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LIU Brooklyn Valedictorian First in Family to Graduate from College

A high school dropout, William Curran will return to the classroom – this time as a teacher

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Helen Saffran,Associate Director of Public Relations
LIU Brooklyn,
Long Island University
(718) 488-1419

2013 LIU Brooklyn Valedictorian Bill CurranBrooklyn, N.Y. – He’s the comeback kid from Staten Island.

An only child, with parents who had never attended college, LIU Brooklyn, LIU Pharmacy and LIU Hudson valedictorian William Curran of Tottenville, S.I., dropped out of Tottenville High School because he didn’t find school engaging. After a short-lived period of home-schooling, Curran taught himself, following his own interests. At 18, he enrolled in a GED program and received his GED in the same month he would have graduated high school.

Curran credits his father, also named William Curran, chief operating engineer at LIU Brooklyn, with encouraging him to go to college: “Just go to college. What else are you going to do?” He recalls his father saying.

On May 16, Curran, 24, will graduate summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in Childhood Urban Education at LIU Brooklyn’s Commencement Cerermony to be held at Barclays Center. He has a double major in childhood urban education and psychology.

“My education has prepared me for the next phase of my life by providing me with the credentials to begin my career as a school teacher and further my education in the field of psychology,” Curran said. “However, LIU has taught me something far more valuable — how to truly empathize with and help other people.

“I hope to use teaching and a possible career as a mental health professional to help others to the best of my ability.”

Curran has succeeded in his academic career with flying colors, joining the Honors Program, making the dean’s list almost every semester and graduating summa cum laude with a 3.86 grade-point average. He is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and joined the Amazing Educators Influence Our Urban Communities (AEIOU) club at the campus.

He has worked as a teacher’s assistant at Purvis A. Behan Public School 11 as part of LIU’s Common Grounds social work initiative and currently works as an education assistant at Charles A. Dorsey Public School 067.

“Whether I decide to stick with a career in education or pursue one in the field of mental health,” Curran said, “I want to work with the disadvantaged and underserved.”

LIU Brooklyn 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 05/01/2013

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