Commencement 2022: Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Class of 2022 Valedictorian: Martin Benesh

Martin Benesh ’22 (Theater Arts) of Mount Vernon, Iowa, has devoted his time at New Paltz to the behind-the-scenes craft of stage lighting design. His experience underscores how the design and technology concentration in the Department of Theatre Arts bridges the gap between artistry and technical know-how. Good lighting design requires a mix of both.

“Every day of work I’m exploring new technologies, fixing things, and learning how they work,” he said. “I believe this is particularly relevant to my work as a lighting designer because it helps me learn to be adaptable and quick on my feet.”

Class of 2022 Salutatorian: Stephanie Trejo

Stephanie Trejo ’22 (Early Childhood & Childhood Education), a first-generation college student from Mount Kisco, New York, found strength in support networks – on campus and off – along the way to becoming SUNY New Paltz’s Class of 2022 Salutatorian. A Scholar’s Mentorship Program member who is also engaged in multiple student organizations, Trejo sees an opportunity to help fill a need for bilingual teachers in New York State.

“I really like the experience of being able to teach in two different languages,” she said. “I feel like it builds a better sense of community in the classroom.”


About SUNY New Paltz Commencement 2022

This year’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 2022, on the Old Main Quad on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Both ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m.

The Saturday Ceremony honors graduates of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Sunday Ceremony honors graduates of the School of Business, School of Education, School of Fine & Performing Arts and School of Science & Engineering.

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 20, at 6 p.m., also on the Old Main Quad.

More information at