Vanc and Patti
Senior Christine Patti (right) talks with her mentor, Quinnipiac public relations professor Antoaneta Vanc.

When Marquis Barnett walks across the Commencement platform this Sunday, it may be at a slightly slower pace than his classmates. The six-feet-eight-inch Quinnipiac basketball player ruptured his Achilles tendon this season, a serious injury that left him confined to a cast and on crutches for at least three months. But the Bronx, New York, native is taking it all in stride.

Barnett will be the first in his family to graduate from college. He has overcome many obstacles, including an adolescence marked by violence and upheaval, time spent living in shelters and the accidental death of a sibling. A criminal justice major, Barnett plans to pursue a career in law enforcement and someday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "That's my dream," he says. "My goal is to help people."

During his four years at Quinnipiac, Barnett has built close relationships with faculty and staff members. Professor Alan Bruce's course on youth crime helped set the direction for his senior thesis. Next year, Barnett will continue his studies in Quinnipiac's master of public relations program, but then plans to return home to better his community.

Barnett is just one among many standout QU students graduating this year. Members of the senior class have lined up jobs in top financial services and accounting firms, secured spots in competitive graduate programs, launched entrepreneurial ventures and more.

Senior public relations major Christine Patti turned a summer internship at global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs into a full-time job offer. As an operations analyst, Patti will work behind-the-scenes to help the company assess risk. While it may be an unusual path for a communications student, Patti wanted to broaden her understanding of the corporate business world. "Business is involved in everything that you do," she explains.

Patti, who also completed a minor in business management, sees herself eventually moving into a corporate communications role. Her QU studies have given her "very transferrable skills that can apply to many different industries," she says.

Lauren Miterko
Senior Lauren Miterko is headed to Baylor College of Medicine for her PhD studies.
Italo Alves
Senior Italo Alves spoke at the G20 Youth Forum in Russia. Sponsored by the School of Business, Alves served as one of 500 student representatives from universities around the world. 

Biology major Lauren Miterko plans to devote her career to improving the lives of those stricken by disease. Starting in August, the New Jersey native will embark on a seven-year journey to a PhD in developmental biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is particularly interested in pediatric diseases.

Beginning in her sophomore year, Miterko did research in the lab with Professor Lise Thomas, who became her mentor. "She was always there and helped me gain experience to get into graduate school," she says.

Classmate Italo Alves is also focused on bringing positive change to the world. Alves, a Brazil native, just launched a specialized consulting firm that aims to guide Brazilian companies toward becoming more LGBT-friendly. The eight-person company, Vice-Versa Inclusive Consulting, will offer consulting services and a smartphone app to educate the Brazilian community on LGBT rights inclusion in institutions.

Alves has always been a self-starter, but Quinnipiac has helped develop his skills and deepen his knowledge. An Honors seminar on New York City gay culture sparked many ideas for his growing company. "Quinnipiac built upon my entrepreneurial spirit," he says.

Thanks to his degree in international business and savvy interviewing and networking skills, Alves will be dividing his time between his consulting firm and a full-time position as an enterprise risk consultant at Deloitte's global headquarters in New York. It was one of several job offers that he received.

Quinnipiac career development events and mentoring by School of Business professors prepared him well.

"I learned how to tell my story and build my case."

Undergraduate Commencement is Sunday, May 17. Join the conversation and view Commencement coverage on our social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tweet your photos, thoughts and well-wishes to @QuinnipiacU - and don't forget to include #QU2015 in all of your Commencement-related tweets.

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