Outstanding Students in the Class of 2013

As the University counts down to Commencement, UConn Today is featuring some of this year’s outstanding graduating students, nominated by their academic school or college or another University program in which they participated. For their stories, click on the links below, and keep checking back, as more articles are added in the weeks leading up to Commencement.


Jigish Patel '13 (CLAS). (Max Sinton'15 (CANR)/UConn Photo)Jigish Patel, Future Volunteer Teacher

After graduating as an Honors student with three majors, Jigish Patel ’13 (CLAS) will join Teach for America as a volunteer math teacher in Arkansas for two years.


Brunilda Ferraj '13 MSW. (Colin Poitras/UConn Photo)Brunilda Feraj, Future Social Worker

Her childhood experiences as an immigrant are part of what has driven Brunilda Ferraj ’13 MSW to pursue a degree in social work.


Tyler Reese '13 (CLAS), left, and Spencer Reese '13 (SFA). (Max Sinton '15 (CANR)/UConn Photo)Spencer Reese, Future Opera Stage Director, & Tyler Reese, Future Businessman

Twins Spencer Reese ’13 (SFA) and Tyler Reese ’13 (CLAS) followed separate academic paths, one as a music major, the other in math.


Kyle Hope '13 (ENG & CLAS) and Brian Osborn '13 (ENG & CLAS) Kyle Hope & Brian Osborn, Future International Engineers

Kyle Hope ’13 (ENG & CLAS) and Brian Osborn ’13 (ENG & CLAS) spent a year in Germany as part of UConn’s Eurotech program.


Darren Luon '11 (PHR), '13 Pharm.D. (UConn Photo)Darren Luon, Future Pharmacist

Motivated by the illness of a family member, Darren Luon ’13 Pharm.D. is looking forward to a career as a pharmacist and perhaps one day as a pharmacy professor.


Mairead Hynes (Photo courtesy of Mairead Hynes)Mairead Hynes, Future History Professor

For her Honors thesis, Mairead Hynes ’13 (CLAS) visited Oxford University and read archived letters from WWII Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill.


Celia Poirier '13 (SFA & CLAS). (Ariel Dowski '14 (CLAS)/UConn Photo)Celia Poirier, Future Graphic Designer

Celia Poirier ’13 (SFA & CLAS), a dual degree candidate in fine arts and communication, found her niche at UConn’s Design Center.


Frank Cervo '13 (CLAS) on April 8, 2013. (Ariel Dowski/UConn Photo)Frank Cervo, Future Environmentalist

For Frank Cervo ’13 (CLAS), field research in Costa Rica shaped his goals to earn a Ph.D. in environmental science and help improve the environment.


Kylie Angell '13 (NUR) on April 15, 2013. (Ariel Dowski/UConn Photo)Kylie Angell, Future Registered Nurse

Kylie Angell ’13 (NUR) hopes ultimately to study health policy, earn a Ph.D., and become an advocate for nursing.


Ethan Sarnoski '13 (CANR) on April 10, 2013. (Ariel Dowski/UConn Photo)Ethan Sarnoski, Future Microbiologist

After excelling in pathobiology research as an undergraduate, Ethan Sarnoski ’13 (CANR) is heading to Yale as a Ph.D. candidate in microbiology.


Portrait of Carlos J. Rodriguez '13 (CLAS) on March30, 2013. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)Carlos Rodriguez, Future Counselor

Carlos Rodriguez ’13 (CLAS) is grateful for the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree, and he plans to ‘pay it forward’ by becoming a counselor.


Joe Williamson '13 (ED) on April 2, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Joseph Williamson, Future Social Studies Teacher

Connecticut history buff Joe Williamson ’13 (ED) incorporates local history into his lesson plans to engage students.


Alyssa Palazzo '13 (CLAS) on March 20, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Alyssa Palazzo, Future Writer, Advocate

The editor-in-chief of UConn’s literary magazine, Long River Review, Alyssa Palazzo ’13 (CLAS) is a talented writer, editor, and advocate for women’s issues.


Lisa Dauten '13 (CANR). (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)Lisa Dauten, Future Veterinarian

Twice named Connecticut’s Eastern States Exposition Undergraduate Scholar, Lisa Dauten ’13 (CANR) hopes to make a difference in the world of veterinary medicine.


Addison Zhao '13 (CLAS). (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)Addison Zhao, Future Educational Psychologist

Psychology major Addison Zhao ’13 (CLAS) has excelled as both a student and a peer educator. Now he hopes to study educational psychology in graduate school.


Russell Lycan (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)Russell Lycan, Future Marine Archaeologist

Russell Lycan ’13 (CLAS) is making the journey from Navy diver to a career in marine archaeology.