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Each year CUNY SPS asks graduating students to apply to be the Student Speaker at Commencement. As part of their application they are asked to submit their anticipated speech. At the end of the process only one student is selected, however, numerous speeches embody the spirit of the graduating class. We are proud to share some of these speeches here.

Adesine Murray is graduating from CUNY SPS on June 6 with a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership and this is his speech:

I would have never imagined my journey of pursuing a tertiary education would have led me to this point. I started my journey of pursuing higher education many years ago at the University of Guyana in South America, where I gained my Associate’s Degree in Accountancy. Upon migrating to America, I decided to continue my educational journey at City University of New York, Brooklyn College campus where I was awarded my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Finance in the spring of 2012.

During my time at Brooklyn College my initial thought process was to just pass the courses and graduate in the targeted time I had set for myself. I cannot tell you much about my campus life since I did not have much of it. I, like most of the students, worked full time and attended school full time through evening and weekend classes. So, the campus experience and being part of student clubs and other activities that other students were exposed to was not part of my experience at Brooklyn College. However, I can say that Brooklyn College has one of the most beautiful campuses in CUNY—nicely manicured lawns, a pond, mini garden, and a nice combination of old historic and modern buildings. My favorite building was the library where I visited frequently for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

I must thank Baruch College for not accepting me as that gave me the opportunity to attend Brooklyn College which was an easier commute and walking distance from home in Midwood. During my time there, I was able to forge friendships and bonds with fellow students that I still maintain today, and I know they are all equally proud of me for finally catching up with them at the graduate level. My friend Patricia is probably smiling saying, “nerd.”

I was a little hesitant to enroll at CUNY SPS to do my master’s degree because I was not very familiar with the online education process. After doing research and attending one of the information sessions, and thanks to the presenters that day and the alumni who were there to answer our questions, I was sold and here I am today. Part of my reason for doing my graduate degree, apart from increasing my knowledge and attaining qualifications, is to make myself more competitive in the job market and to achieve my life goals. I also did it to serve as an example to my nieces and nephews to show they can achieve anything they want with hard work and dedication.

The journey with CUNY SPS has been challenging at times but also rewarding. One of the professors who helped to take away the challenge of learning math online was Professor David Hauser who taught me BUS 670 Quantitative Decision Making. Starting in the fall 2015 semester with this course I was very nervous, but after my first two classes with Professor Hauser, and learning strategies to complete the work, I was very encouraged. I think Professor Hauser was one of the best professors I have had at the School of Professional Studies.

The experience at all of the CUNY campuses is not one that I can replace and will always remember it as part of my unique journey through three schools earning three degrees. I have learned and was exposed to many new ideas and business concepts that I can take with me on my continuing journey. The CUNY SPS MSBML meet-up was a good way of allowing students to meet their fellow classmates and their professors, even though I attended only the first one and missed the others due to scheduling issues.

I must thank all my professors and advisors for guiding me through this enlightening journey, my family who has supported me through all these years, and my fellow classmates for their help in our classes when I needed it.

In closing, we have all achieved a great accomplishment, so may we all go forward proudly and enrich the world with our new knowledge and experiences and most of all make CUNY SPS proud.

Congratulations!

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April is officially Disability Awareness Month throughout CUNY and to celebrate our commitment to enabling students, faculty, and staff with disabilities to excel in their studies, research, and work there are a series of events throughout the university. Whether you are interested in learning more about a particular disability or you want to gain skills in your search for a career, there is something for everyone!

Disability Awareness Month at CUNY

At the College of Staten Island, students tell their stories of challenge and triumph as students with disabilities in My Story: A Dialogue Among Students in just one of the many events being held on campus throughout the month.

Similarly, Lehman College is having a panel discussion on disability and higher education from an international perspective on April 17.

The CUNY Learning Disability Project is sponsoring a Learning Disability Awareness Conference on April 16 at Baruch College geared toward helping faculty and staff to better understand learning disabilities.

The Autism Spectrum is the focus of several events across CUNY including “Promoting Successful Transition: Into, through and beyond Higher Education, for students on the Autism Spectrum” at Brooklyn College on April 8 and “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Moving Forward” at BMCC on April 11.

Queensborough Community College is offering two very interesting events with “Engaging Faculty and Tutors in the Success of Community-College Students with Disabilities” on April 17 and “Young People with Disabilities” on April 24.

On April 18, Bronx Community College is hosting a screening of “Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss.”

And last but not least, Hunter College is hosting a series of events all month long covering everything from Career Choices and Job Readiness to Learning Self-Advocacy Skills, they’re even hosting movie screenings throughout the month too!

CUNY SPS students seeking information about disability services can contact Student Services. Students at other campuses can access services through The CUNY Disability Resources & Services website.

If you are a CUNY student, faculty, or staff sponsoring an event for Disability Awareness Month not listed above, add the information in the comments below. We will also update this list with new information shared with our office in the coming days.