Baruch College Announces Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
May 4, 2021
Baruch College named Alyssa Fuchs and Chiandredi Johnson, respectively, as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2021. Both students were selected for their academic excellence, engagement in on-campus activities and clubs, and community efforts through volunteerism.
Fuchs will deliver the valedictory address during the College’s Virtual Commencement Experience taking place on May 27. Johnson will be the featured speaker for the College’s Student Achievement Awards being held online on May 26.
Alyssa Fuchs: Community Builder
Fuchs is a Macaulay Honors College student graduating from Baruch with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the Zicklin School of Business. She also completed a minor in New York City Studies at the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Fuchs is among the first generation of women in her family to graduate college.
Inducted in the Beta Gamma Sigma academic honors society, Fuchs has consistently been named to Baruch College’s Dean’s List and is a recipient of a Dr. Wendy Heyman Public Interest Fellowship.
“At Baruch, I enjoyed learning from professors who were passionate about what they were teaching and who really wanted their students to succeed,” Fuchs stated. “Many of the professors either currently work in the respective field they teach, or worked in the industry for many years, enabling them to use real life examples, as well as give practical and hands-on advice. I also enjoyed being surrounded by like-minded business students who were eager to network and learn.”
As an undergraduate, Fuchs participated in several co-curricular activities including Hillel at Baruch, Real Estate and Finance Club, and Tamid. While not studying at Baruch, Fuchs has engaged in a variety of volunteer activities supporting families in need, such as Kids of Courage and Tomchei Shabbos. Furthermore, at Congregation Bais Tefilah of Woodmere, she was highly involved in developing educational programming and providing structure for children of different age groups increasing and retaining attendance, and organizing social and holiday events for children.
“I was raised in a home where community service and helping others was highly emphasized,” Fuchs said. “These strong values have shaped who I am today and enable me to spend my time giving back to those around me. It is important to look around and lend a hand where it is needed in order to help make the world a better place. The smile on the face of the recipient makes it all worthwhile, in addition to the self-growth involved in the process.”
Next Stop: JPMorgan Chase Analyst
Fuchs interned at JPMorgan Chase as an analyst for the last two summers. Following graduation, she will begin her career as a global finance and business management analyst at the financial services company.
“I strongly believe that we were all put in this world to pinpoint our skills and strengthen them to help those around us,” Fuchs said. “With that in mind, I want to take the finance knowledge that Baruch has provided me with and give back to my community by helping families build financial stability and empower them to live fulfilling and successful lives.”
Chiandredi Johnson: Honors Ambassador
Johnson, a Macaulay Honors student and New York City Merit Scholar, will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the Zicklin School of Business.
Johnson was involved in several co-curricular activities on campus, most notably serving as an Honors Ambassador. According to Johnson, this position was her “ultimate way of giving back.”
“As a senior, I joined as an Honors Ambassador for two reasons: the pure purpose of reflecting on my journey and passing that knowledge to future students, and as a woman of color, I want to be a familiar face for new students who feel out of place, alone, and or are suffering from imposter syndrome,” Johnson said. “My journey represents my struggle to overcome doubt about my worthiness to stand in my position. I pushed forward, proving to myself and everyone around me wrong, and still managed to reach the end. In this case, future students that look up to me can feel at least a little bit comforted in whatever journey lies ahead for them.”
During her time at Baruch, other roles Johnson had was co-president for the Pre-Law Society and a peer mentor for the First Year Seminar. She mentioned that both these interests provided a “space to be creative, gain leadership roles, and set the platform for her future potential.”
Johnson added, “There are many benefits to participating in campus activities and clubs, like making friends and being social, as well as carving a space into Baruch’s legacy. As a commuter school, it is hard to find your group. The best way to do this is to join organizations that build on your hobbies. There you will find students that you can relate to, and you will be presented opportunities through your clubs to broaden your horizons and accomplish things you never thought possible.”
Next Stop: Zicklin’s Master’s Degree, Then Law School
Johnson is planning to complete Baruch College’s Masters in Taxation program at the Zicklin School of Business to become a Certified Public Accountant. She also received an offer to join PwC’s Real Estate Tax group. Johnson has long-term aspirations too, seeking to attend law school and eventually become an M&A or real estate tax attorney.
“Accounting gives me a foundation for all fields, allowing me to explore and be curious about any area imaginable,” Johnson said. “I have many ‘whenever I do it’ goals, such as creating businesses, teach financial literacy to POC communities, do financial independence consulting, open schools, and build black generational wealth. I have so many things I want to do in the future, and best believe I will do all of it.”
2021 Virtual Commencement Experience: May 27, 10 am
To learn more about Baruch College’s 2021 Virtual Commencement Experience and updates on how to watch, read here.
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