NYU School of Professional Studies Convocation Ceremonies to Recognize Achievements of 1,689 Graduates; Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York is Speaker

Brandon Stanton, Acclaimed Photographer and Founder of Humans of New York, to Deliver Undergraduate Convocation Address on May 15

Juju Chang, Emmy Award-Winning Co-Anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, to Address Graduate Degree Candidates on May 20
 

NYU

NEW YORK, May 10, 2016 – More than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world will receive their degrees from the NYU School of Professional Studies(NYUSPS) during Convocation ceremonies on May 15 and May 20 that will recognize them for their completion of rigorous, professionally oriented programs of study. NYUSPS is renowned as an educational institution that prepares students, including individuals who are just launching their careers as well as seasoned professionals, with the critical knowledge and the skills necessary to be successful in emerging industries that offer growing career opportunities on a local, national, and international level. 

“The NYU School of Professional Studies is predicated on the notion that the rigors and challenges of education create the pathway to job accessibility. Our commitment to students and to industry partners has generated a talent pipeline for all levels of employment,” said Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman Dean, NYU School of Professional Studies. “I am fully confident that our graduating students are entering the workplace with a higher level of requisite skills, which will lead to a lifetime of career satisfaction. They will be capable of driving innovation and change here and across the globe because of the education they have received at NYUSPS.”

This year’s Convocation speakers are pioneers in the worlds of social media and communications/journalism, which are among the many areas of specialty represented by NYUSPS programs

Acclaimed photographer and founder of Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton, will speak at this year’s undergraduate Convocation ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, May 15, at the Grand Hyatt New York at 4 p.m.

With over 22.5 million followers on Facebook and Instagram, it’s no surprise that Stanton, the photographer and writer behind Humans of New York, has been called an Internet phenomenon. Named on Crain’s New York’s 2015 40 Under 40 list, Stanton is one of today’s most unique and influential storytellers, whose own story illustrates the power of the Internet, the value of storytelling, and our desire to remain connected with real people in our increasingly technology-driven world. 

After graduating with a degree in history, Stanton traded bonds in Chicago until he lost his job, which led him to move to New York. In late 2010, he started the photography blog, Humans of New York, with a goal of photographing 10,000 New Yorkers and plotting the photos on a map. HONY, however, began to take on a much different character. By incorporating short stories with the photographs, Stanton created a powerful force for good that brings millions of people from around the world together to reflect on the remarkable images and tales of everyday people.

In 2013, Stanton’s first book, Humans of New York, catapulted to the top of The New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for 45 weeks. His new book, HONY: Stories, was released in October 2015 and was number one on the NYT’s bestseller list within two weeks.

Juju Chang, an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, will speak at this year’s graduate Convocation ceremony, which will take place on Friday, May 20, at Radio City Music Hall at 5 p.m.

In addition to Nightline, Chang also reports regularly for Good Morning America and 20/20. Chang’s work often involves in-depth personal narratives, from the most extensive face transplant ever attempted on a former firefighter named Pat Hardison to the multiyear coming of age odyssey of a transgendered teen that won a 2015 Front Page Award.

Chang covers breaking news from Superstorm Sandy to the mass shootings in Newtown, CT. After the shooting at Sandy Hook, she profiled a young family of gun enthusiasts for a special edition of “Guns in America.” She has since explored the issue of kids and guns, and the growing popularity of firearms among women.

Chang has covered global events and issues including the earthquake in Haiti and maternal and infant mortality in Mozambique. Her longer Nightline segments cover topics such as juvenile justice; rape on college campuses; race and policing; and addiction, including a report on the shocking epidemic of newborns detoxing from painkillers. 

Chang received one of her two Emmys for team coverage of the California wildfires. She was recognized with one of her two Gracies for a 20/20 story on gender equality in the sciences. 

Her hour-long primetime reports include the story of murdered 8th grader Larry King, which examined the issues of anti-gay bullying; the impact of foreign adoptions gone wrong; and the struggles of people with Albinism globally, including the plight of Tanzanian albinos.

This year’s Convocation student speakers epitomize the bright, motivated individuals who come to New York City from across the country and around the world to enroll in the NYU School of Professional Studies to launch or advance their careers by acquiring a stellar education and building a professional network that will serve them a lifetime.

Drew Washington, who will graduate with a BS in Sports Management, will address the undergraduate class. Washington left her hometown of Pasadena, California four years ago, setting out on a new life and learning adventure in New York City. An avid sports enthusiast who played volleyball and ran track in high school, she decided to make her passion a profession by enrolling in the undergraduate degree program in sports management, with a concentration in sports law, at the NYUSPS Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. 

Quickly acclimating to NYUSPS, Washington became deeply engaged in a variety of academic programs in the School and across the University that broadened her horizons. She was selected to participate in the NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program for her record of outstanding academic achievement, leadership, community service, and dedication to furthering the legacy of Dr. King. Through this program she traveled to Puerto Rico and Israel to help address social issues abroad. Consistently earning Dean’s List honors, Washington also was named a Tisch Institute Scholar and was given the opportunity to travel to Brazil to study the impact of mega events, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics, on the country’s local economies. She also studied abroad at NYU Madrid for one semester and served as a global ambassador there. 

During her time at the Tisch Institute, Washington secured internships at top sports media companies, including HBO, Creative Artists Agency, BMF Media, and the Wasserman Media Group. Upon graduation, Washington plans to pursue a law degree with a focus on sports and entertainment law. She will begin her legal education in the fall at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Beatriz Alegría Carrasco, who graduates with anMS in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from the NYUSPS Division of Programs in Business, is the graduate convocation speaker. For Alegría Carrasco, a native of Spain, attending the NYU School of Professional Studies was her first introduction to studying at a foreign academic institution. Already a seasoned professional in journalism and communications in Madrid, she was eager to hone her skills in the US and pursue her fascination of promoting good communication through the application of multicultural principles.

Alegría Carrasco enrolled in NYUSPS on a prestigious la Caixa Foundation grant, which she was awarded for her outstanding academic and professional record in her home country. Among her many distinctions, she ranked first in the competitive journalism program at Complutense University of Madrid. On the career front she worked as head of internal communications at BNP Paribas Spain, as a corporate communications consultant at BABEL Sistemas de Información, and as an account executive at LEWIS Communications. In addition she served as a contributing journalist for a variety of publications, including ICON SpainCosmopolitanTiempo, and Ragazza.

Over the course of her graduate studies, she contributed to research on cross-cultural corporate communication, in one case creating a high-level PR and integrated marketing plan for an American startup. She also built a writing portfolio in English by launching and editing her own bilingual e-zine, New York for Beginners, aimed primarily at the Latino community in the United States.

Currently, she is working as a pro bono PR consultant for a Spanish nonprofit organization that helps disadvantaged and sick children. After graduation, Carrasco plans to work in the US for several years before heading back to Europe.

In addition to the NYUSPS Convocation ceremonies, the NYU 184th Commencement will take place on Wednesday, May 18, at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

For reporters who are interested in covering the School’s Convocation ceremonies, please contact Cheryl Feliciano at cheryl.feliciano@nyu.edu or Alka Gupta at aag13@nyu.edu.