By Tiffany Rose Miller
Peter Antingham Grabowski, a political science and philosophy double major, and Kristina Dolan, a fine arts major and digital art and design minor, have been named co-valedictorians of the class of 2018.
Grabowski, who has a 4.0 GPA, was the recipient of the Presidential Award, Steven H. Hornstein Scholarship and Jerry Tilles Endowed Scholarship. He also was inducted in both the Pi Gamma Mu honor society for social science and Pi Sigma Alpha honor society for political science, and awarded the Arthur J. Waterman Prize for the most outstanding senior in political science.
In between his academics, Grabowski worked as a tutor for the philosophy and political science departments, assisting students with coursework. He was also a research assistant for Dr. Michael Soupios, a political science professor, and a teacher’s assistant for Dr. Amy Freedman, chair of the political science department.
“LIU offered me a very generous scholarship, and the location was very convenient for me. I was intrigued. I set up a meeting with Dr. Soupios in August of 2014 to discuss possible classes for Fall ’14, I enrolled in his class, and I never looked back,” Grabowski said about his decision to attend LIU Post. He plans to attend graduate school in 2019 to earn a Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in either international relations or American politics, and then possibly work in academia or for a think tank.
Grabowski is particularly interested in working in academia because of his Post professors. “Dr. Soupios is an absolutely brilliant man; he is a role model in every sense of the word. I took him for all four classes he teaches, and then a few more times for independent studies. He pushed me really hard and challenged me, but it was worth it,” he said.
“Additionally, Dr. Freedman has also been a wonderful professor for me too; I’ve taken her six or seven times and she offered me so many opportunities for networking and advancement. She believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself,” Grabowski added.
Grabowski, 24, a native of Glen Cove, resides in Brookville Hall. He has an older brother, Dennis, and has Spanish, English and Polish roots. At Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, he graduated seventh in a class of 547.
“Reading is my strongest passion; it is something I always fall back on if I’m experiencing any kind of stress or issue,” he said. When asked what his biggest challenges were he responded, “My biggest challenge is occasionally I lose my discipline. Sometimes I’ll get distracted or let small things get to me, or I lose sight of the big picture.”
He described obstacles he has faced. “I’ve had some serious health problems since about 2011. Health problems forced me to dropout of high school in February of my senior year. For a few years after that I never thought I would be able to attend college. It’s been an unbelievable journey for me,” he said. “First and foremost, I need to thank my family. My mother, father and brother have been there for me every step of the journey. I would also like to thank Lewis Cabibi (’15) for being a role model for me. I also need to thank my brothers at Sigma Alpha Epsilon for their love and support,” he said.
Grabowski offered advice to other students. “First, most of my regrets in college have been over things I didn’t do vs. things I did do, so definitely be open to trying new things. Second, it is ok to rely on a support system of family and friends. Needing advice or help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human,” he said.
Dolan, 21, also has a 4.0 GPA. She’s been on the dean’s list for four years and received the O’Malley Grant this semester from the Art Department, a grant given to a student who is working on a large-scale art project. She will receive the Eleanor Lockwood Memorial Award in Sculpture at the Student Award Ceremony. She worked part time in a retail store to help pay for personal expenses in college. She also volunteered for the past four years at an elementary afterschool program, Girls on the Run, that teaches young girls how to stay happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.
A Williston Park native, Dolan commutes to campus.“I obviously really like doing art. It is something that I find very therapeutic,” she said. “One of my strengths is that I never give up, no matter the challenge. I am meticulous with everything I do.”
“A challenge that I have faced is that I am very shy. My college experience helped me to grow, but my shyness is something that I still deal with on a daily basis,” she said.
Dolan has an older brother who attends Hofstra University, and has Irish and Italian roots. “I am a runner, and enjoy walking my dog. I do like to travel too. My family has taken many vacations all over the country, which has left a big impression on me,” she said.
She is excited to be co-valedictorian. “It is a great honor and it really makes me feel like I truly did the best that I could. For me, I strive to do my best with anything that I do,” she said.
Dolan offered advice to students as well. “Always try to stay positive, even when something seems difficult to accomplish, never give up, and do your best.”