Julia Klein, a Nutrition Science major from Bethlehem, New York, and Madisson Manzelli, a Nursing major from Latham, New York, have been named valedictorian and salutatorian of Russell Sage College’s Class of 2022.    

Valedictorian and salutatorian are the top academic honors for the graduating class and awarded to the Sage students who hold the highest cumulative GPAs.

“Julia and Madisson have exciting plans to be transformative in their communities,” said Kirk Robinson, interim undergraduate dean. “It’s an honor to recognize their accomplishments and to hear their gratitude for everyone who supported their success.” 

More About Valedictorian Julia Klein

“I always wanted to work in a helping profession, and Nutrition Science inspired me after my first class,” said Klein. She knew the science would be challenging, and transferred from a large state school to Sage for the smaller classes and more personal support.

“I love that my professors knew my name and my interests,” she said. In addition to the faculty members in the Nutrition Science program, Klein acknowledged Professor of Biology Mary Rea.

“I had to take Anatomy and Physiology,” said Klein. “Doctor Rea was engaging and interesting and encouraged a new love for science.”

Klein completed her undergraduate coursework in December and is now a master’s degree candidate in Sage’s Applied Nutrition and Dietetic Internship programs.  

She anticipates completing her graduate education and earning the registered dietitian credential in 2024, and then would like to provide nutrition counseling to women. 

More About Salutatorian Madisson Manzelli

Madisson Manzelli was a college sophomore in the process of transferring to Russell Sage College when she met Assistant Professor Trudy Hutchinson and students from Sage’s Nursing department who were running a blood pressure clinic at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market. 

Manzelli admired Professor Hutchinson’s passion for Nursing and the support she showed her students. 

She said that the meeting confirmed what she had heard: that Sage was a really good school for Nursing. 

Hutchinson taught Manzelli’s first Nursing course and sparked her interest in the history of the profession as well as the practice. 

From that first class and through her clinical experiences, Manzelli said her Sage education has been great career preparation. 

“By sharing their stories, all of the nursing professors have inspired us to become better nurses,” she said, “and we really appreciate Lisa Edwards, the clinical coordinator, who works hard to get people into the setting and hospital they want for clinical.”

Manzelli said she is drawn to Nursing because she is an empathic person who enjoys caring for others. 

She will work on the medical cardiology floor at Albany Medical Center after she graduates and plans to continue her education and become a nurse practitioner.  

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