Meet the Class of 2017

Publication Date

As their time at Union comes to a close, take a look back at the Class of 2017 and their impact on the College.

The class set a new record for applications to Union. 5,643 students applied, making it the most competitive Admissions year to date. (The new record for applications has since topped 6,652)

Total graduates: 475, representing 24 states and 14 countries

Bachelor of Arts degrees: 208

Bachelor of Science degrees: 267


Aubrey Griffin, Lindsay Reich and Antonia Batha were all honored with Fulbright Student English Teaching Assistantships. In 2016, Union was named a Fulbright Top Producer by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for its tradition of excellence with the program.

Riley Konsella was named a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, marking the fifth straight year a Union student has given the honor. He will travel four continents, studying how countries use technology and offbeat strategies to solve their transportation issues.

Also, Patrick Gardner received a U.S. Teaching Assistantship and will travel to Austria after graduation.

Sean Farrell and Robert Barsamian were named University Innovation Fellows during their time at Union. The highly-selective program is designed to help foster entrepreneurship and innovation among students nationwide.

Krystal Edwards and Sharmeen Azher were the winners of the College Distinction Awards at Union’s annual Prize Day. Edwards was awarded the Josephine Daggett Prize, given to the senior of the best conduct and character. Azher was given the Frank Bailey Prize as the senior having rendered the greatest service to the College.


193 seniors are graduating with honors, and Economics leads the pack for the most number of majors, followed by Political Science, Psychology then Mechanical Engineering.

301 students went on 340 programs abroad, meaning 63 percent of the class went on a program through the College’s International Programs office.

More than 260 seniors presented their research at this year’s Steinmetz Symposium Day. Just a few of the projects included:

  • Emma Stein discussed the television media coverage for the 2016 presidential election.

  • Frank Chiarulli presented his computer science senior thesis, “Controlling 3D Printers with Artificial Neural Networks.”

  • Benjamin Megathlin discussed the ethics and philosophy behind nanotechnology.

Also, as part of the day’s dance performance, student choreographers, such as Lily Herout, J’Kela Smith, Maddison Stemple-Piatt, presented their work. Seniors also exhibited their work in the Steinmetz art show. Nathan Singer(sculpture) and Hadley Richards (photography) were a few of the senior exhibitors.


There are 112 student-athletes in the graduating class, representing five conference championships in the last four years.

This is the last class to have been on campus during the 2014 Men’s Hockey National Championship. Seniors on the team, taking down the University of Minnesota at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, were Mike Vecchione, Eli Lichtenwald, Michael Pontarelli, Jeff Taylor and Alex Sakellaropoulos. This year, Vecchione became the first Dutchman in Union's history to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.


Students joined together with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to discuss “Its On Us,” a national campaign bringing awareness to sexual assault on college campuses. Malcolm Sherrod spoke about the importance of bystander intervention training during the roundtable discussion.

Matthew Wu, a Leadership in Medicine student and the Class of 2017 student speaker, competed at the 18th annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl national competition in 2014.

In 2015, Cassandra Padilla was honored with Best in Show for her artwork in the “LGBTQ at Union” exhibit at the Wikoff Student Gallery.

Andrew Guyatte presented alongside faculty at the 42nd annual New York African Studies Association conference at the University at Buffalo.

Alexander Dolcimascolo and Devon Webster used a grant from the Student Forum’s Green Fee fund to support their “Drink Local” project that established water refill stations around campus.


During their time at Union, the Class of 2017 saw the dedication of the Henle Dance Pavilion, Wicker Wellness Center, Karp Hall, Garnet Commons and the Feigenbaum Center for the Arts.

After a push from students, Union updated its motto to read, Sous les lois de Minerve nous devenons tous frères et sœurs (“Under the laws of Minerva, we all become brothers and sisters”).