue not only her academic goals, but also her passion for music, developing her vocal, guitar, writing, and production talents. She has also devoted significant effort to self-improvement through a focus on character, a pursuit she hopes to encourage in others as well.

Marisa is a two-time Dean’s Award honoree and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. She has also worked with LIU Brooklyn’s distinguished faculty to develop her musical talents, mastering the full production process while gaining knowledge in all aspects of the industry. Marisa feels her experience at LIU has taught her a great deal about herself. She has acquired a new level of understanding that will allow her to fulfill her goals.

Upon graduation, Marisa will be releasing her first EP, which she has been working on during her senior year. She also looks forward to pursuing her Masters degree, and using her LIU education as a guide as she pursues a career in music that includes the creation of her own independent label. Ultimately, Marisa looks forward to sharing the embodiment of happiness with the rest of the world.

Letava Whippy, Salutatorian Class of 2016

Letava Whippy arrived at LIU Brooklyn in the fall of 2011 from Suva, in the Fiji Islands, where she was born and raised. Letava will be graduating with her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Science (M.S.) in Athletic Training. Letava was a four-year member of the LIU Women’s Basketball team, and served as team captain in her junior and senior years. Letava’s firm belief in using one’s skills and talents to unite people in the community led her to become an avid participant in community outreach programs, not only as a member of the women’s basketball team, but also as a student athletic trainer and a member of the LIU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (2012-2015).

The third of four children, Letava is a member of the Fiji National Women’s Basketball team along with older sister Mickaelar, who is an LIU Brooklyn alumna from the Class of 2008. As proud Fiji natives, Letava and Mickaelar embrace any opportunities to represent their homeland in the sporting world.

Upon completion of her degree, Letava plans to begin her career as an Athletic Trainer, working with student-athletes at the high school or collegiate level. She hopes to one day return to her home country and use her knowledge and experience to give back to the people and communities of Fiji.

Anastasiya Shor

A student pharmacist who will be graduating with a Pharm.D. Anastasiya has made LIU her home away from home over the last six years. She has been an active member of on-campus organizations both within the Honors College and the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Anastasiya’s studies at LIU have afforded her the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, Spain, and Italy, and to visit cities across the U.S. as well.

As the past Treasurer and Secretary of Alpha Chi National Honor Society (AX), Vice President of Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity (PDC), Vice President of Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society (PLS), President of the Class, and Secretary and President of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), Anastasiya has advanced the profession of pharmacy and promoted scholastic achievement, leadership, and the importance of a well-rounded education among her peers. Anastasiya currently acts as the Liaison between the PDC Collegiate Brothers and Alumni Brothers and promotes networking and alumni involvement with the chapter. On weekends, Anastasiya participates in health fairs and is a frequent speaker at smoking cessation support groups.

Anastasiya plans to work in the public health sector to educate patients on proper medication use, safe medication disposal, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.  She also hopes to continue her travels around the world and discover more ways in which she can elicit global change. She would like to thank her mentors from the Honors Program and her Pharmacy advisors for their continued support, and acknowledge their role in  developing her critical thinking and communication skills. She would also like to thank all of her friends and classmates for staying awesome throughout the college experience. 

Gabrielle Bernadotte

Gabrielle Bernadotte has been a very engaged student on the LIU Brooklyn campus while earning her degree in Communication Science and Disorders with a minor in Psychology. The Long Island native fell in love with the campus immediately upon matriculating, and has immersed herself in the culture of the campus, quickly becoming an active member of the Student Events Team. Gabrielle remained active in Student Events throughout her LIU career, serving as Secretary, Vice President and finally President. Gabrielle has also been the Treasurer of the National Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta, an Honors Orientation Leader and an LIU Brooklyn Orientation Leader, a Summer Staff member and Resident Assistant, and in her senior year, a Pep Squad Member.

Gabrielle hopes to pursue her graduate degree, and hopes to one day become a licensed Speech Pathologist with a bilingual extension in Spanish, eventually opening up her own clinic. She’s also considering taking up Haitian Creole to help with the research to aid a population that is underrepresented when it comes to speech therapy in the U.S.

Hashim Singleton

Graduating from LIU Brooklyn with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Singleton served in the U.S Army prior to attending LIU, and has assisted fellow veterans with their transition in the Student Veterans’ Organization, one of many on-campus organizations Singleton has worked with during his LIU career.

Hashim’s studies in Accounting led him to join the Accounting Society, eventually becoming President. As President, he successfully facilitated LIU Brooklyn’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which gives students the experience of tax filing for lower income families. Singleton has also made connections to benefit his fellow students, securing guest speakers in the accounting field to expose students to a variety of career opportunities in accounting. Hashim has also been an active member of the Marketing Society, the Finance Society and the Accreditation of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Hashim also remains active within his community, volunteering to show children in the foster system that they too can attend college and create a life of their own. He is also active in mentoring high school youth who are in danger of not completing their education.

Hashim feels that his life experiences, involvement in the community and leadership opportunities at LIU have helped mold him into the man he is today. These opportunities have helped him learn responsibility, accountability and how to manage many different roles within his life. He is thankful for these experiences and his education, as he feels confident moving on to the next phase in his life, knowing that he has the tools needed to be a successful professional.

Jasmine Watson

Graduating with a degree in Media Arts and a minor in Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations. She has been a part of LIU Brooklyn Dance team since her freshman year in the fall of 2012, spreading cheer at Blackbirds games and other LIU events.

When off the court, Jasmine has used her time to give back to incoming students of LIU as an Orientation leader and Peer Leader. Becoming a student leader opened her up to public speaking, and also motivated her become more organized and develop her time management skills. She also gained lifelong friendships and countless networking opportunities through these leadership opportunities. In her senior year, she became involved in the Student Government Association as Director of Communication and Public Relations and President of the Campus Activity Board.

Jasmine believes that she has become a better person through her pursuits at LIU. She tries to make as many connections as possible to better herself, and is passionate about passing along knowledge of how make your LIU career a memorable one.

Jermaine Isaac

First-generation student Jermaine Isaac first joined the LIU Brooklyn community in 2008 as an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Media Arts. Jermaine will graduate this year with a Masters of Public Administration to accompany the Bachelors Degree he earned in 2013.

Jermaine’s graduate work at LIU built on a distinguished undergraduate career, during which he served as a Resident Assistant for more than two years, Student Body President for two terms, and station manager of LIU TV. He was also awarded multiple scholarships and honors, including the Student Activities Grant, the Media Arts Award and the Special Student Service Award. Jermaine was able to maintain an internship with Robert Half International, with the assistance from the LIU Career Service department.

Jermaine continued his education while using his Media Arts training to launch his own production company, and will be a Public Administration Honor Society Candidate with a 3.72 GPA. He was granted a leadership position in Residence Life and Housing in addition to his academic and professional pursuits, and has continued to develop RAs with leadership skills and ethics who contribute to the daily operations of Residential Life. He also completed a one-year internship as a Legislative Aide in the New York City Council.

Kristi Thompson

A Campus Life Leader, Resident Assistant, a proud member of the Pep Squad, and most importantly a Blackbird. She is a first-generation student originally from Long Island. Kristi will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Computer Arts with a concentration in Animation. Kristi has long been fascinated by helping people and the opportunity to be a role model for others. Being the only girl among four children made her naturally used to the idea of standing out, and Kristi wanted to do whatever she could do with her skills and knowledge to be a great role model for students.

Kristi earned a place in the National Collegiate Honor Society and LIU Brooklyn’s prestigious Honors College during her sophomore year, and joined the Student Events Team and Task Force to forge connections on campus as a commuting student. She eventually moved on campus, becoming a Resident Assistant in Conolly Hall during the spring of her sophomore year. Kristi was among the first employees at Browse, a student-staffed business centered on selling affordable technology to the LIU community. Thompson has also been active in community service during her LIU career, participating in fundraising walks to benefit breast cancer, speech, and hearing causes, among other LIU Cares efforts.

Kristi believes being a campus leader at LIU is about more than popularity. It is about representing a school that she loves and cares for deeply, and embodying the very essence of LIU itself, a community where people come together from different backgrounds and claim themselves as one unit: Blackbirds.

Lauren Elisabeth Corry

Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Lauren Elisabeth Corry has been recognized for her leadership both within the College of Pharmacy and in her outside athletic endeavors. The native of Springfield, Virginias was a nationally ranked ice dancer and competed at the elite level for many years before transitioning into roller derby, where she currently plays in the world’s top-ranked league, Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York, serving as captain of her team and playing on the league’s All-Star team.

Lauren has been actively involved in many public health and outreach efforts during her LIU career, empowered by fellow members of women's pharmacy fraternity Lambda Kappa Sigma. Lauren also developed her leadership skills through mentorship and membership in Phi Lambda Sigma, the Pharmacy Leadership Society, organizing volunteer pharmacy intern events counseling and educating patients on a variety of topics. Through the experience she gained with these endeavors and her passion for public health, she was able to attain a competitive clerkship at the FDA division of drug information and communications this past year.

Lauren plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry and has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in medical affairs and clinical development.

Marsha-Jones Wilson

Motivated by a strong desire to expand choices for individuals who needs an advocate, Marsha-Jones Wilson, native Jamaican, sought educational access through her community and took advantage of every opportunity that was presented. An advocate, leader, mentor and activist, Marsha is graduating from LIU Brooklyn with a Master in Speech Pathology. Marsha has worked to heighten awareness of communication sciences and disorders on campus as well as within the community. She has actively planned and participated in lectures, advocacy events, walks and other fundraisers. Marsha is the president of the LIU Brooklyn Speech and Hearing Society and sits on the National Students Speech Language Hearing Association Executive Council, where she is one of 22 students who manage the association in which national policies and activities are governed.

Marsha also participates in the LIU Brooklyn Advantage After School Program, motivating inner-city middle school youths to see a world beyond their neighborhood. As a graduate council member and chief senator of the Student Government Association, she is actively involved in addressing laws and policies that affect the community and the general population. In 2015, she organized a Capitol Hill visit to advocate for the protection of the IDEA funding, and asked members of Congress to support legislation that would repeal the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap.

Marsha is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society and a recipient of the LIU Community Service Award and a Who’s Who Among Students in American University and Colleges Award. She is also a recipient of the New York City Department of Education scholarship.

With an eye to the future, Marsha, a mother of two presently residing in New York City, hopes to work with children with disabilities (Autism Spectrum Disorder & Cerebral Palsy) in District 75 after graduation.

Mica Jonathan Petit-Homme

Mica Jonathan Petit-Homme is a 21 year old student-athlete at LIU Brooklyn from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mica currently studies Sport Science, and plans to apply to the occupational therapy graduate program after earning his Bachelor of Science degree to further his education. He also hopes to represent Haiti at the 2016 Olympics. Mica is active in his community, singing in his church choir and participating in as many service programs as possible through LIU Cares. Mica was elected Mr. LIU in a vote among his peers at the 2015 Blackbird Madness event this November. Mica constantly strives to become a better person than he was yesterday.

Prerana Patel

Prerana Patel ’16 is a native of South Amboy, New Jersey with an Asian-Indian background. Prerana has been recognized for her excellence in leadership as well as service. Prerana volunteered to mentor student pharmacists and to develop inter-professional skills in patient centered care, hoping to instill confidence in their abilities to practice their professional education.

Prerana aspires to become a community pharmacist, building on her service to the US Army Medical Corps. Prerana has a special interest in Psychiatric pharmacy. After successful presentations in the Military Substance Abuse Program, Prerana has laid a foundation towards further research in treatment of psychiatric illness with a particular emphasis on the military. Prerana has received numerous recognitions from LIU Brooklyn as well as the US Army Reserve Medical Corps. She actively participates in activities for the “Doctors Without Borders – Pulse Polio Campaign” in India. Along with her passion for global health initiatives, Prerana has served the regional, national and international community as Miss India International 2011, Miss Earth New Jersey 2012, Miss New Jersey Intercontinental 2013, Miss Tourism East-Coast 2015, and Miss New Jersey American Beauty 2016.

Robert Schroback

Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Robert Schroback is graduating with the Class of 2016. Robert is a New Jersey native who has been recognized for his outstanding performance both in the classroom and on the soccer field. He was a four-year member of the LIU soccer program and was named the captain of the NCAA Division I team in his senior season. Robert also minored in business management during his undergraduate studies before entering the professional phase of the pharmacy program. He spent more than two years as a resident assistant, working in two different living communities on and off campus.

Upon completion of his professional program, Robert plans to begin working as a pharmacist for Rite Aid, where he has been working as an intern for nearly two years. He plans to work in retail in order to connect with the patients whom he offers care.

Robert is also graduating from LIU Brooklyn’s distinguished Honors College. Honors education has helped to guide the way for his involvement in other on-campus activities.

Spencer Afriyie

A Heath Science Major from Mt. Vernon, New York, and has been recognized for exceptional work as student and Campus Life leader. Over the past four years, Spencer has been a student in LIU’s prestigious Honors College, a Campus Activity Program student, an Orientation Leader, and a Student Government Council Member, and has also served two terms as Vice President of Finance in the Student Government. Spencer has continuously given back to the LIU Brooklyn community by contributing time, advice, and mentorship to the Smart Scholars Program, C-Step Program, Gear Up Program and LIU Promise.

Spencer aspires to continue to serve all who surround him by becoming an Occupational Therapist. He has volunteered at Montefiore Medical Center for more one hundred hours while earning his degree. Spencer’s studies at LIU have afforded him the opportunity to meet many great and accomplished individuals who have educated him in his chosen field and inspired his life goals.