Alexa N. Leyba has been selected to be the student speaker for the 2017 College of Arts and Sciences spring commencement Friday, May 12, at 7 p.m. in Redbird Arena.

Leyba will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education and a minor in Peace and Conflict Resolution. She is a 2013 Golden Apple Scholar and has made a commitment to teach in a school of need in Illinois for five years. She is an active member of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honors society. Leyba has presented her research in the English Studies at Large Conference, Women and Gender’s Studies Symposium, Culturally Responsive Campus Community Conference, and IATE Conference.

Alexa is one of identical triplets attending ISU. One of her sisters will also graduate this month; another will be staying at ISU for an additional year to complete a second major.

In an essay published on this year about returning to her roots through student teaching, Leyba wrote about growing up on Chicago’s north side.

“I am a product of the Chicago Public Schools, which has profoundly impacted major aspects of my identity, including my career path,” she wrote.

Leyba started student teaching at Roosevelt High School in the Albany Park community on January 23. Her goal as an educator is to make her students feel empowered, to utilize their potential, and to see themselves as the future leaders of the world.

“Alexa’s scholarship and service is most impressive, and a credit to her education,” said College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Sally Parry.