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Commencement for 2,300 LIU Post Students Set for May 4


Rita Langdon,Associate Provost and Director of Public Relations & Marketing
Long Island University, LIU Post

Steve Collins - Dr. Steve Collins, founder and chairman of Valid Nutrition, will deliver the keynote addressBrookville, N.Y. – The producer of the Super Bowl, the Westchester County District Attorney and the co-founder of the Innocence Project at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law will be among the dignitaries honored at the 54th Commencement exercises at LIU Post on Friday, May 4. The commencement address will be delivered by Dr. Steve Collins, founder and chairman of Valid Nutrition, and creator of the community-based Therapeutic Care model, which delivers nourishing, ready-to-eat foods to severely malnourished people in Africa.

The main ceremony, which will be held under a large tent on the Great Lawn, is expected to draw more than 9,000 graduates, family members, guests and faculty. Commencement 2012 will celebrate the achievements of 974 baccalaureate students, 1,183 master's degree candidates, 24 doctoral candidates, and 145 students who have competed advanced certificates.

Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to Fred Gaudelli, a 1982 graduate of LIU Post and producer of NBC Sunday Night Football and the 2012 Super Bowl;  Class of 1978 alumna Janet DiFiore, a former judge and now Westchester County District Attorney, and James N. Macri, Ph.D., Class of 1965, the founding president of NTD Laboratories, a specialty laboratory that focuses on prenatal screening for birth defects.

Steve Collins, M.D., will receive an Honorary Doctorate along with Peter J. Neufeld, a partner at the law firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP, and co-founder and director of The Innocence Project; and 1968 alumnus Manuel H. Barron, founder and chairman of the board of test prep and educational materials publisher Barron's Educational Series, Inc.  The Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service will be presented to George Haralampoudis, a member of the LIU Post Hutton House Lectures Advisory Board and a mentor to international students through the University's Global Connections Mentoring Program.

The valedictorian of the Class of 2012 is Sean Simensky of Locust Valley, N.Y., a history major and member of the LIU Post Honors and Merit Fellowship Program. An aspiring attorney with a 3.99 GPA, he will attend law school in the fall and is currently interning at the Long Island law firm Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Cohn, & Terrana LLP of Uniondale, N.Y. He has volunteered weekly at St. Gertrude's Food Pantry for the past 10 years.

The salutatorian is Melissa Yonelunas of Commack, N.Y., an English adolescence education major with a 4.0 grade point known for her accomplished, insightful writing and inquisitive nature. Actively involved in the LIU Post community, Yonelunas is a member of the Honors Program, the Pep Band and the Flute Ensemble. She also serves as a note taker for the Learning Support Center, providing her class notes for students who need additional assistance. A recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award, she has taken part in projects including sewing pillows for breast cancer patients and preparing and delivering food to families of women who are fighting the disease.

Commencement 2012 includes the first graduates of LIU Post's genetic counseling master's degree program, the only one of its kind on Long Island and one of just 31 in the nation.

Genetic counselors are experts in the science of genetic testing and hereditary disorders. Their role is to explain health risks to patients and families revealed by genetic testing and to help them make sometimes difficult health care decisions based on the information. Pregnant women older than 35 (whose children are more susceptible to chromosome disorders), women with family histories of breast cancer and parents of newborns with birth defects are among the people most frequently referred to genetic counselors.

LIU Post (formerly known as the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University) is located at 720 Northern Boulevard in Brookville, New York.

Posted 04/06/2012

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