Meet the five co-salutatorians of the Class of 2024

Publication Date

Five members of the Class of 2024 earned the distinction of salutatorian, as a result of achieving the second highest grade point average in the class.

Five members of the Class of 2024 earned the distinction of salutatorian, as a result of achieving the second highest grade point average in the class.

The co-salutatorians for the Class of 2024, from left to right: Elaine Fryer, Grace Stearns, Grace Nicol, Charles McVicker and Meghan Piser.

Fryer

Elaine Fryer

Hometown: Falmouth, Mass.

Major: Political science and sociology double major

Minor: French

Activities: Phi Beta Kappa; Co-President of Pi Sigma Alpha; Alpha Kappa Delta; Political Science Liaison Committee; Peer Mentoring Program with the Accommodative Services Office; Stories of U

Favorite class: Women in Politics with Professor Zoe Oxley. Her class opened my eyes to the history of the women's suffrage movement and the challenges women face as politicians and political citizens.

What I will miss most: The political science and sociology professors that have been so instrumental to my time here. They have been the best mentors I could ask for. I will also miss enjoying the campus during the beautiful spring weather.

Advice for incoming students: Don't be afraid to ask for help -- from your professors, your peers, your friends, your mentors. Asking for help can be difficult and even scary sometimes, but it will pay off. The more support you can find here, the better.

Life after Union: Enjoy working at home on Cape Cod while I figure out what the next chapter is!

Charles McVicker

Charles McVicker

Hometown: Dorset, Vt.

Major: Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Activities: Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society; Iota Iota Iota; Peer Cherokee Language Educator

Favorite class: Sex, Race and Gender in Latin America with Professor Elena McGrath. It was my first experience with GSWS work within the History Department and I think it had a huge impact on the rest of the work I've done at Union.

What I will miss most: Union has a wonderful library. I am not currently planning to stay in academia, and I think I'll miss having access to so many wonderful books and to librarians who are so willing to talk and help you find what you are looking for.

Advice for incoming students: Consider doing interdisciplinary work, and think about it early. I had hoped to put together an OTM (Organizing Theme Major) around Two-Spirit / Queer Indigenous Studies, but it was too late to apply. Figure out how to take the courses that interest you and how to bring them all together.

Life after Union: I will be relocating to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, my tribal capital (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ/Cherokee Nation). I hope to enroll in a full-time adult language immersion program and to become a teacher of my endangered heritage language ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ (the Cherokee Language).

Grace Nicol

Grace Nicol

Hometown: Gloucester, England

Major: Biochemistry

Minor: Psychology

Activities: Varsity Tennis; Delta Phi Epsilon; Pre-Health Society; The Garnet Society; Phi Beta Kappa; Omicron Delta Kappa

Favorite class: Endocrinology. I got to understand real patient cases and explore differential diagnoses. The class was very engaging and provided me with deeper insight into what my research at Union was based on.

What I will miss most: Being a member of the tennis team. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a student-athlete at Union. Not only will I miss being part of a varsity team, but I will miss my teammates a lot.

Commencement: June 16, 2024

Dates, FAQs, parking information and other important details can be found on the Commencement website.

Commencement website

Advice for incoming students: Even if you think you know what you want to major in, branch out to other subjects because Union provides the opportunity to explore many different subjects. Also, get involved on campus whether it be Greek life, clubs or intramural sports. There are lots of things to get involved in and that will help you find your place at Union.

Life after Union: I will be attending medical school at King’s College London to become a physician. My long-term goal is to pursue a career in sports medicine.

Meghan Piser

Meghan Piser

Hometown: Latham, N.Y.

Major: Biology

Minors: Spanish and psychology

Activities: Women’s Soccer; Phi Beta Kappa; Scholars Program; ChemHelp tutor; End-of-life CARE research lab assistant

Favorite class: Advanced Cell Biology with Professor Avon Ibrahim. I enjoyed learning new laboratory techniques in a collaborative environment.

What I will miss most: The people I have met these past four years. I feel incredibly fortunate for the friendships and lasting memories I’ve created. I will also miss the supportive environment fostered by the exceptional faculty present throughout my college experience.

Advice for incoming students: College is the perfect time to explore new passions and interests. Take classes outside your major, participate in study abroad programs, and don’t hesitate to engage in all Union has to offer. Seize every moment and opportunity - it goes by fast!

Life after Union: Before pursuing a career in medicine, I've decided to take a couple of gap years to work in a clinical setting and enhance my preparation for the medical school application process. I'm immensely grateful for the education and support I've received at Union, which has equipped me with the skills and confidence to advance my journey toward a medical profession.

Grace Sterns

Grace Stearns

Hometown: Wolcott, Conn.

Major: Double major in political science and sociology

Minor: French

Activities: Ozone House; Ozone Café (manager); Phi Beta Kappa; Pi Sigma Alpha (chapter vice president); Alpha Kappa Delta; Spinning (instructor); Fitness Committee; Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Committee (student liaison to Union College)

Favorite class: Politics of Resistance with Professor Saladdin Ahmed. I learned the principles of historical materialism, which totally changed the way I think about things politically. We also studied movements from the margins of the nation-state system and developed an understanding of what dedicated work toward a more egalitarian order looks like. Little is more meaningful or important than this, in my opinion.

What I will miss most: My community, especially that fostered by Ozone House. Many of the best friends I’ve made here have at least passed through this house, and I’ve had the privilege to relate to them on the basis of shared passion and concern. Ozone has given us a space to not only discuss theory and approach environmental activism together, but also to express ourselves to the fullest extent and exist (mostly) safely as the people we are. Plus, the house has the biggest backyard I’ll have for a while.

Advice for incoming students: You have the power here. If something doesn’t sit right with you, take advantage of your ability to organize around it.

Life after Union: I’m pursuing a Ph.D. in politics (political theory) at the University of Virginia to continue expanding the theoretical consideration of the nonhuman, which I began to do with my senior thesis. Until the fall, I’ll be hanging out at some state parks and canvassing with New York Public Interest Research Group.