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Concordia's Arts and Science valedictorians are ready to take the stage on June 4

Three students from three corners of the world will share their journeys at the spring 2024 Convocation ceremony
May 30, 2024

A crowd of newly graduated students, dressed up for Conovcation, filling up the room at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier

As the Faculty of Arts and Science prepares to celebrate its convocation ceremonies on June 4, 2024, three remarkable students—Julieta Torres, Mai Pradhan, and Paria Asadi—emerge as shining examples of resilience, determination, and a commitment to making a difference in the world.

"Julieta, Mai, and Paria epitomize Concordia’s students," explains Philippe Caignon, Associate Dean of Student Academic Services and Professor in the Département d'études françaises. "They are gifted students who are genuinely dedicated to their communities, with the objective of better understanding, serving, and even saving people throughout the world. They are outstanding and inspiring role models for the next generations of students, shining with hope and confidence for the future."

We caught up with the three valedictorians to hear more about their inspiring stories and asked them a few questions about their experiences at Concordia.

A smiling young woman with dark hair wearing a black turtleneck.

Mai Pradhan: 'What I will miss the most is the people.’

Specialization: Communication Studies with a Minor in Sustainability Studies
Convocation Ceremony: Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

Hailing from the tranquil Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Mai Pradhan's story is one of venturing beyond the familiar into the vibrant tapestry of Montreal life. Her roots intertwine with diverse cultural threads—her father is from an Indigenous group in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Mai's upbringing in the secluded haven of Dyer's Bay, followed by a move to Oliphant, provided a stark contrast to the bustling energy of Montreal. This thirst for new experiences led her to Concordia University, a decision influenced by a persuasive roommate and a fascination with the Communications Studies program.

Three keys to a good education?

  • Good professors who engage with and enjoy teaching their content. At Concordia, this made a huge difference in my ability to enjoy and thrive.
  • Choosing classes that genuinely interest me. Learning about topics we love makes the process much more enjoyable.
  • Patience.

Two lessons you learned at Concordia?

  • The Indigenous Land-based Education microprogram taught me many lessons, not only for my education but for my life. Being immersed in nature helped me build connections and broaden my perspectives.
  • Building relationships and partnerships with people from different places taught me to approach topics from various angles and look at the bigger picture.

What will you miss most about Concordia?

Definitely the people, but also the engaging discussions and incredible projects. The environment of being surrounded by such passionate individuals is something I will miss dearly.

A smiling young woman, with brown hair, wearing a black v-neck top, in front of a tree.

Julieta Torres: ‘Concordia feels like home to me.’

Specialization: Human Relations, with a concentration in Organizational Development and Change
Convocation Ceremony: Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.

Originating from Argentina, Julieta Torres' family made the courageous decision to leave their homeland amidst socio-economic turmoil, seeking new opportunities in Canada. As a first-generation immigrant, Julieta embarked on a path marked by perseverance and commitment to higher education.

Her academic journey began at Dawson College, where she delved into literature and communications before finding her home at Concordia University. After obtaining a degree in Linguistics from Concordia University and working in education for a few years, Julieta was drawn to Concordia's vibrant culture of social change and experiential learning. She immersed herself in the Human Relations program, navigating the complexities of organizational development and change with fervor and resilience, with the goal of better understanding the impact of interpersonal dynamics on community settings.

Three keys to a good education?

  • Connecting with people and finding your community.
  • Learning to ask for help; it’s key to succeeding in life.
  • Balancing self-awareness with understanding others. Knowing yourself helps you push through challenging tasks.

Two lessons you learned at Concordia?

  • Embracing uncertainty and not knowing the answer is part of the learning process.
  • There is no strict timeline for achieving your goals; it’s okay to take your time and figure things out as you go.

One piece of advice for future grads?

Find your community and use the resources available at Concordia. Engage in activities, volunteer, and attend workshops. Your hobbies and passions can greatly benefit your academic experience.

A smiling young woman with dark hair, wearing a white top, on a blue background

Paria Asadi: ‘Believe in yourself.’

Degree: BSc with Honours in Biology
Convocation Ceremony: Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 8:00 p.m.

Originally from a small city in southeast Iran, Paria Asadi embarked on a courageous journey to Canada at just 18 years old, accompanied by her younger sister. The transition to a new country and language barriers posed formidable obstacles, but Paria's indomitable spirit and drive propelled her forward.

Her journey at Concordia University began in January 2020. From day one, Paria was determined to excel and make the most of every opportunity. "I remember being very determined and entering Ian Ferguson’s office in my first few days at Concordia to ask, ‘How can I finish my bachelor’s in two years instead of four?’ He just said, ‘Why would you want to do that? Just take your time.’ Over time, I realized there are many opportunities at Concordia, and it’s better to take your time and make the most of them."

Three keys to a good education?

  • Professors believing in their students and providing opportunities.
  • Actively seeking out different opportunities; they won’t come to you.
  • Hard work, supported by the right mentors, teachers, friends, and family.

Two lessons you learned at Concordia?

  • You never know your potential unless you try and push yourself.
  • Everyone has an inner light that can brighten their future. Finding and nurturing it is key to achieving your goals.

One piece of advice for future grads?

Believe in yourself. You may think you’ve discovered all your potential, but there’s always more. Be in the right place, do something you love, and you’ll achieve your goals.



Learn more about Concordia's spring 2024 Convocation ceremony

Meet the three individuals receiving and honourary doctorate from FAS this spring


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