NYSCAS Manhattan Celebrates its Graduates at 43rd Commencement Ceremony
Guest Speaker Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto: ‘You have set the standard for others who will follow’
New York, N.Y. – New York School of Career and Applied Studies, a division of Touro College, honored its graduates at the 43rd commencement exercises with awards, accolades and a bit of TV celebrity from guest speaker, Fox 5’s Rosanna Scotto, who took center stage at Lincoln Center with words of encouragement and inspiration.
“You are the leaders of the twenty first century.” Scotto told the 478 degree candidates from the school’s midtown campus seated in David Geffen Hall. “The men and women who will change lives and build incredible things.”
The award-winning journalist and host of Good Day, New York recalled her days learning the television news business from the ground up, starting at a TV station in Atlanta, moving on to reporter for Eye- Witness News, news anchor at Fox 5 and finally, as co-host of Good Day, New York.
“It took years, and yes, luck and prayer. But it happened because I believed in myself.”
Scotto’s future was “shaped,” she said, by NYSCAS Prof. Hal Wicke, Deputy Chair of the Communication & Speech Department, who was her high school theater teacher in Brooklyn. “I always looked forward to his class,” she said, “and even more to our lunch meetings when he gave me advice. I am forever grateful for his guidance.”
Scotto acknowledged that so much of the news “bombards us with the negative side of life,” such as crime, government scandal, terrorism, and drugs. “It can be demoralizing,” she said. “But with your skills,” she assured the graduates, “I know you will bring about badly-needed change.”
Executive Administrative Dean of NYSCAS and Vice President of Community Education Eva Spinelli, who presided over the ceremonies, said, “Our graduation exudes such warmth and celebratory feelings of joy and accomplishment. It is my distinct pleasure to watch the faces of our graduates as they ceremoniously move their mortarboard tassels to commemorate their commencement.”
Valedictorian Yasmin Itshakov is a shining example of Touro’s many academic opportunities leading to fulfilling careers. She earned a BS in biology and spent extensive periods of time shadowing doctors to determine her career goals before she chose to continue her education at Touro’s Physician Assistant program at the School of Health Sciences. “I have always loved medicine,” she said in an interview. “This career allows me to pursue my dream to practice medicine while still being able to have a family life.”
A special award was presented to Sgt. Ingrid Anderson, who received thunderous applause for her achievements as an honors student who received a BA in psychology and biology after serving four years in the armed services -where she sustained injuries from military service- and three years in the reserves. She has also been involved in suicide prevention initiatives and assisting mothers who serve in the military.
Dr. Stanley Boylan, Vice President and Dean of Faculties, who assisted in presiding over the ceremony, reminded the audience, “it is possible to change one’s life though education.” He encouraged graduates to be aware of Touro’s many schools and colleges where they can continue their academic careers. “Those who want to be a dentist, doctor or lawyer, or work in technology, you can do it at Touro College!”
The national anthem was sung by Prof. Tim Taylor’s daughter, Dara Taylor, and a moving song, “A Moment in Time” was performed by Mary Parris.
“As you leave here, you take with you all that you have learned from your teachers and classmates,” said Scotto at the end of her speech. “As alumni, respect the traditions of Touro, and its world-class reputation based on dedication to social justice.”
NYSCAS Brooklyn Commencement
The Honorable Letitia James, Public Advocate for the City Of New York was the guest speaker at the 43rd Commencement Ceremony for NYSCAS Brooklyn, held at the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts. Administrators presented 342 baccalaureate and 287 associate degrees to the graduates.
The class of 2017 Valedictorian was Avivah Rambod, and the salutary address was given by Viktoria Melnyk.
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: www.touro.edu/news