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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

    College of Science Sees Large Participation Numbers at 62nd Commencement

    A+crowd+looks+on+as+graduates+in+the+audience+are+featured+on+a+large+screen+during+the+College+of+Science+commencement+ceremony+on+May+27.
    Kristin Platts

    A crowd looks on as graduates in the audience are featured on a large screen during the College of Science commencement ceremony on May 27.

    Degrees were awarded to 731 Stanislaus State students during the College of Science (COS) commencement ceremony Friday morning. It’s the largest group of graduates slated to participate in the 2022 commencement ceremonies. COS graduates and their families enjoyed the coolest weather yet for the third of four planned ceremonies taking place in the Turlock campus’s outdoor amphitheater. Graduates participating in the May 27 event were among the 3,130 to qualify for bachelor degrees or credentials at the university in 2022.
    The two days of ceremonies have marked the first time since before the pandemic that large groups of graduates and guests could gather to celebrate the momentous occasion in person. Graduates, who were allowed to invite up to five guests, were able to sit with them during the ceremony, bringing a unique experience to all in attendance.
    In a welcome address given by Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs, Dr. Richard Ogle, he said how nice it has been to see campus spaces come alive again, as students, faculty and staff returned to campus after the height of the pandemic.
     “Today, we celebrated our largest gathering in a very long time, and graduates, it is such a pleasure to see you here with your loved ones,” he said. 
    Ogle, who is finishing up his first year as provost, has noticed one constant with every person he’s met during his time at Stan State and said it’s carried everyone through some difficult times.
    “Your care for one another, and our care for one another, that, to me, exemplifies the warrior spirit,” he said.  
    In remarks given by Stan State President Ellen Junn, she noted the large number of first-generation students that made up the graduating class of 2022, and loud cheers and applause rang out as she asked them each to stand and be recognized.
    She said Stan State is well known for being a welcoming place for first generation college students and their families to embrace the college experience.  
    “We love all of our students, but especially our first gen, because they are pioneers, and courageous to try something new and put your toe in the water and get your degrees,” Junn said.
    Jose Raphael Santos (Bachelor of Arts, Psychology) was the event’s student speaker. Being a student speaker at commencement wasn’t something Santos ever thought he would do, he said, but noted that our futures can be uncertain and we tend to think of the worst when faced with the unknown.
    “Entering college was such an uncertain time for me and I imagine for many of you as well,” he said.
    Santos went on to say that the circumstances of the past several years have demonstrated what an uncertain time it has been for everyone and how unpredictable the world can be.  
    “I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say we have all struggled to find our path through these experiences,” he said. “Although difficult, I want everyone to remember, where the struggle has led you.”
    COS Grads Ready for the Next Adventure
    Graduates at Friday’s ceremony were elated at the opportunity to participate in the largest ceremony in three years, but also expressed some somberness at not getting to experience much of college life over the past couple of years. For some, like Heather Antonini (Bachelor of Arts, Psychology), commencement was the first time many had seen their classmates outside of Zoom.  
    Antonini, who worked full time and went to school at night while working on her degree, had only been at Stan State for one semester before the campus shut down in 2020.
    “It was quite difficult, [I was] in a high crisis job, and going to school at night, it was challenging for sure,” she said.
    She moved out of state last year and traveled back this week for the ceremony. A reentry student, Antonini said the years of life behind her actually helped her in her college experience.
    “Coming back to college after taking like 13 years off, it’s taken me about nine years to finish my bachelors, and I changed my major, so coming back to school older has definitely been more rewarding,” she said.
    Other COS graduates expressed relief after completing their time at Stanislaus State, and talked about what they look forward to next.
    “I don’t have to wake up early to go to class anymore,” said Ken Yang (Bachelor of Science, Child Development). “I don’t have to stay up late studying and cramming and doing homework at the last minute.” 
    Anicia Torres (Bachelor of Science, Child Development), who has a newborn on the way was also ready for the respite.
    “This feels like a relief, a big accomplishment,” she said. 
    The two are also considering returning for their master’s degrees.
    Hira Takhar (Bachelor of Science, Child Development) knows what her plan is.
    “I’m taking a year off and then going back to school for a master’s,” she said. 
    Yang added that she was in the same boat. 
    “I’m taking like a year off to just start working, getting more experience, and then see how I feel about it,” he said. “If I feel like I need to come back and get my master’s then I will, but if I feel like I’m comfortable where I’m at then I’ll probably stay there.”
    The final commencement ceremony for the College of Education, Kinesiology & Social Work will be held Friday evening. 
    Signal Reporter Emily Ascencio contributed to the story.

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    College of Science Sees Large Participation Numbers at 62nd Commencement