Erica Brandt, left, who will receive her Master’s in occupational therapy, will be the speaker at the graduate commencement ceremony on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. in the Event Center. A native of Medina, Ohio, Brandt graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 2003 with a B.A. in sociology. After spending 12 years raising three children as a stay at home mom, she earned an associate’s degree as an occupational therapy assistant. Brandt worked in the field and loved that experience, which led her to pursuing her master’s at Le Moyne. Her goal is to practice OT in an acute care or outpatient rehab setting.
The undergraduate ceremony speaker will be Ivy Santana, a criminology major with minors in Spanish and gender and women's studies, who is originally from the Dominican Republic and grew up in Queens, N.Y. After graduation she will work for a year as a paralegal at a law firm in Syracuse and then attend Syracuse University to pursue her law degree.
During her time on the Heights, Santana served as an RA, as vice president of student development for the Student Government Association, as president of the Council of Honor Societies and as co-president of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society for the First Year. A CSTEP Scholar who was in the Integral Honors Program, she interned with Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter and the Kings County Federal Court through the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program.
Her message to her classmates? “Keep your eyes on the prize and use the last four years as a reminder that we are stronger than we think, and together we were able to make it through the finish line. But most importantly, I would like to remind the class of 2023 of their resiliency, and their ability to adapt to change and succeed through it.”