As members of the Class of 2023 assemble Sunday morning in Leede Arena to receive their marching orders for Commencement, it will be the class marshals who lead the procession of graduates onto the Green and to each of their designated seating sections.
Literally marshalling the graduates to the ceremony, these students are chosen by classmates as inspirational leaders during their years at Dartmouth. Graduating seniors vote for the marshals based on the criteria of good citizenship, enthusiasm, integrity, and positive impact on others.
The 2023 marshals were invited to give a brief description of the highlights of their time at Dartmouth and to share a few words about a place on campus that holds special meaning for them.
Student Marshals for 2023
Ifrah M. Ahmed, MPH ’23
Hometown: Bandiraleey Mudug, Somalia
Degree: Master of Public Health, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Ifrah Ahmed says that being born in a war-torn country, particularly in a small rural area of Somalia, seems an unlikely beginning for someone who would eventually find themselves at Dartmouth College. With the invaluable support of The Dartmouth Institute, and the whole Dartmouth community, she had the opportunity to return to her home in East Africa and engage in work serving individuals who had endured the hardships of civil war and a broken healthcare system. Ahmed says she is forever grateful to Dartmouth for providing the platform to explore the global health arena and reaffirm her unwavering commitment to public health.
Favorite Place on Campus: Kellogg Hall at Geisel School of Medicine
“One place that holds a special place in my heart within the Dartmouth campus is Kellogg Hall. It has become my favorite spot, serving as the backdrop for countless meaningful face-to-face meetings with my cohorts, and was the birthplace of our closest friendships during our intensive weeks in the MPH hybrid program. As a hybrid student, our opportunities for in-person interaction were limited, but Kellogg provided us with a haven to come together and spend cherished moments as a collective. Within its walls, we learned together, shared laughter, support, and the forging of lasting connections that enriched our academic journey.”
Sarrah-Ann Allen ’23
Hometown: St. Catherine, Jamaica
Major: Mathematics, Global Health minor
Motivated to improve efficiency and promote equity in health care delivery in Jamaica, Sarrah-Ann Allen came to Dartmouth to engage in experiences to learn and grow academically, spiritually, and socially. She was grateful to be a Presidential Scholar and Great Issues Scholar, to improve her mathematical modeling skills, and think deeply about global health issues. As a Black Legacy Month co-chair, president of NAACP at Dartmouth, undergraduate adviser, and being in Christian communities and in the Council on Student Organizations, she enjoyed working to build a supportive community for students to feel connected to their faith, cultures, and other students, while advocating for the resources they needed to excel.
Favorite Places on Campus: The Christian Community at Dartmouth Prayer Room above the Nugget Arcade and the OPAL Suite in Collis
“When I think about my time at Dartmouth I will remember times of fellowship, prayer and reflection in the Prayer Room, times of laughter and deep discussions in the OPAL Suite, and the amazing community I found in both of these spaces.”
Rocío “Chio” Barrionuevo Quispe ’23
Hometown: Cusco, Peru
Major: Quantitative Social Science
Rocío “Chio” Barrionuevo says she is fueled by a deep commitment to serving others. From starting a nonprofit that enables Peruvian students to access higher education in the United States to planning events for Senior Week and Class Day as the senior class vice president, she is passionate about creating opportunities for people to experience community. As a King Scholar, Barrionuevo has discovered her passion for measurable impact and plans to continue her work in the international development sector.
Favorite Place on Campus: The Green
“As Dartmouth moves quickly, I’ve come to appreciate its reflective spaces. My favorite is the Class of 1938’s bench on the Green, which reads: ‘Sit down and enjoy this beautiful view! We did!’ I remember the multiple times I’ve sat there, allowing myself to pause, find grounding, and enjoy the present moment.”
Brook K. Byrd, Thayer ’23
Hometown: Williamsburg, Va.
Degree: Engineering PhD in the Innovation Program with a certificate in Medical Physics
The past six years at Dartmouth have been full of unexpected opportunities, including participation in the US-UK Fulbright Program, the Surgical Innovation Program, the Medical Physics Program, and serving as a Guarini Fellow, Brook Byrd says. The culmination of these experiences allowed her to both probe deeper into her research into improving breast cancer surgery with direct access to patient care and broaden her understanding of the global challenges facing the world today.
Favorite Place on Campus: Pine Park
“Pine Park has served as my favorite quiet escape over my time at Dartmouth. Jumping in for a summer swim along the Connecticut River rejuvenates me, while the profound peacefulness found sitting along the water’s edge, surrounded by towering pines, has sustained me over the many hurdles of graduate school.”
Connor Coale, Thayer ’23
Hometown: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering
Connor Coale served as captain of the men’s Ultimate team, Pain Train. He was the head teaching assistant of the peer tutoring and advising group Dartmouth Emerging Engineers, was a TA for a number of classes in Thayer, and enjoyed being a member of Sigma Nu.
Favorite Place on Campus: Sachem Field
“Classes can get overwhelming, and I always needed a reason to get away, move my body, and think about anything but school. Sachem offered a chance to breathe fresh air and run, whether it was a beautiful sunny day or a crisp autumn afternoon at practice.”
Tyron Herring ’23
Hometown: Delray Beach, Fla.
Tyron Herring was the president of the Men of Color Alliance and an executive member of the NAACP. He spent his off terms interning with his member of Congress while working with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and was an editor for the Dartmouth Law Journal. He participated in the Rockefeller Leadership Program, was a four-year varsity football athlete, received the nomination for the Kenneth Archibald Prize and was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.
Favorite Place on Campus: First Floor of Baker-Berry Library
“First floor Berry at first was mandatory for study hall with football but became a significant part of my social and intellectual engagement with friends on campus. Times decompressing from the day and catching up with friends have become fond memories that I will always cherish.”
Mubarak Idoko ’23, Thayer ’23
Hometown: Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Major/Degree: BA Engineering Sciences; BE Computer Engineering
Mubarak Idoko was honored to serve on his class council and as the senior class president. He has worked at the Machine Shop, the Dartmouth College Fund, the Office of Admissions, the Transportation Office, and Jacobson Lab at Geisel. Idoko has also been a teaching assistant for some engineering courses and a First Gen/Low-Income Students computer science tutor in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership. He was also on the Formula Racing Team since his first-year fall and enjoyed exploring the Upper Valley.
Favorite Place on Campus: Jones Media Center at Dartmouth Library
“My favorite place at Dartmouth is the Jones Media Center. I spent a lot of time working, studying, sleeping at Jones; I made many treasured memories, enjoyed interacting with the friendly staff at Jones, and had some wonderful times watching the World Cup with friends there.”
Chelsea-Starr M. Jones ’23
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Major: Government, Psychology minor
Chelsea-Starr Jones made leadership and love central to her Dartmouth experience. She leveraged her background as a first-gen Black woman of Jamaican heritage, her leadership skills, her passion, and love for people to pour into the communities she engaged with. Over the last four years, Jones has worked in the Office of Admissions in various capacities, most recently as a senior fellow representing Dartmouth to prospective students and parents. She also advocated for college students and universities as an intern with the U.S. Department of Education, working on the CARES Act. Jones also was a mentor for the DREAM program and served as president of her sorority, where she made diversity, inclusivity, and safety central pillars of the organization. After graduation, Jones will continue her inclusivity work as an admissions officer for Dartmouth before transitioning to a management consulting position in New York City.
Favorite Place on Campus: One Wheelock in the Collis Center
“My favorite place on campus is One Wheelock, the coffee shop in the basement of Collis. For me, it’s a perfect blend of a calming ambiance and the social atmosphere of first floor Berry (my second favorite place on campus). I have countless memories convening with friends over coffee and a good book, all of which bring me joy.”
Sheen Kim ’23
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Majors: Geography and Anthropology
Sheen Kim has spent time at Dartmouth learning that we can and must dream of a better world. They organized with the Dartmouth Student Union and eventually helped bring to fruition the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth, one of the first undergraduate student worker unions. They were also active in community life, dedicating hours to the arts, resources for underserved pre-law students, and making good food for friends.
Favorite Place on Campus: Connecticut River
“I love the river: it’s always given me a sense of calm. When the sun hits me on the dock, tired from swimming and laughing with friends, I can’t help but think that this sort of idle joy is what we’re doing this all for.”
Molly Lou McQuoid ’23
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Major: Cognitive Science, minors in Education and Social Inequalities
Over the past four years, Molly McQuoid has pursued her passions for education and mentorship as a volunteer with the Strengthening Educational Access with Dartmouth program, a learning fellow in the Department of Sociology, and an assistant teacher at a local day care center. She is also a member of the Committee on Standards, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and, most meaningfully, the Dartmouth Sings a cappella group. McQuoid says she is tremendously grateful for the friends and countless warm memories she has made at Dartmouth.
Favorite Place on Campus: Theodor Seuss Geisel Room at Dartmouth Library
“One of the most underrated study spots on campus is the library’s Dr. Seuss room. I have so many fond memories working and talking and laughing with friends in this special and impressively sunny space. Something about the coziness and slight whimsy of the room makes me feel so comfortable and happy.”
Destinée Mentor-Richards, Tuck ’23
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Degree: MBA, General Management
Destinée Mentor-Richards earned her BA in mathematics from Amherst College in 2015 and chose Tuck because of the tight-knit community, immersive MBA experience, and the program’s ethos of humility, curiosity, and vulnerability. While at Tuck, she served as the student body president, the first Black woman to do so in Tuck’s history. Additionally, she was awarded merit fellowships through The Consortium, the Toigo Foundation, and the Forté Foundation. During her time at Tuck, her extracurricular involvements included the Black Students Association at Tuck, the Association for Christian Tuck Students, Low-Income and First-Generation at Tuck, and serving as a fellow with the Center for Workplace Inclusion and as an adviser on Dartmouth’s Presidential Commission for Financial Aid. Following graduation, Mentor-Richards will be joining Bain and Co. in Washington, D.C.
Favorite Place on Campus: Stell Hall at Tuck School of Business
“Stell Hall is the central heartbeat of Tuck. It sits at the intersection of faculty and staff offices, MBA student dorms, and our classrooms. On any day, you only have to walk into Stell to find peers discussing entrepreneurial ideas, classmates helping each other with homework, or professors catching up with students about their goals. Stell is my favorite place at Dartmouth because embodies both the ethos and rich history of Tuck.”
David Millman ’23
Hometown: Richmond, Va.
David Millman says he is committed to being a tireless advocate for positive change. As president of Dartmouth Student Government, he helped bring universal teletherapy to campus, return late night dining, and reform student government. He personally wrote, introduced, and saw the Main Wheelock District passed at Hanover Town Meeting in 2022, a zoning ordinance intended to help fight the housing crisis in the region. Millman has also worked in sexual violence prevention and hopes to pursue public service.
Favorite Place on Campus: One Wheelock
“As someone who has hosted countless coffee hours and town halls here, I know that One Wheelock also serves as a cozy workspace with free coffee and colorful mugs. Whether I’m bouncing between meetings in Collis or bunkering down to work on a paper, One Wheelock has been perfect.”
Sean O’Donnell, MED ’23
Hometown: Halifax, Mass.
Degree: MD, Geisel Medical School
A New Englander through and through, Sean O’Donnell lived in Massachusetts prior to attending Providence College. He spent several years working in clinical research and as an EMT while applying to medical school. At Geisel, O’Donnell has showcased aptitude for leadership, serving as student government class representative throughout all four years of school. He will complete his residency in pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., over the next three years.
Favorite Place on Campus: The Green
“Throughout my four years at Dartmouth, the Green has always held a special place in my heart as a home-away-from-home. When studying in my apartment got to be too isolating, the Green was always there to serve as a perfect getaway for studying, leisure, or socializing.”
Aanyaanáx̱ Tláa Aaní Perkins ’23
Hometown: Sheetʼká (Sitka, Alaska)
Major: Native American and Indigenous Studies, Linguistics
Aaní Perkins cares deeply for her Indigenous communities on campus and at home. On campus, she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, a Presidential Scholar, and a writing tutor. She also served as co-president of Native Americans at Dartmouth. Academically, she focused on language revitalization and Indigenous rights. After a gap year, she will pursue a PhD in linguistics at the University of British Columbia and plans to become a Lingít language professor.
Favorite Place on Campus: Native American House
“The NAH is my safe haven on campus. It’s a space where I feel accepted and know everyone who passes through the doors. It’s where Native Americans at Dartmouth hosts many community events, and where I’ve shared laughs, tears, and many treasured memories with friends-turned-family.”
Timothy Poisson, Guarini ’22
Hometown: Somerville, Mass.
Degree: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Timothy Poisson, a marketing manager in the College’s Advancement division who writes and draws comics and graphic novels professionally under the pen name Tim Fish, entered the MALS program with a concentration in creative writing. He maximized his coursework, independent study, the Oxford Summer Program, thesis, and entries in the MALS Journal Clamantis to elevate his storytelling. Poisson has been awarded a Fulbright research grant in affiliation with Trinity College Dublin and will spend the next year in Ireland.
Favorite Place on Campus: The Tower Room at Dartmouth Library
“I love the Tower Room in Baker. It’s quiet with lots of light. But mostly, it’s that crazy reproduction carpet—which somehow pulls off being traditional and garish. Sometimes I’d go out of my way just to sear it into my memory.”
Arun Somasundaram, Thayer ’23
Hometown: Bangalore, India
Degree: Master of Engineering Management
Arun Somasundaram, an undergraduate in biotechnology engineering from India, chose to attend Dartmouth to pursue his passion in the convergence of health care and technology. Somasundaram was a project manager at the Digital Applied Learning and Innovation Lab, where he contributed to the development of health-tech apps and formed meaningful connections. He also actively participated in the MEM Council, organizing events to foster class unity. Now, he is eager to commence his journey in health care as a life-science strategy consultant at Clarion.
Favorite Place on Campus: DALI Lab
“My favorite place at Dartmouth has to be the DALI Lab. Apart from being my go-to spot for studying, I loved the incredible community, social events, and the close friends I’ve made there.”
Sarah A. Steimel, Guarini ’23
Hometown: Calipatria, Calif.
Degree: PhD, Neuroscience
In addition to her research in clinical epilepsy, Sarah Steimel dedicated her time to mentorship, advocacy, and outreach. She is particularly proud of her work in the Graduate Student Council addressing inequity and as a Society for Neuroscience Early Career Policy Ambassador where she met with policymakers, collaborated with Ivy+ institutions, and published reports advocating for science funding and anti-racist recruitment practices. Steimel hopes her efforts have helped make Dartmouth ever better.
Favorite Place on Campus: Ledyard Canoe Club
“My favorite place at Dartmouth is Ledyard Canoe Club. When graduate life became chaotic, I knew the canoe club could provide collegiality, serenity, a breath of fresh air, and some adventure to reset my perspective. Plus, paddling away from my troubles on the Connecticut always inspired the best research epiphanies.”
Debbie F. Sulca, Guarini ’23
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Degree: Master of Science in Earth Sciences
Debbie Sulca joined the fluvial research group at Dartmouth to make progress towards working in river restoration and remediation in urban environments and along the Andes. While studying mercury contamination along the Androscoggin River for her master’s thesis project, Sulca was selected for two National Science Foundation-funded International Research Experiences for Students, opportunities that enabled her to travel to El Salvador as a research assistant to collect sociocultural and hydrological data and to Colombia to study Andean rivers.
Favorite Place on Campus: Hood Museum of Art
“The Hood consistently had amazing exhibitions on rotation during my time at Dartmouth. I enjoyed attending their guided tours, artist talks, workshops, and social events. It provided me a space where I can slow down, reflect, socialize, and learn about cultures and history around the world.”