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State Senator Daniel Squadron to Deliver Commencement Address on June 2

City Tech will mark the annual rite of passage for graduating students at its 70th Commencement Exercises on Wednesday, June 2, beginning at 10:30 a.m., in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. President Russell K. Hotzler is expected to confer 1,900 degrees, including 1,100 associate and 800 baccalaureate. New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes City Tech, will deliver the commencement address.

Daniel Squadron
Commencement Speaker

Elected to the New York State Senate in November 2008, Daniel Squadron is serving his first term in the 25th Senatorial District, which includes City Tech.  Senator Squadron has spent his life in New York and his career in public service. He served as a top aide to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and, together with Senator Schumer, co-authored Positively American: Winning Back the Middle Class Majority One Family at a Time (Rodale Press, 2007).  

As communications director for the campaign to pass the Rebuild and Renew Transportation Bond Act, Squadron worked to secure nearly $3 billion in infrastructure improvements and expansion to our subways and buses. He also worked for our public school system to move money from the bureaucracy to the classroom.

In his first term, Senator Squadron is focused on addressing neighborhood concerns in his district, increasing affordable housing, improving and reforming New York City public schools, preserving and enhancing the regional transportation infrastructure and promoting comprehensive, community-empowering economic development across New York State.  At the heart of these priorities is reforming the way Albany does business so that our state government can pursue an ambitious agenda in these uncertain times.

Dedication to public service to create meaningful change began at an early age for Senator Squadron. His paternal grandfather came through Ellis Island and was raised on Ludlow Street; his father rose from poverty to become the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. His maternal grandfather was a World War II veteran and Brigadier General in the Air Force; his mother volunteered during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 and was a top staffer at the American Civil Liberties Union.  A graduate of Yale University, Senator Squadron lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

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Lerone Bleasdille
Class of 2010 Valedictorian

The class valedictorian is 24-year-old Lerone Bleasdille, who is receiving a bachelor of technology degree in computer systems. Born in Grenada, he worked as a commercial bank teller, hoping to save enough money to go for his bachelor’s degree at a U.S. college. Hurricane Ivan gave him that opportunity as he was one of 15 Grenadians chosen to receive a scholarship covering tuition and fees that was offered by The City University of New York (CUNY) and the Grenada Mission. As a City Tech student, he served as senator-at-large, treasurer and president of the Student Government Association (SGA), helping initiate SGA-sponsored scholarships; lead reporter for the student newspaper, president of the Martial Arts Club and vice president of the E-commerce Club. He also won first prizes in the poetry and short story categories of the City Tech Literary Festival competition. In addition to completing four honors projects in math and programming, he did three internships -- at Goldman Sachs, the Department of Education and the web design company Mixed Media Solutions.

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Natasha Marcano
Class of 2010 Salutatorian (second to the valedictorian)

The class salutatorian is 32-year old Natasha Marcano, who is receiving a bachelor of technology degree communication design. Born and raised in Trinidad, Marcano listened to her twin sister and took her life savings to New York to study communication design at City Tech. Almost quitting during her first semester, she hung on to get all A’s, which she said she used to motivate herself to excel in subsequent semesters. As vice president of the City Tech International Student Alliance, she assisted in launching a peer-mentoring program for international students and was involved with food drives and coat collections aimed at encouraging international students to help others less fortunate than themselves. She interned at the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation and at The New York Times, and also brought her graphic arts talents to her work in the City Tech Office of Image/Visual Communications and the Faculty Commons. She plans to continue her education and study for a master’s degree so she can teach graphic design, printing and visual communications at the college level.

The invocation at Commencement will be delivered by Reverend Elizabeth Alexander, Pastor,
The Church of Gethsemane, Park Slope. Established in 1989, this Presbyterian church was created by and for incarcerated persons, formerly incarcerated persons, their families, neighborhood persons and people who feel called into ministry with the poor.

No honorary degrees will be conferred.


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