Montclair State Graduates Outstanding Class of 2011

Montclair State University’s Class of 2011 includes 3,928 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree recipients in the areas of science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts, and education. The 2011 Commencement exercises will take place on Friday, May 20, 2011 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The following students represent some of the best of the graduating class of 2011, (hometown is included):

Franklin Paulino, age 22, College of Science and Mathematics, Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (Perth Amboy, New Jersey).

Paulino graduates with a 3.95 grade point average and has received a full scholarship to Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons as a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program where he will pursue MD and PhD degrees with the goal of having a career as a physician scientist. He hopes to conduct groundbreaking biomedical research relevant to the illnesses that he treats in his patients.

Paulino is the recipient of the Herman and Margaret Sokol Research Fellowship Award from the College of Science and Mathematics, a $10,000 award given to one graduating senior who is pursuing a doctoral degree in research.

The first in his family to attend college, Paulino was a member of the University’s Health Careers Program, funded jointly by Montclair State and the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund, which prepares highly motivated and academically capable students from financially and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds for careers in science, as well as the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program.

Alex Knox, age 31, College of the Arts with a degree in Music Performance (Cherry Hill, New Jersey).

 After an eight year hiatus from Montclair State during which time he worked as an environmental consultant in thirteen states doing disaster relief work, Knox returned last year to not only the University, but also to the clarinet.

Knox's career as an artist was recently assured when he was named a principal clarinetist with the U.S. Air Force. He will be featured in chamber music and as a soloist with bands all over the world including the U.S., Asia, and Europe.  Knox won this highly coveted position out of hundreds of clarinetists who applied nationally. While at Montclair State, he was a soloist with the University Orchestra, performing the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. He also visited Zwolle Conservatory in the Netherlands as a representative of the University.

Elizabeth Cogan, age 21, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Phillipsburg, New Jersey).

Cogan is graduating with a grade point average in her major of 3.92.  She will continue her studies this fall at the University of Michigan where she will pursue a PhD in Biopsychology with full funding.  Following an internship during the summer of 2010 with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) she is the recipient of an NIDA funding grant for scholarship.  Her career aspiration is to become a research investigator and professor.

Frank Quinones, age 22, College of Education and Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Studies, with a concentration in Family Services, and minors in Leadership Development Through Civic Engagement and Public Health (New Brunswick, New Jersey).

During his tenure at Montclair State University, Quinones has excelled both in the classroom and through numerous community outreach efforts. Whether it is trying to prevent at-risk urban youth from engaging in substance abuse and risky sexual behaviors, or volunteering his time as a mentor and tutor for sixth grade students in the city of Newark, he embodies the passion and commitment to make an indelible impact in his chosen profession.  He is the recipient of a Family and Child Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award and a Dean of Students Award for Community Service in 2009 and 2010.

Quinones was recently accepted by the University of Michigan and will be pursuing a master's degree in Social Work this fall.  He hopes to eventually receive a doctorate in Social Work with the hope of bringing change to disadvantaged communities.

Information about Commencement and the Convocation ceremonies, which will take place on campus, can be found online at

Montclair State University

Montclair State offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students.