Chemistry Major Maxwell Sykes was December 2023 Commencement Speaker

Dec 20, 2023 2:00 PM

Frostburg, Maryland

Chemistry major Maxwell Sykes '23 served as the College of Education and Health & Natural Sciences student commencement speaker for December 2023. The following summary of Max's achievements appeared in the commencement program:

Maxwell Sykes

Sykes, of Frostburg, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in biology. He has served as a teacher aide and lab assistant in FSU’s chemistry department and volunteered his time as a student tutor where he was responsible for directing and conducting group tutoring sessions for advanced chemistry courses. Sykes also served as a residential tutor counselor over the summer for TRIO teaching and preparing college-bound high school students in the areas of math and science. While at Frostburg, he has conducted independent advanced research and has made the Dean’s List every semester. Sykes is the vice president of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the National Chemistry Honor Society, and has earned several accolades including the Paul Hunt Lab Achievement, the T. Adams ’87 and Wyche Adams ’86 scholarship, the Weser Chemistry Achievement, the Roy W. Sonntag Award and the Woodward and Virginia Pealer Scholarship. “Max has a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm toward learning chemistry,” says Dr. Matthew Crawford, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the chemistry and physics departments at FSU. “His devotion to furthering his own knowledge and then sharing it with fellow students will take him far in life. His journey to get where he is today is very remarkable and inspiring.”

Following the ceremony, Max received his lab coat from Dr. Matthew Crawford and Dr. Katie Gares. After graduation, Max is planning to continue his education by applying to graduate programs in biochemistry. Congratulations, Max!

From the left: Dr. Matthew Crawford, Maxwell Sykes, Dr. Katie Gares