By Joseph Jordan ‘02
St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be saying goodbye to one of its most successful students now that Elizabeth Polizzi ’03 has graduated. However, the University is not at a loss, as she will be entering St. John’s University’s School of Law this fall. Going to law school will be the next step in this outstanding student’s commitment to scholarship, global awareness and leadership.
Ms. Polizzi had achieved many things in her academic career when Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s University, awarded her the President’s Medal for Academic Achievement at the 2003 Commencement Ceremony. The Medal was bestowed in recognition of her achievement of a perfect 4.0 grade point average in all classes taken while in college. This honor was made all the more special considering the demanding course of studies the Staten Island campus student pursued: Ms. Polizzi majored in Government and Politics, double minored in Philosophy and Theology and completed the Honors Program.
Ms. Polizzi’s academic success has earned her membership in numerous honor societies, including the Golden Key International Honour Society, Order of Omega National Honor Society, Kappa Gamma Pi National Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. She was also a member of St. John’s University’s President’s Society, the most selective and prestigious honor society at the University, in which she served as an official staff member for Father Harrington.
Ms. Polizzi attributes much of her success to the solid education she has received at St. John’s. “My undergraduate experience was incredible,” says Ms. Polizzi. “I was motivated to grow academically and socially. The deans, professors and staff were always encouraging and helped me achieve all that I have.” Ms. Polizzi is confident that the School of Law will continue to provide such motivation and support.
A native of Lancaster County, PA. Ms. Polizzi was raised on a farm and enjoyed helping with household duties like tending to the goats – quite a different world from New York City, where she has resided for the past four years and will continue for at least the next three. Her ability to adapt to different lifestyles and environments has made her a more well rounded person and more appreciative of the diversity of America – and beyond.
As an undergraduate Ms. Polizzi took advantage of the many opportunities available to students to broaden their horizons and develop a stronger awareness of national and global issues. She concentrated her studies on international affairs and held leadership positions in the University’s Model United Nation’s Team.
For Ms. Polizzi, developing a keen global awareness is tantamount to her commitment to social issues. She has long been interested in politics and sees the political arena as one of the most effective places to bring about positive change in the world.
During her undergraduate years at the Staten Island campus, Ms. Polizzi proved to be an energetic and capable leader and played an active role in student activities. Quoting the old quip, “If you can survive student politics, you can survive anything,” Ms. Polizzi recalled that St. John’s gave her many opportunities to grow outside of the classroom as well.
As President of the Staten Island Student Government she skillfully articulated the students’ interests and raised the bar for future presidents by consistently achieving real results for her constituents. As President of her sorority, Delta Epsilon Beta, Ms. Polizzi oversaw a good deal of service initiatives and campus involvement on the part of her sorority sisters. And as a member of numerous organizations she brought a clear vision to many campus activities and helped galvanize student life.
Attending the School of Law is only natural, Ms. Polizzi says. “I’m looking forward to law school because it will help supplement the work that I would like to do in politics.” And staying at St. John’s makes sense too. “I have gotten so much from St. John’s as an undergraduate, I know that I am making the right choice by going to St. John’s University’s School of Law.”