Taylor Pels '18 Named Class of 2018 Valedictorian

The chemistry major and Tennessee native will deliver the valedictory address at Commencement

Taylor K. Pels '18 has been selected to deliver the Class of 2018 valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 25.

Pels is a chemistry major in the Health Professions Advising Program, is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society, and is a Sheehan Scholar. She is from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

While at Holy Cross, Pels has been very involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of Central Massachusetts where she has mentored a young girl in the Worcester community. For the past two years, she has conducted research in the organic chemistry lab of Brian Linton, associate professor of chemistry, and also participated in toxicology research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine last summer. She has served on the planning committees for Holy Cross Dance Marathon benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Holy Cross’ second annual Women in Science Day, a conference celebrating the involvement of young female students in science. She was both a Peer Assistant Learning tutor and STEM+E tutor, and worked as a teaching assistant in introductory chemistry labs. Pels was also a member of the Holy Cross cheerleading team and served as a fall orientation leader.

Following graduation, Pels plans to spend a year doing clinical or biomedical research prior to pursuing a medical degree and career as a pediatrician.

Pels was selected as valedictorian from a group of academically outstanding members of the senior class, each of whom submitted speeches for consideration. The Valedictorian Selection Committee — composed of students from the senior class, faculty members and administrators — reviewed the submissions, and the final selection was made by Margaret Freije, provost and Dean of the College.

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