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Palomar College names 2024 valedictorian

SAN MARCOS – Fallbrook resident Sophia Segerstrom has been attending Palomar College since she was 14 years old, and now, five years later, she has graduated as the college's valedictorian.

While attending high school at the Audeo II Charter School, Segerstrom began taking dual enrollment courses at Palomar College. She said taking courses that she enjoyed at Palomar College, particularly theater classes, enabled her to take a wider variety of classes than her high school offered. She explored her interest in theater by acting in two Palomar College productions – "Kentucky" in spring 2022 and "Greetings from the Red Planet" in fall 2022.

However, it was a creative writing class that Segerstrom took that helped her discover her true passion for writing and literature. She said English Professor Rocco Versaci made her see the writing process in a whole new way.

"His class was amazing," she said. "He teaches English as the power of language. It was his way of seeing and looking at word choice, connotations, perspective, and setting. It was the way he broke down the techniques a writer can use."

Segerstrom said she has immensely enjoyed being an embedded tutor for English classes, helping students with their papers and assignments.

"I have encountered students in moments of crisis and have often been in the role of offering emotional support and guidance," she said.

Segerstrom said she plans to transfer to John Hopkins University to earn a bachelor's degree in English and literature, then pursue a master's and doctoral degrees so that she can become a college instructor.

She said she wants to become a professor because she has been inspired by the teachers she had at Palomar College.

"I see how their passion for their subject matter transfers to their students, which has inspired me to want to be able to be in that position to share my love of literature and writing with others," she said.

Submitted by Palomar College.


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