Post University will host its 125th Commencement ceremony Saturday, recognizing hundreds of graduating Main Campus and ADP students for their hard work and dedication to their education.
I would like to take a moment to acknowledge one of those exceptional students, Post’s 2015 co-valedictorian, Miranda Polaski, who completed her degree on Post’s Waterbury campus.
Main Campus Valedictorian, Miranda Polaski
Later this week Miranda Polaski will do something she never dreamed she would do. She will look out over a sea of graduates and address Post University’s Class of 2015 as the Main Campus Valedictorian.
It wasn’t a lack of faith in herself or her academic prowess that Polaski felt would keep her from this memorable moment; she simply thought she would never be a part of the Class of 2015.
“After my first semester I was lost,” she said. “I hadn’t found my niche right away, and I wasn’t used to the whole college experience. I was seriously considering leaving Post.”
That’s when Polaski had a conversation with Elizabeth Johnson, Dean of The School of Arts and Sciences, who was her environmental science professor at the time. It was a conversation that changed everything.
“Professor Johnson just told me that I can make Post whatever I want it to be,” she said. “My experiences and accomplishments would be dictated by the amount of effort I put in and the attitude I carried. She encouraged me to give it another shot and find the ways that I can contribute and be involved.”
After this, Polaski didn’t just stay at Post, she became one of the most involved student leaders on campus. As President of the Sustainability Committee, President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Vice President of the Residence Hall Association and member of the women’s lacrosse team, earning All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) second team honors the last three seasons, it’s safe to say Polaski found that niche.
“Becoming involved made my experience important,” she said. “It made me feel like I had a real reason to be here, and I was able to experience and learn so much.”
As she grew into her roles on campus, the Biology major also thrived in the classroom, relishing Post’s small class sizes and student-driven learning.
“The independent research and the creative freedom the professors gave us to look at things we were interested in made the Biology program so special,” she said.
Saturday, when the focus of the Commencement crowd switches to her, Polaski will be thinking about all of the amazing moments that she experienced at Post over the past four years.
“The lifelong friendships I’ve formed, the amazing experiences I’ve had, the ways I’ve been able to contribute and give back, those will be what I’ll be thinking about and what I’ll take with me when I leave Post,” she said.
As Polaski departs, to pursue a physician assistant graduate degree, she encourages each and every Post student to find the positives in every situation and find their purpose in life.
“Use the resources you have, find something you enjoy doing, and dive in head first,” she said. “You won’t regret it.”
Congratulations to Miranda and every student that will be earning their degree on Saturday!