Students Earning Degrees at UTA Eclipses 5,400
By UT Arlington University Communications
Posted on December 11, 2018, December 11, 2018

Students Earning Degrees at UTA Eclipses 5,400

UTA College of Business gradation at College Park Center in May 2018. (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

Approximately 5,400 students are participating in commencement ceremonies Dec. 13-15 at College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. The newest graduates will join the ranks of more than 230,000 UTA alumni around the globe.

The commencement candidates in the College of Business realized nearly a 20 percent increase when compared to graduates in the Fall 2017 semester. The College of Nursing and Heath Innovation gained about 10 percent in the number of graduates when comparing Fall 2018 to Fall 2017.

The Colleges of Science and Liberal Arts realized about a nine percent increase in graduates when comparing this semester to Fall 2017 numbers.

"The University of Texas at Arlington commencement ceremonies mark an important transition in the lives of students, with many joining the full-time Texas workforce for the very first time," said state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills. Hancock is the chair of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee. "Companies across North Texas have the opportunity to capitalize on this newly available talent, grow and improve their businesses, and keep our economy humming. Providing a steady stream of innovators and dedicated members of the workforce is why UTA is so important to our region, state and nation."

Ceremonies begin Thursday, Dec. 13, and continue through Saturday, Dec. 15. Ceremony details are on UTA's Commencement Page.

While the overall numbers continue to set records, the stories behind the graduates are equally compelling. They include:

  • Sarah Hussein is graduating with her doctorate in Aerospace Engineering. She also received her UTA bachelor's degree in AE. She has won several awards, including the Louis Stokes Alliance of Minority Participation, Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students, or ACES competition, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and others. Hussein was on the UTA Engineering Student Council and has served in many other student volunteer capacities.
  • Cyril Tyson is a pre-law student graduating with a double major in advertising and broadcasting, and double minoring in biochemical engineering and biology. He's looking to become a doctor and an attorney. He is a veteran and a single parent to an 8-year-old daughter.
  • V Kyle Tyson is a theater arts graduate, who doesn't let transverse myelitis hold her back. It's a condition where her immune system attacks her spinal column. She has performed on her feet and from a wheelchair. A Shorthorn story says she wants to "give voice to those people who don't feel like they can stand up and say, ‘This is who I am, this is what I do." While she is striving towards a career as a performer on stage and screen, she hopes to work as an actives director in retirement communities to hopefully integrate performing arts with physical activity for active retired seniors. She says she lives by "sometimes what's meant to break you makes you brave."
  • Maddison Adkins is graduating with a bachelor's degree in public relations. Adkins was scheduled to graduate in the spring but contracted postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS. It's a condition that leads to inconsistent blood levels, fatigue, poor vision, vertigo and hypertension. Adkins took a medical leave and came back this semester to finish her academic journey. This semester, she led the UTA's Great American Smokeout campaign, a smash success. The campaign was Smoke This, Not That, and centered on feeding thousands of students barbecue from Colter's. While students were in line, they were handed informational handouts on the dangers of tobacco, vaping, snuff and flavored tobacco.
  • Alyssa Myers is graduating with a 4.0 in arts and arts history. In addition to her school work, she has served as an undergrad intern in UT-Arlington Special Collections where she documented the condition of approximately 200 works of art. She has been accepted to graduate school at the Royal College of Art in London, where she will begin in Fall of 2019.

December 2018 commencement speakers are:

College of Nursing and Health Innovation: Dr. Stephen Mansfield, president/chief executive officer, Methodist Health System

College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs/School of Social Work/Division of Student Success: Michael Bennett, AIA, principal and chief executive officer, Bennett Benner Partners

College of Liberal Arts: Jesse Morgan Barnett, assistant curator of education/academic programs

College of Education/College of Science: Cecilia Abbott, first lady of Texas

College of Business: Pete Walsh, chief executive officer, Velocity Intelligence Group

College of Engineering: Jim Greer, physical engineer, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Oncor Electric Delivery Co., LLC, 1984 BS, electrical engineering

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