The Syracuse University School of Information Studies is sad to report that one if its newly minted 2010 graduates, Marinna Khon, was involved in a tragic accident on May 25, near her home in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Khon was with friends sunbathing on a sandbar off Plum Island when a rip tide came in and pulled them out to sea. A nearby boat was able to rescue seven of them, but was unable to reach Khon, according to news reports.

Search teams scoured a 120 square mile area by air and water before calling off the search on May 26.

“Our hearts ache to have celebrated graduation with Marinna and her family less than two weeks ago, and now to be mourning this overwhelming loss with them,” said Elizabeth D. Liddy, dean of Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool).

Khon graduated May 15, 2010, from the iSchool with a B.S. in Information Management and Technology and a minor in Global Enterprise Technology.

“She was a strong student and very nice,” said Elaine Morgan, iSchool director of academic advising and counseling. Morgan said Khon consulted with her frequently about her coursework and requirements.

Khon enrolled in some of the most technically challenging courses at the iSchool and excelled. Several of those classes were taught by Professor of Practice Bahram A. Attaie, who said she stood out not only because she was a female but because she was one of the smartest students in class.

“She seemed to enjoy technology and was not intimidated by it,” Attaie said. “I saw great potential in her and felt very strongly that she was going to do really well. I was most proud of her for voluntarily attending the CCNA certification self study sessions.”

Other faculty members who taught Marinna describe her as the “dream student” who was very driven and extremely motivated to succeed. She made the dean’s list several times since transferring into the iSchool the spring semester of her sophomore year.

“As a student, she was on the quiet side but showed surprising insight and knowledge whenever she did speak up, contributing to the discussion in a manner which made it a pleasure to have her in class,” said Adjunct Professor Ravind Budhiraja, who taught her in the course, Electronic Commerce Technologies, this spring. “She was very self-reliant, generally responding with a cheery ‘I’m good’ and her trademark smile whenever I asked if she had any issues with the assignment. I’m sure she would have excelled at whatever path she may have chosen upon graduation.”

She was an active member in the Alpha Phi Omega service organization, and was a positive force to those who knew her.

“Marinna was a student that unquestionably would have accomplished great things in both her career and her life in years to come,” said Adjunct Professor Chris Kirkegaard, who taught Khon in his Web Design: Photoshop and Flash course this spring. “Both the iSchool and Syracuse University families truly lost a shining star in Marinna.”