UMass Amherst Communication Major Chosen As Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

April 30, 1997

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AMHERST, Mass. - Perri-Lyn Cohen, a senior communication major, has been named student speaker for the 127th Commencement at the University of Massachusetts. Commencement is Sunday May 25, at 10:30 a.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

In her speech, Cohen will talk about the college experience, emphasizing that students should not regard college as a vocational school, but rather as an opportunity to expand their view of the world and learn how to think. "I''ve enjoyed my education and my time at UMass," she says, "and I want to share that with others in my speech."

The student Commencement speaker was selected by a committee of four students and three faculty members, based on a speech submitted to the committee.

At UMass, Cohen has been on the Dean''s List for the last four semesters. She was elected vice president and goalie for the UMass women''s ice hockey team and was a delegate last fall to the first annual conference of FIRST, the Foundation for Individual Responsibility and Social Trust, a newly established non-profit organization based in Philadelphia, Pa., that addresses issues of concern to young adults.

Cohen was a nominee for UMass student employee of the year for her work last year as student personnel supervisor at the Bluewall coffee house where she hired and trained new employees and managed staff during the hours the facility was open.

Last fall, Cohen worked as a marketing intern at Professional Marketing Associates, of Amherst. Her responsibilities included the planning and design of quarterly newsletters, and researching potential new marketing initiatives. During the summer, she worked as a public relations coordinator at the Volunteer Center of Franklin County in Greenfield. In that position she created a volunteer outreach program to recruit potential volunteers, wrote and distributed press releases, created a new Volunteer Center catalog, and managed the Volunteer Center office on a daily basis.

Cohen also spent the summer of 1993 as an AmeriCorps-Vista volunteer working with pregnant and parenting teens in Seattle, Wash.

After graduation, Cohen hopes to begin a career in fund-raising or public relations for a non-profit or community-based organization. A 1990 graduate of The Cambridge School in Weston, Cohen is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Leiber of Newton, Mass. She is engaged to be married to Justin Murphy of Amherst in August.