Maria Michta Named Valedictorian of the C.W. Post Class of 2008
Rita Langdon,Associate Provost and Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University
Brookville, N.Y. -- Maria Michta, 21, of Nesconset, N.Y. is the 2008 Valedictorian of the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, campus officials announced today, March 27. Michta represents a class of 1,024 undergraduate students and will be the main student speaker at graduation on Sunday, May 11, 2008.
A student in C.W. Post’s prestigious Honors Program, Michta was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in January. In addition to her impressive academic record and flawless 4.0 G.PA., she also is an Olympic hopeful as an elite race walker. A member of the cross-country, winter and spring track teams, last May Michta qualified for the Olympic Trials that will be held in Oregon this July. Last June, she set a personal best in the 20K race walk at the 2007 USATF Nationals with a time of 1:41:27.23. Her hope is to compete in this summer’s games in Beijing. On Friday, March 28 she’ll travel to Oregon to compete in this year’s World Cup Trials and a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in Russia.
Michta is currently interning at Brookhaven National Lab studying x-ray crystallography. Last summer she worked at BNL as a volunteer to gain additional laboratory experience and was able to directly tailor a research project – the structural composition of an antimicrobial cloth – to her senior undergraduate thesis. She will continue to volunteer at the lab this summer performing hands-on demonstrations for children.
Michta is a tutor in physics, organic chemistry and biochemistry for fellow C.W. Post students and in chemistry and biology for high school students. As a member of the Biophilia Club, she organized meetings and community service activities and arranged for local scientists to lecture as guest speakers. She also created her own Polish tutorial course that allowed her to learn Polish in a non-traditional manner while tracing her family’s heritage.
“C.W. Post as a whole, both academically and athletically, has taught me to persevere and make the best of what you have at hand,” she wrote in her Valedictorian application.
After graduation, she plans to enroll in a biomedical Ph.D. program. Over the summer she will attend a prestigious internship program at a national laboratory.
The valedictorian is selected by a committee comprised of faculty and administrators. The C.W. Post Campus’ 50th Commencement will be Sunday, May 11, 2008.
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