New Paltz graduates share their thoughts before walking the stage at Commencement 2022

The SUNY New Paltz community celebrated a joyful, three-day 2022 Commencement weekend, May 20-22, with our newest graduates looking back on college experiences marked by resilience through unprecedented challenges and long-lasting friendships.

[Looking for more Commencement coverage? We have it all for you here!]

We spoke with some members of the Class of 2022 in the moments before they prepared to walk the stage and receive their degrees. Here’s some of what they had to say about looking back and looking forward:


On Finding Community

“These four years, I really met such supportive people that really helped my journey. And I think I grew so much as a person. It’s due to the faculty and the staff and all my peers that I met here. Everybody is just so supportive and helpful and helped me get to where I want to be.” – Allie Schadoff ‘22 (Accounting & Entrepreneurship) of Wantagh, New York

“The friendships I made were so valuable to my education. Without those friendships, I don’t think I would be able to graduate today. My cohort was everything and we were very supportive of each other.” – Daniela Zamor ‘22g (Speech-Language Pathology) of Rockland County, New York

“I’m looking forward to becoming more of myself after I graduate. The community here at New Paltz was so supportive, from my friends to faculty and professors. I got a quality education.” – Mikayla Dablan ‘22 (International Relations) of Montgomery, New York 


On Opportunities Gained

“Having a teaching assistantship on campus showed me that I could achieve something after coming to the U.S. It was a big change for me, but I did alright.” – Akhila Ganta ‘22g (Computer Science) of Hyderabad, India

“What I learned from my time at New Paltz is that it’s important to just stick with what you know and try not to be something else that you’re not.” -Brianna Swart ‘22g (Elementary Education) of Dover Plains, New York

“I had the chance to meet all kinds of people in this program. There were a lot of great memories and great trips taken.” – Daniel Cummings ‘18 (Geology) ‘22g (Secondary Education and Teaching) of Montgomery, New York


On COVID-19 and the College Experience

“It was a lot harder than you would think to be studying during a pandemic. It was definitely a challenge, but at the end of the day, I ended up getting my degree early because I was able to take more classes online than I would have in person.” – Mary Dornan ‘22 (Biology) of Shokan, New York

“COVID changed a lot of my time here, but I remember the friendships that I started during my freshman year and will continue.” – Asiatou Jaithe ‘22 (Psychology) of Harlem, New York

“Seeing familiar faces going through the same things during my time at New Paltz was very comforting for me.” – Michael Bastien ‘16 (Geology) ‘22g (Secondary Education and Teaching) of Montgomery, New York


On Plans After Graduation

“I’m looking forward to being able to use my skills and apply them to things I want to do for myself and for work.” – Kezia Hatch ‘22 (Visual Arts) of Corning, New York

“I’m preparing for the journey that’s ahead of me. I think it’s okay to not know exactly what I want to do right now, but I’m in it for the long haul.” – Toni-Ann Adrian ‘22 (Psychology) of Brooklyn, New York 

“I’m looking forward to not being a student for a little while. I’ve been a student straight through since kindergarten. I haven’t taken any breaks, so I’m just excited to take a little breather after I graduate.” – Kate Warner ‘22 (Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies) of Rochester, New York