NFL Great, Harry Carson, to Address the Class of 2015 at the Graduate Convocation Ceremony on May 17; Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times Financial Columnist and CNBC Co-anchor of “Squawk Box,” to Deliver the Undergraduate Convocation Address on May 18

Headshot of retired football star Harry Carson

More than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world will receive their degrees from the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) during Convocation ceremonies on May 17 and May 18 that will recognize them for their completion of rigorous, professionally oriented programs of study. NYUSPS is renowned as an educational institution that prepares students, including individuals who are just launching their careers as well as seasoned veterans, with the critical knowledge and the skills necessary to be successful in emerging industries that offer growing career opportunities.

“NYUSPS is proud to be a leader in providing an experiential learning environment in which higher education and industry converge to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace,” said Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies. “Through these Convocation ceremonies, we acknowledge the many accomplishments of all of our graduating students who, I am confident, are fortified with the knowledge, discipline, creativity, and professional connections needed to become thought leaders and innovators in their fields.”

This year’s Convocation speakers are pioneers in the sports and communications arenas, both of which are represented by NYUSPS programs.

Pro Football Hall of Famer, Harry Carson, who served as captain of the NY Giants for 10 of his 13 seasons and was named to the All-NFL Team seven times, the All-NFC Team eight times, and was NFC Linebacker of the Year twice, will speak at this year’s graduate Convocation ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, May 17, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden at 9:00 a.m.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, best known as the co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program, who also is a financial columnist for The New York Times; editor-at-large of DealBook, a news site he founded that is published by The Times; and best-selling author of Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, will speak at this year’s undergraduate Convocation ceremony, which will take place on Monday, May 18, at the Grand Hyatt New York at 6:00 p.m.

Students from across the U.S. and around the world come to the NYU School of Professional Studies to pursue their degrees and their dreams. Each has his or her story that illustrates the obstacles he or she has faced and the triumphs and successes they have achieved.

Dalia Amin, who is graduating with an M.S. in Global Affairs from the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA), is the graduate convocation speaker. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, to Kurdish refugees fleeing the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, Amin spent the first decade of her life in resettlement camps. Her family eventually moved to Seattle, Washington, but at the tender age of 15, her parents travelled with her to Iraq so that she could meet her grandparents for the first time. The visit to the Kurdish town of Sulaimani was an experience that was both eye opening and emotional for the impressionable teenager. This initial experience with conflict, displacement, and extreme poverty inspired her to become involved in international peacebuilding initiatives as an adult. She has been an education and innovation intern at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and has worked with CGA Clinical Associate Professor Thomas Hill at the University of Duhok, Iraq, within the peace and conflict studies program. After graduation, Amin plans to continue her work in Iraq, focusing on understanding and mitigating the effects of displacement on women and girls and, most particularly, on access to education and healthcare.

Valerie M. Hoft is typical of the many students who enroll in the NYU School of Professional Studies, often holding down a job while immersing themselves in the rigors of academic life. Hoft’s professional responsibilities have been particularly demanding as she has pursued her degree. During her time in the M.S. in Management and Systems program at the School, she has maintained a cumulative G.P.A. of 4.0, while serving the nation as a full-time, active-duty Air Force officer. Prior to her studies at NYUSPS, Hoft graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University and is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC). As part of her current job description, she leads a team responsible for Department of Defense space launch systems, financial estimates, and industry analyses, which serve to guide the acquisition strategy for a $46 billion program that delivers national security satellites into orbit. Currently, Hoft is participating in the 2015 Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program in New York City, where she is interning with the Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) investment banking team. Upon graduation, she is planning to transition out of the Air Force and pursue a career in investment banking.

Jeffrey Golladay had a successful career as a professional ballet dancer prior to enrolling in the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division. At just 15 years of age, he started his training at Ballet Dallas. During the impressive career that followed, he danced with several high-profile companies, including San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre (ABT). He performed as a corps de ballet dancer with ABT for 10 years, in New York City and around the world, but by his early thirties, a series of injuries led him to think about his future after his performance career. In 2011, he enrolled in the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division while still performing. He has been on the dean’s list every semester and is a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society. While earning his degree, Golladay interned at the Council on Foreign Relations and at the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. In addition, he participated in the United Nations Association of New York Worldview Institute, an executive training program that affords New York professionals the opportunity to engage in and discuss global issues with experts in foreign policy and international affairs. He graduates magna cum laude with a B.A. in Social Sciences and a concentration in International Studies. After graduation, he will enroll in the master’s program in international affairs at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Tiffany (Jen-Yun) Huang, graduating with a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management from the School’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, will address the undergraduate class. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Huang grew up in Orange County, California. Her heavy involvement in student government organization combined with frequent family trips to Las Vegas led her to develop a keen interest in the hospitality and tourism industry. She was one of four hospitality students accepted into the Tisch Center’s Scholars Program, participating in a trip to London to study the 2012 Summer Olympics. She also received the Alfred Pisani Corinthia Hotels Scholarship for leadership and active participation in the industry, the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference Patrons and Sponsors Scholarship for her commitment to her studies and her support of her peers, and the Hotel Chinese Association Scholarship. While earning her degree, Huang has interned at 16 Handles, Dream Downtown, and the Ace Hotel in New York City, and also has worked at the Mondrian LA in West Hollywood. Presently, Huang is working as a financial analyst at Plan • Do • See America Inc., a Japanese hotel firm in New York City.


Graduate Convocation Speaker
Harry Carson
Harry Carson is a former American football linebacker who played his entire professional career for the NFL’s New York Giants (1976-1988). He served as team captain for 10 of his 13 seasons, including the 1986 season, when the Giants defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI. Rated the #1 “Inside Linebacker” in NFL history by Pro Football Weekly, he was named to the All-NFL Team seven times, the All-NFC Team eight times, and NFC Linebacker of the Year twice. Carson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

The end of Carson’s football career marked the beginning of his career in sports broadcasting. He has worked as a broadcast analyst and a special correspondent for several networks including CNN, WCBS, and ABC, as well as New York’s Madison Square Garden Network (MSG). He is currently a co-host of the New York Giants game day magazine program, Giants 1st & 10. Carson is CEO and president of Harry Carson Inc., a sports consulting and promotions company, and serves as executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization devoted to diversity in the NFL. He is affiliated with numerous charities, including the United Way, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, and the Autism Coalition. He also is a lecturer and a motivational speaker, addressing diverse groups that range from juvenile offenders and prison inmates to high school scholars, from college athletes to corporate executives and political leaders.


Carson currently works with Meridian Neuroscience Health System, Inc. as a spokesperson to increase national awareness of traumatic brain injury. In past years, he has served as an adviser to the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and as a member of the Brain Injury Association’s Sports Injury Prevention Council. He also is an advisory board member of the NYU School of Professional Studies Sports and Society, a leading academic think tank on sports as a societal force.


Carson is the author of two books: Point of Attack: The Defense Strikes Back (1986), which chronicles his impressions of the 1985 NFL season, and his second and more comprehensive book, Captain for Life: My Story as a Hall of Fame Linebacker (2011), which reflects on his career and life after football.


An honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa International Society, he earned a B.S. in Education from South Carolina State University, and continued his graduate studies at South Carolina State and at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Undergraduate Convocation Speaker

Andrew Ross Sorkin

Best known as the co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program, Andrew Ross Sorkin also is a financial columnist for The New York Times and the editor-at-large of DealBook, a news site he founded that is published by The Times.


Sorkin is the author of the best-selling book, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, which chronicled the events of the 2008 financial crisis. The book won the 2010 Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize and the 2010 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. The book was adapted as a movie by HBO Films in 2011. Sorkin was a co-producer of the film, which was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.


Over the years, Sorkin has broken news on many major mergers and acquisitions, including Chase's acquisition of JPMorgan and Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Compaq. He also led The Times's coverage of Vodafone's $183 billion hostile bid for Mannesmann, resulting in the world's largest takeover ever.


He won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2004 for breaking the news of IBM's historic sale of its PC business to Lenovo. He also was a finalist in the commentary category for his DealBook column. He won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader. In 2008 and 2009, Vanity Fair named him to its "Next Establishment" list. He was also named to the "Directorship 100," a list of the most influential people on the nation's board of directors. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Sorkin began writing for The New York Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: He hadn't yet graduated from high school. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in May 1999.

The 2015 NYUSPS graduate Convocation ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 17, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden (Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets), from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The 2015 NYUSPS undergraduate Convocation ceremony will take place on Monday, May 18, at the Grand Hyatt New York (109 East 42nd Street, Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal), from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

In addition to the NYUSPS Convocation ceremonies, the NYU 183nd Commencement will take place on Wednesday, May 20, at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


About the NYU School of Professional Studies

Celebrating its 80th anniversary, the NYU School of Professional Studies ( is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and noncredit programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Politics; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Foreign Languages, Translation, and Interpreting; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Health Information Management; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Resource Management and Development; Liberal and Allied Arts; Management and Systems; Marketing; Professional Writing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Social Entrepreneurship; and Sports Management, Media, and Business.


More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty and lecturers to create vibrant professional and academic networks that annually attract nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent continuing higher education needs of local and professional communities, as evidenced by close to 48,000 annual noncredit enrollments in individual courses, specialized certificate programs, workshops, and seminars. The School’s community is enriched by more than 28,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit

SPS 2014 Graduates

Press Contacts

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876
Cheryl Feliciano
Cheryl Feliciano
(212) 998-6865
Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337