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      Academic Leaders

      Class of 2018 Top Graduates Make the Grade

      Academic Leaders

      Class of 2018 academic leaders included, from left, Emma Irving, Jennifer Rohrbach, Jeffrey Lord and Tulsi Patel.

      Three undergraduates took the top two academic rankings for the class of 2018, while a fourth earned the President’s Award and a spot on the platform at graduation.

      Emma Irving of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania was named class valedictorian. An alumna of Lower Dauphin High School, Irving was an English major who earned a 4.0 grade point average to lead the class academically. In addition to her studies, Irving worked as a web content strategist with University Relations, was president of the Widener Dance Company and a jazz choreographer, and served as editor-in-chief of The Blue Route.

      Irving said she was very pleasantly surprised when she learned of her status as the top graduate. Reflecting on her success, she said she was glad she chose to attend Widener.

      “I have made so many fantastic connections going to a small, liberal arts school,” she said. “I have been mentored by amazing faculty and staff.”

      Irving plans to do a summer internship at Green Writers Press in Vermont, travel, and pursue permanent work with a Philadelphia community arts program.

      Salutatorian honors were shared this year by two students who both earned a 3.992 grade point average: Jennifer Rohrbach and Jeffrey Lord.

      Rohrbach is a graduate of Kutztown High School and she majored in English and creative writing at Widener. She served as editor-in-chief of both The Blue & Gold and The Blue Route, and was a member of the Widener Pep Band & Wind Ensemble. She will attend Emerson College to pursue a master’s degree in publishing and writing.

      Lord attended Springfield High School and he majored in computer science at Widener. He volunteered at the Widener Community Tech Day in Chester all four years, served as president of the Computer Science Club, and was part of the Debate Club and the track team. He has accepted a full-time position at SAP, a business software company in Newtown Square.

      The President’s Award, one of the university’s most prestigious awards, went to Tulsi Patel of Folsom, Pa. The award is given annually to the senior who has contributed the most to campus life through scholarship and participation in extracurricular activities. The President’s Award recipient serves as the undergraduate commencement ceremony student speaker.

      Patel graduated from Ridley High School. She pursued a double major in biomedical engineering and computer science, and a double minor in mechanical engineering and mathematics. She served as president of the Women in Computing Club and treasurer of the French and International clubs. She was also a choreographer for the Cultural Dance Team. Patel has accepted a position as a computer systems validation engineer at Integrated Project Services (IPS) in New Jersey.


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