Baruch College Announces Valedictorian and Salutatorian for Class of 2022
May 12, 2022
Baruch College named Ashley Mei Bo Torrenti and Briana Staten, respectively, as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2022.
The criteria for award recipients include: academic excellence, student engagement in both co-curricular and extracurricular activities, communication skills, and ability to overcome obstacles to achieve academic success.
Torrenti will deliver the valedictory address during the College’s Commencement Ceremony on May 26 at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Staten will be the featured speaker at the College’s Student Achievement Awards being held on May 16.
Ashley Mei Bo Torrenti: Baruch Ambassador, Dedicated Volunteer, Culture Enthusiast
Valedictorian Ashley Mei Bo Torrenti, a Macaulay Honors student, will graduate with a BBA in International Marketing Management from the Zicklin School of Business and a minor in New York City Interdisciplinary Studies and Business Law.
“Both of my parents have built their businesses from the ground up and relied heavily on learning as they go. I wanted to pursue business so I would have a more formal and in-depth understanding that I could incorporate into my future businesses,” explains Torrenti.
“I chose to approach this from an international standpoint because coming from a multiethnic background I know that one marketing strategy may be successful in one country, but does not guarantee success in another country or even a region within a country.”
Torrenti is the recipient of the Macaulay Legacy Award, which recognizes exceptional co-curricular contributions to the student community. She also won the Gala Scholars Award, through the Macaulay Opportunity Funds program, for explaining in a letter how Clean All, LLC hired interns from underserved communities, specifically individuals who are Latinx immigrants, which helps serve as a “steppingstone for their employees to later move onto higher income work.”
Torrenti has held numerous leadership and service positions including a peer mentor, Baruch Ambassador, vice president of the Marketing Committee of the Macaulay Business Club, and notably acting as president and later coach of one of the largest clubs at Macaulay – The Marauders Quidditch Team.
During college, Torrenti’s extracurricular activities extended beyond Baruch. She has dedicated more than 5,000 volunteer hours to various wildlife organizations and is learning American Sign Language through the Lexington School of Deaf.
“Between being an ambassador, a peer mentor, and a volunteer at Peace River Wildlife Center, I find that volunteer work is so important,” she adds. “Not only to give back to the community but to also ground yourself.
“Sometimes we get so hyper-focused on our future and careers that it can be refreshing to remember where we started. Through my volunteer work, I’ve had the opportunity to work with people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, while being part of a support system that helped me get to where I am today.”
With a passion for arts and culture, Torrenti studied abroad two times: first learning about antiquities in Florence, Italy and then the Spanish language in Santander, Spain. From both experiences, she gained knowledge about the cultures, regional distinctiveness, and the countries themselves, but also how to approach life as a whole.
“As someone who likes to always be prepared, it was humbling to accept that some things are just out of your control and a little serendipity in life is good for the soul,” she notes.
“In Italy, there is a proverb that loosely translates to – ‘Life is like a photograph. If you smile it’s better.’ Living in a foreign country you are bound to experience some degree of culture shock and make some mistakes, but my experience taught me to approach it all with a positive attitude and it’ll be alright.”
Upon graduation from Baruch, Torrenti is looking to continue her goal of becoming a Renaissance woman—someone who is knowledgeable in various fields featuring an extensive academic portfolio. Therefore, she is currently applying for graduate school to pursue a career in veterinarian medicine. In the meantime, she is working on writing children’s books with her father.
“Baruch has aided me in my goal to become a well-rounded student by the curriculum it offers,” Torrenti says. “While I can understand how it’s frustrating for some students to take compulsory classes in fields that don’t align with their degree, for me, it satiated that love of learning subjects beyond the standard business courses. Additionally, the breadth of classes offered, combined with the flexibility in our schedules, has also been a large contributing factor in meeting my goals.”
Briana Staten: First-Generation Student, Mentor, Community Leader
Salutatorian Briana Staten is the first in her family to graduate from college. She is earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Advertising Marketing Communications from the Zicklin School of Business and completing a minor in Anthropology.
At Baruch, Staten was involved with Success Network, first starting as a mentee then becoming a peer mentor to help students with a similar background as herself.
“This program really kick-started my career at Baruch,” Staten said. “It provided me the space and resources to become more outgoing and explore so many different opportunities.”
Additionally, Staten became a first-year seminar peer mentor where she helped students navigate their first semesters and transition to Baruch.
Staten adds, “My involvement with TEAM Baruch helped build my leadership skills and pushed me to advocate for myself. Turning from a shy person to someone who wanted to speak up and step up for others.”
Active with Baruch’s Undergraduate Student Government, she served as vice president of Academic Affairs, and then became executive vice president working with student senators to host diverse programming for the Bearcat community.
Outside of Baruch, Staten was a College Coach through CUNY’s College and Career Bridge for All, where she provided college and career coaching for students who attended underfunded high schools in New York City. In this role, Staten helped more than 300 students make it to their first day of college. She also joined the Inroads Fellowship Program, a nonprofit that creates pathways to internships and careers for diverse college students at many of North America’s top corporations, firms, and organizations. Last summer, Staten was an intern at Pfizer working on marketing communications in the Office of the Ombuds.
“By being involved in different communities, you are not only able to give back but help shape and inspire the future,” Staten says. “You get to do things you enjoy by being involved, but also serve as a role model even if you don’t realize it.”
This fall, Staten plans to be back on campus to pursue a Master’s degree in digital marketing. She is also hoping that her current internship at a global marketing and technology agency turns into a full-time position as an associate media planner.
“I got the internship with the help of the Starr Career Development Center, and am so grateful and excited for the possibility of a full-time role,” states Staten. “In graduate school at Baruch, I am looking to really harness some more very valuable skills. Down the line, I want to give back to the Baruch community in any way I can.
“Once I get more experience, I would love to come back and teach a marketing class!”
2022 Commencement Ceremony
Baruch College will hold its 2022 Commencement Ceremony for both undergraduate and graduate students on Thursday, May 26 at Barclays Center at 620 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The ceremony, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., will also be livestreamed on the Baruch College website.
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