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First in her Family to Earn a Degree, HEOP Student Luz Frias Named Valedictorian at LIU Brooklyn

May 10 commencement ceremony, recognizing the achievements of nearly 2,000 graduates, will be held in Coney Island at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones

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Alka Gupta,Assistant Director, Public Relations
LIU Brooklyn,
Long Island University
718-780-4137

FriasBrooklyn, N.Y. – The first member of her family to earn a college degree, LIU Brooklyn senior Luz Frias has scaled the academic heights: The political science major with a 3.97 grade point average has been named valedictorian of the Class of 2012.

“My family is ecstatic,” said Frias, whose parents immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. They and her two older brothers will be present when she delivers the valedictory address at LIU Brooklyn’s commencement exercises on Thursday, May 10.

The ceremony will take place at MCU Field in Coney Island, Brooklyn, where 1,969 degrees will be conferred. The commencement speaker is former New York Jets defensive star and philanthropist Marty Lyons. Columnist Jimmy Breslin and author and artist Daniel “Danny” Simmons also will receive honorary degrees.

Born and raised in the East Bronx, Frias graduated as salutatorian of her class at the High School for Teaching and Professions in the Bronx. When she was in her early teens, her family moved back to the Dominican Republic for several years. “It is a wonderfully, family-oriented community,” said Frias, 22. “It gave me a different perspective on relationships and the value of friends.”

That experience helped shape her decision to attend LIU Brooklyn.

“I chose LIU because it was a smaller campus where I could develop close bonds,” she said.

Frias is a member of the campus’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program, which provides economic and educational help to disadvantaged students who may not otherwise be able to attend college.

“Being a HEOP student made my journey smoother because they offered me unconditional moral, academic and financial support whenever I felt overwhelmed or stressed,” declared Frias.

Frias, who plans to attend law school, has, in turn, given back to her fellow students. She served as a scribe to a legally blind paralegal student, attending the student’s classes, taking notes, helping with research and assignments and assisting her in written exams. She also tutors freshmen and sophomores in math and English.

“I think Luz is an extremely hard worker with a great sense of social responsibility,” said Diana Voelker, co-director of HEOP. “She is going to make a very good lawyer and will help people.”

Fluent in Spanish and English, Frias has worked part time at a law firm, Codelia & Socorro, since 2008. Her accomplishments include the Dean’s List, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society, Jacob L. Holtzmann Award, Alfred DiMaio Award and the Edna K. and Jacob S. Spiro Law Award.

The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

Posted 04/24/2012

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