Local Colleges’ Valedictorians Make the Grade


It’s that time of year again when college students don their caps and gowns, move their tassels from right to left, and toss their hats high in the air in celebration of ended phase of their lives and moving onto the next.

For these graduates at local universities, hard work has paid off in the form of being named valedictorian, an honor given to the student who has the highest GPA in the graduating class. In addition, that student will get to deliver the closing speech at the graduation ceremony.

Fort Greene Focus is proud to spotlight the valedictorians from the below area schools.

Spencer Hill with actor Shepard Fairey at the 2015 Pratt Commencement. (Photo by Sam Stuart)
Spencer Hill with artist and honorary degree recipient Shepard Fairey at the 2015 Pratt Commencement. (Photo by Sam Stuart)

Spencer Hill and Matt Boker– Pratt Institute (undergraduate and graduate schools) 

Hill graduated with a 3.8 GPA in Communications Design-Graphic Design and will be starting a job as Associate Art Director at VML MY. He lives in Bed Stuy and hails from Hatfield, Pennsylvania.

Boker graduated with a GPA of 3.8 with a Master of Architecture degree. His next step is working for a small design firm, MasonHurst, in Williamsburg. He lives in Clinton Hill and hails from Seattle.

Tvrtko Vrodijac of St. Francis College. (Photo courtesy of St. Francis College)
Tvrtko Vrodijac of St. Francis College. (Photo courtesy of St. Francis College)

Tvrtko Vrdoljak St. Francis College

Tvrtko earned a perfect 4.0 GPA as an Economics Major, with Minors in Political Science and Philosophy.

Tvrtko will be attending graduate school at the University of Toronto to study Political Theory. He is the third brother to come to St. Francis College from their home in Croatia and the second valedictorian from their family.

Tvrtko is fluent in Croatian, Spanish and English and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was also a member of the Model United Nations, Eastern European, and Economics clubs.

Efrayim Zitron of NYU Polytechnic.
Efrayim Zitron of NYU Polytechnic.

Efrayim Zitron NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Efrayim earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a 3.988 GPA at a famously difficult school. He is the first in his family to obtain an engineering degree and has accepted a position as an application developer at a large financial institution, where he will be working on big data analytics.

A Brooklyn native, Efrayim’s academic achievements include membership in two national honor societies: Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.  During his time at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, he was chosen as a teaching assistant for the course “Introduction to Databases” and was one of a select few undergraduates selected as a research assistant during his sophomore and junior summers.

David Louison, valedictorian of St. Joseph's College. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph's)
David Louison, valedictorian of St. Joseph’s College. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph’s)

David Louison – St. Joseph’s College

David is the only student on the list that also enjoyed a stellar collegiate athletic career, starring on the Men’s basketball team.

In addition to being an exceptional student-athlete, David, who sported a 3.93 GPA, has been working as a student clerk in the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office since his sophomore year. He hopes to land a paralegal job there before attending law school and pursuing a career as a lawyer, but hasn’t ruled out playing professional basketball in the near future.

For his outstanding overall efforts, David has achieved a number of academic and athletic accolades, including Capital One Academic All-America First Team; USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year; USCAA First Team All-American (three-time); MBWA All-Met First Team; HVIAC Player of the Year; and All-Atlantic Region Second.

Also, St. Joseph College named David the 2015 Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

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