This year’s five valedictorians and dean’s medal recipients, with a tie in the College, will be honored this weekend for their GPAs — four 4.0s and one 3.97.

Jenny Hammer (COL ’14) and Blair Vorsatz (COL ’14), both with 4.0s, are valedictorians of the College, and will speak at the College’s Tropaia ceremony Friday. Michael J. Lee (MSB ’14), who earned a 3.97, will give the valedictory address at the McDonough School of Business Tropaia ceremony on Friday.

The School of Nursing and Health Studies and the School of Foreign Service do not appoint valedictorians, but Caroline Cotto (NHS ’14) and Michael Reher (SFS ’14) are awarded their respective school’s dean’s medal for their respective 4.0 GPAs. They will not speak at their schools’ Tropaia ceremonies.

Each honored student will carry his or her school’s banner at commencement Saturday, leading the processional.

MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA JENNY HAMMER Georgetown College Major: Psychology GPA: 4.0
MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA
JENNY HAMMER
Georgetown College
Major: Psychology
GPA: 4.0

Hammer majored in psychology with minors in business administration and art history. She said that becoming valedictorian was never a goal that she set for herself but that self-motivation earned her that honor.

“I always just wanted to do the best that I could. I always put my best into everything that I do, and I think that persistence drove my focus throughout college,” Hammer wrote in an email.

Hammer will work at a consulting firm in New York City after graduating, and plans to pursue an MBA or a law degree in the future. Her speech Friday will focus on opportunity and persistence.

“I’m going to talk about how uncertainty is an opportunity, how it’s important to maintain composure in the face of a door that has closed, because the next open door might be right around the corner,” Hammer wrote.

MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA BLAIR VORSATZ Georgetown College Major: Chinese and Economics GPA: 4.0
MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA
BLAIR VORSATZ
Georgetown College
Major: Chinese and Economics
GPA: 4.0

Vorsatz double-majored in Chinese and economics and will pursue a master’s degree in regional East Asian studies at Harvard after graduation.

“I’m torn between economics and international relations, and the graduate program is really flexible so I can kind of test out both and find out what I want to do after that, probably [pursue] either another master’s or a Ph.D. in one of the two fields,” Vorsatz said.

Vorsatz, who served as the captain of the Georgetown Boxing Club for two-and-a-half years, said that his involvement with the team influenced his academic success.

“With all of the hard work that you put into boxing, you’re going to be able to persevere and work through adversity. That work ethic really goes over into the classroom,” he said. He plans to talk about perseverance and hard work in his address.

COURTESY MICHAEL LEE MICHAEL LEE McDonough School of Business Major: Finance GPA: 3.97
COURTESY MICHAEL LEE
MICHAEL LEE
McDonough School of Business
Major: Finance
GPA: 3.97

Lee, a finance major, completed his course of study in the MSB in December and is currently working as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City.

“It’s a lot of fun. I’m very tired, but I have no complaints and I’m glad that I did it,” Lee said.

For Lee, having a successful career after graduation was a motivating factor in his academic life.

“When I went to college, I realized that if I wanted to have the career that I wanted, then ultimately I’d have to have the right background, so I decided to work really hard,” he said. “Something that I believe in is that there are a lot of things in life that you can’t control, but there are some things that you can, and one of those things is how hard you work.”

ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA CAROLINE COTTO School of Nursing & Health Studies Major: Human Science GPA: 4.0
ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
CAROLINE COTTO
School of Nursing & Health Studies
Major: Human Science
GPA: 4.0

Cotto, a human science major, said that she did not set out to be valedictorian, but rather aimed to explore her academic interests and take classes that were appealing to her.

“I don’t feel like I took classes with the goal of trying to get valedictorian of the NHS. I took classes that really interested me and that I was passionate about and that ended up translating into good grades because I was interested in the work I was doing,” Cotto said.

Cotto, who studied abroad in Shanghai last spring, will spend a year in Taiwan teaching English to elementary or middle school students through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program following graduation.

She was two courses short of completing a pre-medical track, but decided instead to take classes that seemed more interesting to her.

“I’m very much a type A planner. I think that much of my success in high school and college has come from the fact that I manage my time very well and prioritize,” Cotto said. “But when it comes to my life, I haven’t really planned beyond this year. I’m trying to be OK with that and just sort of see where it takes me.”

MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA MICHAEL REHER School of Foreign Service Major: International Economics GPA: 4.0
MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA
MICHAEL REHER
School of Foreign Service
Major: International Economics
GPA: 4.0

Reher, an international economics major, said that earning the SFS Dean’s Medal was a goal that he set for himself during his freshman year.

“As a freshman, I kind of had a vague sort of desire to achieve something like this, so it was somewhere in the back of my mind,” Reher said.

He will pursue a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard following graduation and hopes to eventually have a career either in academia or with the Federal Reserve System.

Reher ran middle distance on Georgetown’s varsity track and field team and said that the skills that he developed on this team contributed to his academic success.

“There’s difficulties in terms of logistics sometimes, in terms of travelling for meets and having to reschedule exams and homework, but I think on the whole it keeps me very regimented and organized,” Reher said. “I cultivated a drive to succeed that I can bring to other areas of life.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*