Newswise — New York City College of Technology (City Tech) will mark the annual rite of passage for graduating students at its 73rd Commencement Exercises on Tuesday, June 4, beginning at 11:30 a.m., at Jacob Javits Center North, 40th Street at 11th Avenue, Manhattan.

President Russell K. Hotzler is expected to confer 2,378 degrees, including 1,192 associate and 1,186 baccalaureate. The number of baccalaureate graduates has almost doubled over the past ten years as the result of the addition of several new BS and BTech degree programs, including those in Applied Mathematics (BS), Biomedical Informatics (BS), Emerging Media Technologies (BTech), Health Services Administration (BS), Mathematics Education (BS), Mechanical Engineering Technology (BTech) and Radiological Science (BS).

Delivering the commencement address will be David Hinson, national director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a bureau within the United States Department of Commerce.

The top two students in the 2013 graduating class both have Latin American roots. Dany Salas, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who majored in computer systems, is City Tech’s valedictorian. Jessica Castillo, an architectural technology major whose family is from El Salvador, is the College’s salutatorian (second in the graduating class).

David Hinson, Commencement Speaker

As national director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a bureau within the United States Department of Commerce, Hinson oversees a national network of 40 MBDA Business Centers, including those in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and the first of its type, the Federal Procurement Center, located in Washington, DC.

MBDA’s core mission is to expand the U.S. economy and create new jobs by promoting the growth and global competitiveness of large, medium and small businesses that are minority-owned. Since the start of the Obama Administration, MBDA has assisted minority-owned firms in obtaining nearly $12 billion in contracts and capital, creating and saving over 20,000 jobs. Under Hinson’s leadership, MBDA has experienced the three best performing years in the 43-year history of the agency.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration as a presidential appointee, Hinson was president and CEO of Wealth Management Network, Inc., a multi-million dollar independent, financial advisory boutique where he provided global asset management and risk management services to high net worth and emerging wealth clients.

Before this, Hinson managed a 10-state sales region as director of advisory services and managing director of business development for Envestnet Asset Management, a publicly traded, $70 billion financial advisory firm.

Hinson’s experience also includes a number of senior-level and mid-management positions at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, First Chicago (now JP Morgan Chase) and The Village Foundation. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News Channel, The BE Report and CBS News for his wealth management and financial planning commentary, and was a wealth management columnist for The Network Journal.

Hinson holds an MBA in finance from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA in insurance and finance with honors from Howard University in Washington, DC. In addition, he completed a fellowship in International Finance with honors from the Stockholm School of Economics and graduate-level studies in French with honors at the University of Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, West Africa. He is a native of St. Louis, MO, and currently lives in Washington, DC.

Dany Salas, 2013 Valedictorian

When Salas left the Dominican Republic for New York in January 2008 to attend college, he was uncharacteristically silent for the first couple of months in his new country. That’s because he was afraid to speak English; his thick Spanish accent wasn’t understood and he felt self-conscious. But 25-year-old Salas found a way to remedy the situation and hasn’t looked back. He was hired as a summer camp counselor for seven- and eight-year-old boys and girls, who helped him with his pronunciation and were his toughest teachers.

Commencement will be especially sweet for him because his mother, sister and brother will be part of an audience of nearly 6,000 people who will see him deliver his valedictory address. This will mark the first time in their lives away from the Dominican Republic and the first time Salas will have seen them in more than four years.

Once he felt at home at City Tech, Salas challenged himself to take a leadership role. He was president of the Computer Club, vice president and founder of the Gay-Straight Alliance, a peer advisor for first-year students, the Microsoft student partner ambassador for the College, a member of the City Tech Honors Scholars Program, and a participant in the Office of Student Life’s annual leadership retreat. After an internship at Goldman Sachs, he was offered a full-time job and works as an information technology analyst in the firm’s Jersey City office.

Jessica Castillo, 2013 Salutatorian

When she was a little girl creating houses and pyramids with blocks and Legos, Castillo loved being a builder. “I was constant thinking about constructing things,” explains Jessica Castillo, City Tech’s 2013 Salutatorian (second in the graduating class). “I would try to use all the pieces I could to make a big structure.”

Castillo, 25, who will receive her bachelor of technology degree in architectural technology at the City Tech commencement, has been preparing herself for a career as an architect specializing in historic preservation. “I love the old buildings. My favorite is Grand Central Terminal,” she says. “We live in the greatest city in the world. We have so much history here, and there is so much structural damage that people don’t know about. I’d love to help preserve the architecture so that future generations can enjoy it, too.”

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the College enrolls more than 16,000 students in 65 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs.