Senior speakers listed

Each year, select students are given the chance to address their peers alongside renowned speakers and the leaders of the University. This year, Ylber Bajraktari, Ethan Bassett, Judi Byers, Akua Gyekye and Danielle Kosanovich will represent their class as student speakers during the commencement ceremonies on May 9.

Kasanovich of the School of Communication and Byers of the Kogod School of Business will speak during the ceremony at 9 a.m.

At 1 p.m., Bassett will speak to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bajraktari and Gyekye will speak to the School of International Service and the School of Public Affairs, respectively, at their commencement at 4:30 p.m.

Kasanovich, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communications, will focus on the "potential of our generation to make real change," she said in an e-mail interview.

Her speech "[will also focus] on the necessity to live with integrity and high character, for we were made to be so much more than a lukewarm generation," she said.

Bassett said in an e-mail that his speech will touch on a few subjects.

"I begin with a few one-liner advice lines that stress 1) family and friends and 2) this exciting point in one's life," Bassett said in an e-mail. "To personalize the speech, I speak a bit about my two years off of school before coming to American. During this time I trained to improve my swimming to where I could earn a scholarship."

Bassett will be receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors.

Gyekye, the SPA speaker, said that she wants to give her speech a "global perspective." She will be receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society.

"I think we are part of a generation that has been forced to take a global view," Gyekye said. "I think [the speech] is more about the quest for a global perspective. It also ties in since we're graduating with SIS."

Bajraktari, who will be receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, is originally from Kosovo and moved to America in 1999 as a refugee.

"I will be speaking on America as a land of unique opportunities, but also a country of special responsibilities," Bajraktari said in an e-mail. "I will argue that an America that acts to help and acts responsibly is an America that the rest of the world admires and is comfortable with its power and prosperity."

Byers was unavailable for comment.

Each student was chosen to speak by representatives from their respective school.

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