By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez
Joshua Germain, of Hamilton, N.J., will address fellow graduates at commencement on Monday, May 18, as the representative of the student body. He is this year’s Metropolitan Campus Student Pinnacle Award recipient, the highest honor the university bestows on a student.
The 77th annual ceremony will be the first virtual commencement the university has organized. Amid the global pandemic, FDU will maintain social distance as it streams the Conferring of Degrees ceremony for the class of 2020 at 1 p.m.
Germain, who lists FDU valedictorian on his LinkedIn account, is in the Epsilon Omega Sigma honor society and is focused on a career in his hospitality and tourism management major. He did an internship with Hilton through Sichuan University in China last year and has served as a volunteer at FDU, the Mount Bethel Church of God and the NGO Committee on the Status of Women.
“I’ve always been interested in a career in travel and tourism,” Germain said in an interview on the FDU website. “Part of why I want to work in hospitality is to turn less-than-ideal situations around for guests.”
Many disappointed seniors believe that virtual commencement is, like Germain said, a “less-than ideal situation.” Yet, Germain said he has adapted to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at the peak of his — and other senior undergraduates’ — academic career.
“The pandemic reinforced my belief that we should never get too comfortable in any situation because it can change at a moment’s notice,” Germain said. “I’ve taken time to adapt to the new climate, reconnect with those closest to me and sharpen my professional skills as I prepare to enter the workforce.”
The Pinnacle Award, first presented in 1989, honors a student on each campus for success in their field of study, significant contributions to humanitarian work and an overall superb commitment to the university.
FDU President Christopher Capuano said that the university hopes to schedule an in-person graduation later in 2020 or to invite this year’s graduates to attend the 2021 commencement.
In the meantime, Germain’s success can inspire the class of 2020.
Joshua Germain’s optimistic beliefs are strengthened during COVID-19 pandemic.