Congratulations to the December graduates of Millersville University!

While the University postponed the December graduation ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic to keep our students, faculty, staff and visitors as safe as possible, it doesn’t change the fact that 370 students graduate this month.

The University is hoping that 2021 will bring significant improvements to the pandemic situation and that we will be able to celebrate the Class of 2020 in-person at that time. Graduates will be provided with at least a 45-day notice.

The names of all of the December graduates will be posted in mid-January, after grades have been processed. In the meantime, you can meet nine of our December graduates below:


Shanece Bowman

Shanece Bowman graduates with a bachelor’s in social work. She is one of the first graduates from MU’s online degree completion delivery option within the program.

Shanece Bowman graduates with a bachelor’s in social work. She is one of the first graduates from MU’s online degree completion delivery option within the program.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident didn’t follow the traditional path to get to where she is now, and she says that’s okay. “Situations might arise in your life that force you to have to take a break, but it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you end it that matters. The Social Work Online Degree Completion Program and the department allowed me to finish what I started 13 years ago. It’s never too late to accomplish your goals,” says Bowman.

What are your plans for after graduation?
To continue working full-time as Programs Manager at Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation and hopefully (if accepted) start the Advanced Standing MSW Program Summer 2021.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville?
When my cohort got to meet in person at the Positive Change Conference in 2019. It was awesome to finally meet one another and encourage each other face-to-face.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
During my undergraduate experience, it was finally realizing what “trusting the process” truly means. I have heard that phrase throughout my educational journey, and it clicked for me in the spring 2020 semester during my field experience.

Any advice for new students?
My advice self is that self-care is just as important now as when you enter your field of choice. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. As cliche as it sounds, no question is a dumb question. And remember, you will get through this. Soak in as much knowledge as you can but remember these moments as you continue your learning experiences and eventually enter the field of your dreams.

 

Javier Brown

Javier Brown, a psychology major, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Javier Brown, a psychology major, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Lancaster, Brown plans to move to New York City after graduation to work on his master’s degree in higher education. In 2019 Brown was named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. He received the honor, in part, because of his work as a career educator for an AmeriCorps VISTA project designed to increase 9-12th grade students’ access to higher education opportunities.

Where will you go to grad school?
New York University and CUNY Baruch College are two schools on my radar.

What’s your favorite memory at Millersville?
Attending the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute 2018 Conference in Chicago, Illinois with MU’s Society on Latino Affairs. I also enjoyed going paint balling with Millersville Concerned Men my sophomore year!

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
The support structure that I had on campus. Millersville Scholars Program and Lancaster Partnership program gave me the tools to not only be a successful college student, but also to be leader. Millersville Concerned Men (MCM) gave me a safe place on campus and a brotherhood. I have received a lot of life advice, made connections, and built bonds in MCM.

Any advice for incoming students?
“There is growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.” This is a quote that I learned from my mentor, Christina Williams. My advice would be use these years as an undergraduate to build yourself. Network, connect, get involved on campus, study, and most importantly, have fun.

Jasmine Grey

Jasmine Grey from Harrisburg graduates with a bachelor of science degree in speech communication with a public relations option.

Jasmine Grey from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech communication with a public relations option. Her next move will be a big one; she’s moving to New Zealand. “I’ve accepted the full-time job as Social Media Coordinator at the University of Otago. I’m moving to Dunedin, New Zealand at the end of January 2021!

What’s your favorite memory of Millersville?
Working for the Made in Millersville Conference as a Communications Intern!

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
Attending the PRSSA International Conference in San Diego as a representative of Millersville’s chapter in October 2019.

Any advice for incoming students?
Don’t worry if progress towards your degree gets messy and doesn’t go according to the original plan. You will end up where you need to be when you need to be there!

What are you looking forward to the most for your new job?
I’m looking forward to creatively representing the university across different social media platforms. I’ve always had interests in photography, film, and design and am excited to further develop those skills in this position alongside the rest of the public relations skillset that I built at MU! Plus, I’m excited for the big move.


Leah Hoffman

Leah Hoffman, from Manheim, Pennsylvania is a dual major in Spanish language and culture studies as well as an English major with a concentration in writing studies.

Leah Hoffman, from Manheim, Pennsylvania receives her bachelor’s degree this month. She is a dual major in Spanish language and culture studies as well as an English major with a concentration in writing studies. Hoffman is also a member of the Honors College.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
Studying abroad in Peru during my junior year was by far one of the most impactful parts of my time in college, and it shaped what I want to do after graduation. I was so fortunate to get to complete part of my degree abroad, because it added to my language fluency and cultural adaptability.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to return to Peru and live abroad for at least a few years teaching English. Until I’m able to go abroad, I’d like to get connected to nonprofits benefitting POC, immigrants or refugees, or do some translation work.

What’s your favorite memory of Millersville?
I loved being a global ambassador and welcoming the new groups of international students each semester. I loved to get to learn about each of their home countries and make sure that they had the best start possible to their time at Millersville.

Any advice for new students?
Definitely study abroad! It is doable for any major with the right planning and will be a life-changing experience.

 

Nora Long

Nora Long from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Her major is technology and engineering education, certified K-12.

Nora Long from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Her major is technology and engineering education, certified K-12. “My favorite memory of Millersville were the endless days spent in Osburn Hall. These days were filled with friends, who ultimately are my family. They brought laughter, enjoyment, wild ideas, and adventure to every class, homework meet-up, TEECA meetings, or pure hangouts,” says Long.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to pursue a full-time teaching position within the field of technology and engineering education. My passion for teaching the future of society has grown exponentially while attending Millersville and has helped me to develop professionally and reflectively, and as a problem solver of society.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
The most impactful part was my student teaching experience in the PDS program. This helped me develop professionally, opened my eyes to the life of the teacher and inspired me even more for the work that I was pursuing in my career field.

And advice for new students?
Take every opportunity offered to you, take chances, try new things, and do not be afraid to ask questions, because the only dumb question is the question not asked!

Anything else you’d like to add?
My journey at MU was a windy, curvy road. I began my journey as a dual early and special education major with a passion for applied engineering from working on restoration projects throughout high school on full-size railroad cars. So, when a seminar was offered of women in science, I went and thought what the heck? That’s where I met Dr. Sharon Brusic, the technology and engineering education program coordinator, and it’s where my love of tech ed. grew! I was inspired by Dr. Brusic’s passion and determination in a field full of mainly men and knowing that feeling from working on railroad cars. I saw opportunity for facing challenges, making societal changes, and to inspire the future problem solvers of society. This is when I began to make the change, and my passion grew exponentially for this work. It doesn’t matter if a student is going to be a cabinet maker, doctor, or an office manager, they will have to problem solve, and my future classes will teach just that! Problem solving, innovation and how to be an advocate.

 

Natalie Pinder

Natalie Pinder, from Canberra, Australia, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology, pre-medical professions.

Natalie Pinder, from Canberra, Australia, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology, pre-medical professions. “I have had an incredible experience as a STEM major at this school,” says Pinder. “I never imagined that I would be involved with, let alone lead an undergraduate research project. Her plans include working at Lancaster General Hospital as a patient care assistant before attending medical school in fall 2021.

What’s your favorite memory of Millersville?
Playing in my first collegiate field hockey game.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
Being part of an athletics team. I have made so many lifelong friends and learned so much about myself, including that I am more capable than I ever thought.

Any advice for new students?
Get involved in campus activities and experience as much as you can of what Millersville has to offer. Don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there; ask questions and actively seek advice!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Many of my science department professors I now consider to be friends. They guided me throughout my time here and supported me through all of the difficulties and challenges that come with being an international student.

 

Meet Julia Puia

Julia Puia, from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early education (preK-4)/special education (K-8).

Julia Puia, from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early education (preK-4)/special education (K-8). As a member of the Honors College, Puia says, “Millersville has given me a wonderful four and a half years, and I will be forever grateful, but I am excited to see where the next chapter in my life takes me.”

What’s next after graduation?
Applying to job openings in the area and near my hometown.

Tell us about a favorite memory at Millersville?
Frisbee tournaments on the weekends with my team or movie nights in Reighard with all of my friends. And my class with Dr. Thomas Neuville–Applied Foundations of Contemporary Special Education.

Advice for new students?
Make the most of the time you have at Millersville. It will really fly by. Get good grades but don’t always let studying and schoolwork get in the way of making memories. You won’t remember the assignments and the tests you took, but you will remember the moments you spent with friends and the experiences you had outside of class. Make them count.

 

Mariarosa Sanchez

Mariarosa Sanchez from Newark, Delaware, graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree this month. Her major is applied engineering and technology management with a concentration in advanced manufacturing technology.

Mariarosa Sanchez from Newark, Delaware, graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree this month. Her major is applied engineering and technology management with a concentration in advanced manufacturing technology. “Millersville has some incredible people walking this campus and I couldn’t be more lucky to have met great mentors and my closest friends,” says Sanchez.

What are your plans after graduation?
I just accepted a full-time job as a process engineer at Rosenberger North America. Now that I’ll have more free time, I am hoping to learn another language and build new skills such as baking and skiing.

Favorite memory of Millersville?
I don’t think it’s about a single memory I have made here, but as cheesy as this sounds, my favorite experience at MU has been all of the amazing people I have met.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
My most impactful part of my experience has been the mentorship that I have received through my professors and supervisors at Millersville. I had a few rough patches throughout my years here being a female in a mostly male industry, but I had the best people guiding me and rooting for me! A special thanks to Emi Alvarez, Dwight Horsey and Dr. Johnson.

Any advice for new students?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help even if it seems silly. Millersville is full of great people who are willing to go above and beyond for the students. You are never alone!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Enjoy your time at Millersville because it will go by way too fast. Take advantage of everything that it has to offer (activities, clubs, resources, etc.) and make as many connections as you can.

 

Sincerai Stanback

Sincerai Stanback is from Philadelphia and graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree. Her major is biology with a concentration in animal behavior.

Sincerai Stanback is from Philadelphia and graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree. Her major is biology with a concentration in animal behavior. “College was the best experience of my life and I will truly miss being a Millersville student,” says Stanback.

What’s next after graduation?
To become a certified veterinary technician and continue to work in the veterinary field.

What was your favorite memory at Millersville?
Homecoming!

What was the most impactful part of being at Millersville?
Being a part of the Black Student Union.

Advice for incoming students?
Stay on top of your work and study everyday for each class. Never allow yourself to fall behind.


Bojana Stankov

Bojana Stankov graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Stankov, an international studies major with minors in history, government and anthropology is from Zrenjanin, Serbia.

Bojana Stankov graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Stankov, an international studies major with minors in history, government and anthropology is from Zrenjanin, Serbia, but says she felt welcomed here. “Millersville University is a great place to be. It is where I put in a lot of work and dedication and, in turn, I was happy and appreciated,” says Stankov.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am planning to focus on myself and get a job. One of the greatest strengths of my major is the multipotential due to a very broad field of study through the lenses of five disciplines.

What is your favorite memory at Millersville?
It’s the close connections that I established with a lot of professors and especially with my advisor who was always willing to offer help.

What was the most impactful part of your experience here?
It was the ability to tailor my own degree by carefully selecting every course, every semester, so I had the opportunity to take the best ones and get the most out of my education.

Any advice for new students?
The most useful piece of advice I could give to the incoming freshmen is that time management, motivation and future planning of courses are everything. Always team up with your advisor because they are there to help you. Do yourself a huge favor and do not stay up late at night to study. I never did.


Samuel Welk

Samuel Welk graduates with two degrees; one in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and a second in Emergency Management & Environmental Hazards.

From Strasburg, Pennsylvania, Samuel Welk graduates with two degrees; one in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and a second in Emergency Management & Environmental Hazards. Welk says one of the most impactful experiences at Millersville was when he traveled to San Antonio, Texas, “to present research findings on testing I did at the University on an experimental Fall Restraint (Harness) System.”

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to be a full-time career firefighter.

Do you have a favorite memory of Millersville?
Accidentally getting a few students wet teaching them about fire protection systems in the fire lab at the University.

Any advice for incoming students?
Having fun while learning is important! Also, timeliness and organization are good keys to success at Millersville.

Anything else you’d like to add?
There are many opportunities on and off campus – so get involved and stay active!

In addition, Welk and another Millersville student, Emily Rae Seiler, recently completed virtual internships with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Division of Safety Research and Division of Science Integration. Building on their coursework in an Occupational Safety and Environmental Health class, the students supported NIOSH research endeavors while working on real-life safety and health issues.


Jason Wiederwax

Jason Wiederwax, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Jason Wiederwax, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to get a job working in behavioral health emergency at a hospital.

What is your favorite memory at Millersville?
It was learning shocking facts in psychology that were both terrifying and interesting.

What was the most impactful experience you had at Millersville?
It was when Dr. Cook (Dr. Shaun Cook, associate professor in psychology) was able to explain statistics to me in a way I understood.

Any advice for incoming students?
My advice is – do not get discouraged. Seek help when you start to struggle and don’t wait until it is too late to fix.

 

 

 

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