Alixandria James ’23 Named Undergraduate Valedictorian

A public health major and Truman Scholar, James will be the student speaker at Undergraduate Commencement.

Alixandria James ’23, a public health major and the first Manhattan College student to earn a Truman Scholarship, has been named the undergraduate valedictorian for the class of 2023. At the Undergraduate Commencement on May 19, James will be the student speaker and receive the Donald J. Carty Valedictory Medal. Ali James

James, a management minor, grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and attended Mamaroneck High School in Westchester County. Her parents met as students at Manhattan College and both graduated in 1999. 

James was one of 58 college students nationwide to earn a 2022 Truman Scholarship for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. During her College career, James served as the 2022-23 student government’s vice president for academic affairs and as a peer academic tutor.   

Her extensive academic research includes a Jasper Summer Scholars grant to analyze the  results of Manhattan’s first Diversity and Equity Campus Climate survey. As a result of her findings, the College created a Bias Education and Response team, of which she is an active member. As a summer research fellow for the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center, she conducted research on “The Impact of Racial Battle Fatigue on Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions and its Contribution to Health Disparities in Stress-Related Disease.

James has worked for several years as a Lang youth medical educator and community outreach intern for New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Division of Community and Population Health. During the pandemic, James helped the team set up community pop-up clinics in Washington Heights and assisted with the COVID-19 vaccination effort. 

After graduating, James will pursue a summer internship with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), followed in the fall by a one-year, full-time position with the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS). The job with the NACRHHS is only available to Truman scholars. Both SAMHSA and the NACRHHS are part of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. In 2024, James plans to enroll in graduate school to earn a master’s degree in public health with a focus on health policy.