President Wu, Associate Dean de Lancer Julnes, and City Council Member Carlina Rivera Honored at Pi Alpha Alpha Induction Ceremony
June 8, 2021
In a special ceremony, Baruch’s Pi Alpha Alpha chapter welcomed three honorary members into the global honor society for public affairs and administration. Baruch College President S. David Wu, Associate Dean of Academic Programs Patria de Lancer Julnes, and New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera were inducted during the May event.
Each year, Pi Alpha Alpha recognizes outstanding graduate and undergraduate students in public administration, public policy, and public affairs by inducting new members and selecting an additional cohort of honorary inductees who exemplify a commitment to public service.
This year’s event featured opening remarks from Director of Academic Advisement Sandra Fajardo, who spoke about the challenges of the pandemic and the special nature of the evening’s ceremony: “Every year we look forward to this celebration honoring our students and their incredible academic achievements. This year’s celebration took on even more meaning; after over a year of struggles and so many personal sacrifices our students have made, they remain resilient in their commitment to their studies and careers in public service.”
Fajardo’s introduction was followed by a congratulatory message from Dan Williams, Baruch’s Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Adviser, and remarks from Marxe Dean David Birdsell, who emceed the event.
Each of the honorary inductees spoke as well, reflecting on their experiences in public service and offering advice to the incoming student members. President Wu discussed the special signficance of public service at Baruch, noting the ways in which it helps to drive Baruch forward.
“Much of our progress is really about how we make our society a more fair and equitable place, with opportunities for everyone and…in many ways, public universities serve as the greatest engine of social mobility there is for our society,” President Wu said. He also noted how his experiences at Baruch have shaped his own commitment to public service: “We’re serving students from New York and all over the world. Once I realized this important mission of public universities, I decided that I’m going to spend the rest of my career doing exactlty that.”
Associate Dean Patria de Lancer Julnes spoke about the many “flavors” of working towards social betterment, and also thanked the incoming students: “I want to thank you for choosing this path…we have all gone through what is likely the most difficult times of our lifetime. Despite this, you press forward and perservere, and in a few minutes you will take an oath to honor and respect the virtues of public service and those who serve.”
Council Member Carlina Rivera, whose district includes Baruch College and its environs, shared her love of community and belief in public service. “Those of us who have dedicated our lives to public service know that it is not just an occupation or career. It’s a calling, it’s a passion. I never feel as at home as I do when I am out serving my community,” she said. She reflected on her own path to public service, closing her remarks by noting the important role that the incoming student members will play in their communities. “You’re going to be instrumental in building the the equitable future our world deserves,” she predicted.
The ceremony concluded with the induction of the student members. Closing comments were delivered by Interim Pi Alpha Alpha President Scott Crowley, who recited the Pi Alpha Alpha Pledge and ended with a motivating call to action for the newest inductees: “Go make us all proud!”
Baruch’s Pi Alpha Alpha chapter, whose members are national members with the local chapter affiliation, was founded in 2001. Today, there are over 700 alumni members who remain connected to the College’s chapter and commited to advancing public service initiatives here at Baruch.