Baruch College Announces Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
May 20, 2020
Baruch College named Annmarie Gajdos and Katherine Dorovitsine, respectively, as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2020. Both students were selected for their academic excellence, leadership in community engagement, and oral communication skills.
Gajdos will deliver the valedictory address during the College’s Virtual Commencement Experience taking place on June 8. Dorovitsine will be the featured speaker for the College’s Student Achievement Awards that will take place virtually on June 5.
Annmarie Gajdos: Global Education Advocate Aspires to be an International Human Rights Lawyer
Gajdos, from the Macaulay Honors College, will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems from the Zicklin School of Business. She also earned minors in business law and New York City studies, as well as completed a concentration in management of musical enterprises from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.
During her four years at Baruch, Gajdos held numerous leadership roles on campus including: chair of graphics for Undergraduate Student Government; president of the Pre-Law Society; Baruch campus editor for The Macaulay Messenger; and vice president of incoming global volunteers and vice president of marketing for AIESEC Baruch, an international youth-led organization striving to achieve peace and facilitating a network of cross-cultural exchanges via volunteering experiences and professional internships.
Gajdos, who is Slovak-American, is an advocate for global education. To that end, she studied abroad in Nanjing, China and volunteered extensively overseas helping in the Galápagos Islands, Israel, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Republic of Georgia. For her international volunteer efforts, Gajdos received a 2019 New York City Mayoral Service Award for more than 1,000 hours of service and ABC’s Tiempo interviewed her for assisting in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
“International volunteering forced me to step outside of my comfort zone, challenging the way that I looked at the world and encouraging me to identify commonalities between my heritage and that of the people whom I met abroad,” Gajdos stated. “Fully integrating myself into a community that is different from my own makes travel more meaningful and enables me to connect my professional goals to the causes for which I am an ardent advocate.”
Gajdos is a Max Berger Pre-Law Fellow, a two-time Dr. Wendy Heyman Public Interest Fellow, and a Futures Initiative Undergraduate Leadership Fellow. In addition, she earned a Grace Hopper Conference Scholarship for excellence in computing and inclusive leadership; a William R. Kenan Scholarship for her commitment to service, civic engagement and social vision; a Belle Zeller Scholarship for academic excellence and social commitment, and a 2019 Phenomenal Women’s Award from the Baruch Women’s History Month committee.
After graduation, Gajdos intends to pursue a career as an international human rights lawyer, exploring the role technology can play in protecting the legal rights of underrepresented communities abroad. In her spare time, she hopes to provide legal services to artists navigating the entertainment industry.
“I came to Baruch College seeking a well-rounded education where I could explore both my creative and intellectual pursuits. I was able to do exactly that by combining my interests in STEM and multimedia with my long-term goal of becoming a lawyer,” Gajdos said. “Baruch gave me the freedom to explore these different fields while connecting me with the professional resources and faculty mentors that were able to help me successfully forge my path.”
Katherine Dorovitsine: First-Generation Student to Launch Career at Goldman Sachs
Dorovitsine, a first-generation student whose parents immigrated to the United States from Russia, is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and minors in New York City studies and international business.
On campus, Dorovitsine held a variety of leadership roles including Resident Assistant; Peer for Career in the Starr Career Development Center; Honors Program ambassador, and first-year seminar peer mentor.
The Macaulay Honors Program student participated in several of Baruch’s mentorship programs, serving as a mentee in the Executives on Campus for one year and in the Financial Women’s Association Mentoring Program for two years. She also completed Starr’s Financial Leadership Program.
“In these various positions, I was exposed to people with very different backgrounds than myself and needed to constantly adapt in order to achieve a variety of shared goals,” Dorovitsine said. “These lessons about leadership and effective communication will be invaluable in my future career and in any task that requires collaboration with others.”
Dorovitsine benefitted from two study abroad experiences during her time at Baruch. Her first travels were to Kassel, Germany on a language immersion program where she lived with a host family and attended a local language school. This past fall, she traveled to Berlin, Germany on a semester-long exchange program where she studied at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
At Baruch, Dorovitsine won several honorable awards. As a participant in the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) Mentoring Program, she received the Mentee Award in each of the last four semesters. Some other top accolades she earned were the C.V. Starr Study Abroad Fellowship, the FWA International Study Scholarship, and the Susan A. Locke Award at this year’s Student Achievement Awards.
“My Baruch College education was never limited to the walls of a classroom because New York provides endless opportunities for ‘real world’ learning,” Dorovitsine noted. “Art focused courses brought me to the Opera at Lincoln Center and various on- and off-Broadway shows, a science-based course brought me to a park in Queens to gather data on prevalent wildlife, and a course with a sociology component asked me to interview small business owners in New York. All of these experiences have allowed me to take advantage of Baruch’s unique location in the greatest city in the world.”
Over the last two summers, Dorovitsine interned at Goldman Sachs in its Securities Division. The financial services firm offered her a full-time role on its Hedge Fund Consulting team within Prime Brokerage, and she will begin as a first-year analyst this summer.
“Baruch equipped me with the skills necessary to succeed in the business world and prepared me for my internships at Goldman Sachs,” Dorovitsine mentioned. “I’m excited to begin my professional career in a role that genuinely interests me and will allow me to have a tangible impact on the clients I will be interacting with.”
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