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University names class of 2021 valedictorian, salutatorian

| Thursday, May 13, 2021

Seniors Madeline Owen and Alexis Waldschmidt were named valedictorian and salutatorian of the class of 2021, respectively, the University announced in a press release Thursday afternoon.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Owen will give the valedictory address at the 176th commencement ceremony Sunday, May 23. Owen is graduating as a Glynn Family Honors Program scholar with a degree in neuroscience and behavior and preprofessional studies in the College of Science with a minor in poverty studies.

Owen carries a 4.0 grade point average, has been on the University’s Dean’s List since fall 2017 and received the outstanding undergraduate researcher award in the bioengineering research department. She will attend Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine after graduation, and her medical goals include serving patients through surgical repair, regeneration and prevention of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diseases or disorders.

Waldschmidt will graduate as a biological sciences and Chinese double-major with a 4.0 grade point average. She hails from Naperville, Illinois, and will offer words of welcome and thanks as well as be prepared to give the valedictory address should the valedictorian be unable to do so.

Waldschmidt was also named the valedictorian of the biological sciences class of 2021. She plans to continue her work from her undergraduate years in Joseph E. O’Tousa’s lab, which studies genes responsible for normal visual function in mosquitos. Waldschmidt hopes to incorporate her passion for Chinese language and culture by conducting research in mainland China or Taiwan.

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