Engineering student Malina Popa has been selected as the 2018 student speaker and will address her peers Saturday, May 19 at graduation. (Courtesy photograph)
Senior engineering student Malina Popa is getting ready to address 1,000 of her peers during Saturday’s Northern Essex Community College graduation exercises as the featured student speaker.
Plaistow, N.H.’s Popa, who carries a 3.95 GPA, was nominated for the honor by her faculty advisor Stephanie Wares. In her nomination, Wares praised non-traditional student Popa for prioritizing her education along with her full-time day job and family responsibilities.
“Malina is one of the hardest working women I know and I often reference her story to students who feel discouraged by the thought of their degree taking a bit longer than they anticipated due to life circumstances,” Wares wrote of the married mom of two who is a native of Romania. “Here is a woman whose family is center—but also whose desire to want to be the best version of herself continues to push her through the tough times.”
After accepting her diploma this weekend, Popa plans to transfer to UMass Lowell or Arizona State University to continue her engineering studies.
Keynote speaker state Rep. Andy Vargas will also address graduates during the 56th annual ceremony, held at 11 a.m. on the grounds of the Haverhill campus at 100 Elliott St.