The Valedictorian for the 2012 graduating class at LIU Post is a history major with a double minor in political science and sociology. Sean Simensky will be awarded with the coveted “LIU Post’s Academic Achievement Award” and will give a special speech during the commencement ceremonies on May 4th.
The title of Valedictorian is given to a student chosen by a board of faculty and administrators, who judge a student’s grade point average, the number of credits taken, a personal essay and an interview the candidate.
About eight students are nominated according to Beth Carson at Registrar, who convenes the Valedictorian and Salutatorian process. However, this number varies depending on the academic make-up of the graduating class. “Students aren’t nominated by anyone, but those considered are selected on the basis of their overall GPA and the number of credits taken in residence at LIU Post,” she added.
On March 20th, Simensky met with LIU Post Provost Dr. Paul Forestell, where he was told he was chosen as the 2012 Valedictorian. Despite feeling extremely honored, Simensky said he never thought of the possibility of being the Valedictorian. “I worked hard in all my classes but not because I wanted to be Valedictorian but because I wanted to push myself to be the best student I could be,” he said.
Since his freshman year at Post, Simensky has worked with the Learning Support Center on campus, providing notes from his classes to students who can’t physically attend classes. Simensky has also been involved in plenty of charity work, which includes volunteering at the St. Gertrude’s Parish in Bayville, where he helped to provide food for families in need.
As graduation approaches with less than four weeks away, Simensky, who finished his studies in January, didn’t think he would miss Post. “It’s hard to put into words what I miss because it is more than the professors and the classmates; it’s the overall feeling every Post student has when they are on campus. I suppose the best word for it is the sense of community,” he said.
On May 4th, approximately 9,000 people will gather on the Great Lawn for the graduation ceremony, where Simensky is scheduled to deliver his valedictory address. “The hardest part for me is that I want to make sure that [my speech] is not about me as an individual. Graduation should be about all the graduates; I don’t think I am any different than any of my classmates, and I think we should all be happy about what we have achieved as a class,” Simensky said. Maintaining a G.P.A of 3.99 was not difficult according to Simensky, who attributed his high average to developing strong work and study habits. After graduation, Simensky plans to attend law school in the fall. Simensky is also a member of the Honors and Merit Fellowship Program.
“I don’t know which law school I’ll be attending yet,” Simensky said. He’s been accepted to Touro College. “I’m waiting to hear back from St. John’s and Hofstra and then I’m going to make a decision.”