Shane Kelly, Staff Writer
The Year is coming to a close and that means the class of 2016 will be walking the stage. At graduation, two important positions will be named – valedictorian and salutatorian.
This year’s recipients are valedictorian Rose Zaloom and salutatorian Matthew Rogers. Zaloom holds a 4.0 GPA and is an English major with a dual minor in theatre and creative writing. Rogers holds a 3.9 GPA and is a journalism student with a minor in history.
Zaloom and Rogers are active members of the Utica College community. Zaloom is president of Sigma Tau Delta, the international honors society for English majors, and is the co-captain of the women’s tennis team. Rogers is the captain of the men’s tennis team and is on the leadership council for the Utica College football team. He also is co-editor of the college newspaper.
Neither Zaloom nor Rogers planned on being awarded these prestigious positions coming into college.
“Being valedictorian was not a goal of mine,” Zaloom said. My only goal was to strive to do my best in each class.”
This honor didn’t come naturally for either student. Rogers and Zaloom credit their hard work in the classroom to finishing college with such high GPAs.
“A lot of times people just assume the valedictorian and salutatorian are really smart, but I think it is much more a measurement of how hard you work,” Rogers said. “There are a lot of brilliant people that don’t do well in college because they don’t want to work hard or they don’t have the discipline. But I think to earn an achievement like this; it has a lot to do with how hard you are willing to work and how much time and effort you are willing to put into it.”
Zaloom chose English as a major because it is a degree with many applications and skills.
“English major introduces a student to rhetorical techniques, political interpretations, and linguistic evolution through storytelling devices that reach and affect people,” Zaloom said.
Rogers’ love for sports led him to major in journalism.
“I chose journalism because all along I wanted to be involved in sports,” Rogers said. “I figured that I could get into sports journalism, and the program here at Utica College has been great for me.”
Zaloom will be furthering her education after she walks the stage at Utica College.
“In the fall, I will be attending the University of Rochester to pursue a Ph.D. in English. Graduate work will give me the opportunity to learn all I can about I field that greatly interests me and add my own voice to academic conversations and discourse,” Zaloom said.
“I’m going to be an assistant coach for UC football next year,” Rogers said. “I am really looking forward to it, and especially staying connected with the Utica College campus community. These last four years have been great, and I’m looking forward to spending some more time here.”