FLUSHING, N.Y. (Nov. 8, 2017) – On a brisk Queens morning, the QC swimming and diving teams ventured outdoors to participate in the inaugural Freedom Walk on the Queens College campus Wednesday (Nov. 8). Fifteen members of the Knights participated in the event which highlighted servicemen and servicewomen from all walks of life---military, first responders, civil rights advocates and more---with Veterans' Day right around the corner.
The event took place around the Quad at Queens College, thanking veterans for their service and honoring those members who were present during a ceremony at the start of the walk. A number of veterans---around 200, to be exact---were recognized for their service while a number of others were lauded for their academic achievements. Around 30 of the veterans at Queens College have maintained a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, with several posting a 4.0 GPA in their respective studies.
"I am grateful," said Queens College Director of Aquatics and Head Swimming and Diving Coach Alicia Lampasso-Dillon, "to have had an opportunity to recognize our vets and be a part of the first Freedom Walk! To hear about the academic success of our Queens College veterans was rewarding."
"To see our student-athletes participating in an event like this is amazing," affirmed QC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Cassidy Stewart of the Knights' volleyball team. "Our goal with SAAC is to create a better athletic experience and we love being able to bridge the gap between athletics and the rest of Queens College."
The event took on a special meaning for the QC swimmers and divers, and in particular, the Freedom Walk was a special chance to honor senior Jordan Melidor-Fuxis of the men's swimming and diving team. Melidor-Fuxis, a senior freestyle and distance swimmer, is also a member of the Air Force ROTC program.
"The ROTC program," said Melidor-Fuxis, "is helping me train to serve. I am training to be an officer and serve in a leadership role and after graduating, I can get my degree and serve in the Air Force."
Melidor-Fuxis said that he chose the Air Force because of his passion and his major of study: computer science.
"I wanted something more computer-related. There are more career opportunities with computers and the Air Force will help me reach my goal of becoming a cybersecurity officer."
Sophomore Amanda Giordano of the QC women's swimming and diving team also commented on Melidor-Fuxis and his commitments post-graduation as well as his impact on her and the rest of the program.
"It was definitely a privilege," Giordano noted, "to take part in the Freedom Walk with Jordan. He is an inspiration to us and he is someone who is a great leader in the pool and will be a great leader in the Air Force as well."
Coach Lampasso-Dillon also praised Melidor-Fuxis, calling him "a dedicated young man who is good at time management. Jordan is our SAAC representative, our team captain and a record-holder. He is passionate about school, swimming, the Air Force and his future."
Stewart added to this, saying that Melidor-Fuxis "represents SAAC amazingly well and we are lucky to have him as a SAAC representative from men's swimming and diving. It is super inspiring to see Jordan being a student-athlete as well as being involed in ROTC. The dedication he has for all of those commitments as well as being a SAAC rep is incredibly admirable.
Melidor-Fuxis says that he and the rest of the swim teams have something special planned for the first home meet of the season, which will take place Thursday (Nov. 9) at the Aquatics Center on campus. QC will host Baruch and Adelphi in the Knights' annual alumni meet, beginning at 6 p.m.