Millersville University will honor the Classes of 2020 and 2021 by hosting in-person commencement ceremonies May 6-8.

We highlight 10 of our 2021 graduates here; Adam Bachman, Takerra Flowers, Elizabeth Forrester, Emily Horn, Adam Loving, Channel Lowery, Carly O’Neill, Jordan Peer, Wanli Wang and Faith Willenbrock.

Adam Bachman, from East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and political affairs.

Adam Bachman
Adam Bachman, from East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and political affairs. He is also graduating with minors in economics, German culture studies and psychology.

Candlelight ceremony for freshmen

What is your favorite memory of Millersville?
My favorite memories include attending orientation as a freshman, specifically the pinning and candle lighting ceremonies. Both events really made me feel like I was a part of the Millersville community and they were a great introduction to the start of my college career.

Another favorite memory has been exploring Millersville’s campus and meeting new people. I am very fortunate to have been able to develop great friendships throughout my time here at MU and make so many awesome memories.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
The leadership opportunities that I have been afforded at Millersville have been the most impactful part of my experience. These positions include being a former club Ppresident of the Alliance for Social Change, a resident assistant and a student trustee. I have been the student trustee for Millersville University’s council of trustees for the past two years and am super fortunate to have been able to hold this position. It has allowed me to meet compassionate and dedicated MU faculty and staff, trustees, fellow students, legislators and other community leaders.

Each of these opportunities have taken me out of my comfort zone and, although there were some growing pains, these positions have been very transformational in terms of further developing me as an active member in my community and as a young professional.

Any advice for incoming students?
My advice to incoming students would be to get involved on campus and be intentional with your time. College is an incredible but brief opportunity where you have so much room to learn and develop, not only academically, but personally and professionally as well. You will be surprised at how many life-changing and diverse opportunities are out there if you work hard and get outside of your comfort zone. Take some time to figure out your purpose, pursue your passions, embrace who you are, and be sure to make good memories and develop genuine connections along the way.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I will be working for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as an analyst. Before my current Federal Internship with DHS-CISA, I also interned at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Homeland Security which was an internship opportunity I discovered through the ELCM here at Millersville. I am super excited to start my full-time position with CISA and work with other highly motivated individuals who have a passion for public service, national security and policy.

Takerra Flowers, from Coatesville Pennsylvania, will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work.


Takerra Flowers
Takerra Flowers, from Coatesville Pennsylvania, will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work.

What is your favorite memory of Millersville?
My favorite memories of Millersville are always the sunny days when the campus is active, and everyone is lounging by the library. That experience when paired with the ambience of the campus and the calm scenery, it’s hard not to appreciate.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
It was impactful for me to be fully engaged in both my major and minor. They both fulfilled me in a way that I knew I was in the right place at the right time. My professors fueled my passions and helped me understand what I wanted to do, and how to do it. There are a good selection of Social Work and African American Studies professors who are truly inspiring, and I hope to be exactly like them when I get to teach those after me!

Any advice for incoming students?
My advice to incoming students would be don’t delay your homework just because you don’t feel like it. The faster you get it done, the more time you get to hang out with friends. Both are super important and finding a balance that works for you is crucial in this environment. Best of luck!

What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to find a job in the Social Work field, as well as work for a program that I’ve been involved in since high school. I’ll be taking a more permanent position at my current internship so I’m excited to see where it takes me! I’ll also be applying for my masters in due time.

Elizabeth (Liz) Forrester graduates with a bachelor’s degree in entertainment technology.

Elizabeth (Liz) Forrester
Elizabeth (Liz) Forrester graduates with a bachelor’s degree in entertainment technology. Not only has Forrester been a central figure for virtually all of the theater production activities, recruitment and organization, she accomplished all of this while obtaining a 4.0 GPA.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident has been a regular stage manager for most of the productions with student casts for her entire academic career.

Forrester’s scheduling and operational skills were on display when she stage managed the University Theatre’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” that featured a newly developed script, devised settings and complex cuing.

She eventually led the reassembly of the production months later (after it closed) to present the production at the regional conference of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. This brought Millersville University notoriety to regional recognition among the nine state region of theater faculty, students and the industry professionals who awarded her the honor.

At the same festival, Forrester was the recipient of the Regional Stage Manager of the Year award bringing further regional recognition both to her skills and to MU.

What are your plans for after graduation?
My plan after graduation is to work at Prima Theatre and Gretna Theatre this summer with the eventual goal of becoming an Equity Stage Manager.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville?
One of my favorite memories is from when I was working on, “She Kills Monsters” for Millersville University Theatre. I got to learn how to sword fight and be one of the fight captains for the production. It was a really cool experience that I’m grateful I got to have during my time at Millersville.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
One of the things that was most impactful during my time at MU was my professors’ willingness and encouragement to try new things and learn from it. Even though I’m planning to have a career doing stage management, I’ve been given opportunities to be an assistant director, fight captain, playwright and many other positions. These experiences have opened my mind to different ways of thinking and different opportunities to pursue within theater.

Any advice for new students?
My advice for new students is to get involved as soon as you possibly can. Get to know the professors in your major and take all the opportunities that arise.

Emily Horn hails from Broomall, Pennsylvania and will graduate with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics.

Emily Horn
Emily Horn hails from Broomall, Pennsylvania and will graduate with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics. In the fall of 2018, her sophomore year, Horn joined the Marauder Fund as a junior analyst of the healthcare sector. During the first semester, junior analysts are tasked with education modules to gain exposure to basic finance and economic terminology as well as insight of the market, and this is what Horn says influenced her decision to add her major and minor. During her time at Millersville, Horn has been involved with intramurals and the Moose Ultimate Frisbee team. She has also held internships with Ameriprise Financial Services, Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management and Align Wealth Strategies. During the 2020-2021 school year, Horn decided to take on a leadership role in the Marauder Fund and became CEO. Her duties as CEO included coordinating general portfolio meetings each week, organizing professional events and presenting quarterly reports to MU’s Foundation Board, Investment Committee and Advisory Board. “This opportunity has greatly enhanced both my educational experience and personal growth during my time at Millersville,” Horn shares.  

Tell us about how your experiences lead to the creation of the Women in Business group. 
I created a Women’s Group with the ladies of the Marauder fund to help build confidence, support each other and encourage them to get more involved at our meetings since this is such a male-dominated industry. . In addition to small group meetings, we host professional networking events with female professionals and MU alumna to share their college-to-career journey and personal experiences which are always so inspiring to hear. Confidence is something that many young females tend to lack, so small networking events such as these to bring people together and empower is something that can go a long way.  

A few of us have decided to further the impact of this Women’s Group and expand it to all students at Millersville’s Lombardo College of Business. We have an exciting lineup of successful professionals that are willing to present their story and empower young businesswomen starting in the Fall 2021 semester. We believe that this Women in Business group is a great way to echo Millersville’s EPIIC values! 

What are your plans for after graduation?
accepted a position with Align Wealth Strategies, an independent financial advisory firm located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Here, I will join their investment team as a research analyst. I started my time with Align as an intern, which I found through Millersville’s career connection database. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville?
During my first semester of college, my professor, Dr. Leinberger, spontaneously took his class on a tour around Lancaster city. Although it was raining for most of the day, it was such a fun bonding experience for the group to get to know each other and a great intro of what Lancaster has to offer!  

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
My time with the Marauder Fund was the greatest impact for me both personally and professionally during my experience at Millersville. This opportunity grants you the chance to invest and manage real money as a part of MU’s endowment, collaborate as a research team, apply knowledge from coursework and network with successful professionals to enhance career development. 

The courses that prepared me most for my career post-graduation as a Research Analyst are BUAD 345: Investment Analysis and ACCT 405: Topics of Microsoft Excel. Investment Analysis is a course that teaches you stock market concepts and allows you to build your own mock portfolio with $1 million! The material taught in class had also greatly prepared me to take the SIE and Series 7 licensing exams necessary for my career. The Microsoft Excel course teaches you the ins and outs of all that Excel is capable of and prepares you to take Microsoft’s Expert Excel certification exam. Having a background in Excel is a key differentiator when applying for jobs and also helps you become more efficient in managing large sets of data. 

Do you have any advice for students?
Get involved with an organization, take advantage of internship experiences, always stay ahead of your schoolwork and network with other students, professors and alumni. Your experience is fully dependent on what you make of it! Make an effort to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone to find new passions, explore new ideas and meet new people. 

 

Adam Loving is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in art education. He is from Baltimore, Maryland.

Adam M. Loving
Adam Loving is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in art education. He is from Baltimore, Maryland.

What is next for you after graduation?
The next step for me is looking for a teaching position. Since Art Education covers K-12, I’m not going to be really picky about what grade level I teach, but ideally, I would like to be placed in a high school. I would also like to apply for my master’s degree at some point, most likely through Millersville, but that will probably be done while I’m teaching.

Do you have a favorite memory or experience from your time here at Millersville?
I don’t have a specific memory in mind, but generally any sporadic late-night adventures that I went on with my friends I’m fond of.

What was the most impactful part of your time at Millersville?
The art department in general has been the most impactful aspect for me. I always felt like there were a number of professors that believed in me, that motivated me to do my best, and there is so much student diversity that I felt normal and not out of place whenever I was there.

Do you have any advice for new students?
My suggestion would be to try and refrain from being a part of a large friend group unless you are already used to it. I did that freshman year, and we did almost everything together. But eventually, some of us got tired of each other, and it didn’t last in the spring semester. So, I would say try not to create cliques. Try going to get food with only one or two people from time to time or do something completely on your own. It’s refreshing and not the end of the world if you do not get to see all of your friends all of the time.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The college experience is usually at its highest difficulty if you make it difficult for yourself. Always plan enough time to get to class, finish your homework, eat and sleep. There will probably be days where you need to pull an all-nighter or skip lunch to finish a project or research paper, but don’t make it the norm. But also make sure you balance what needs to be done with taking care of yourself. Try not to only go to class and do homework all the time. Go to the mall, watch a movie, hang out with friends. You can easily burn yourself out from being overwhelmed with work, but you can also get burned out by doing too much.

 

Channel Lashae Lowery hails from Norristown, Pennsylvania and will receive her second diploma from Millersville – this time with a master’s degree in social work.

Channel Lowery
Channel Lashae Lowery hails from Norristown, Pennsylvania and holds an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in business from Millersville University Lowery will graduate from MU once again, this time with a master’s degree in social work. She has worked as a graduate assistant for the Office of Financial Aid during her graduate studies. Lowery has served as an intern at Community Action Partnership of Lancaster (CAP) for the past year, where she supports teen mothers graduating from high school with future career and educational goals. Over the last two years, Lowery has also actively performed research, presenting at national, international and local conferences, including Made in Millersville and the Global Well-Being and Social Change conferences. Lowery’s work is published in the Made in Millersville Journal (MIM) and the MU Graduate Journal. Her research interests include organizational employee care and microaggressions within the academic culture and their impact on minoritized groups.  

What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I will be moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota. During the last year of my master’s program, I applied to Ph.D. programs around the country and was accepted into a fully funded Ph.D. program in social work at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. During my program, I plan to continue my active role as an action-oriented researcher. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville?
My favorite memory from my time at Millersville would have to be just connecting with my cohort in person. Virtual learning has been challenging, and I miss the connections, so thinking back, those informal conversations with classmates before or after class were priceless. 

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
My mentors have by far been the most impactful part of my experience. Dr. Wanja Ogongi in the social work department took me under her wing and significantly impacted the research, writing and conferences that I committed to while being in my graduate program. I am so grateful for her time and commitment to not only teaching, learning and mentoring. My field instructor Jaleen Leon has also impacted the future work that I plan to pursue. She taught me a lot about self-care and boundaries through her extraordinary leadership and being an example. 

Do you have any advice for students?
My advice for new students would be to take advantage of all the opportunities to get help and get ahead. Reach [out] to [your] professors, and you will find that they are more than willing to help you. 

Anything else you would like to add?
I am grateful for my time at Millersville and feel that it has given me a great foundation as I continue forward with my educational journey. 

 

Carly O’Neill is a media production major with minors in journalism and international relations.

Carly O’Neill
Carly O’Neill, from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts Production with double minors in journalism and international relations. O’Neill has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Snapper, MU’s student newspaper, since her sophomore year at Millersville in 2018. In addition to leading the Snapper during a global pandemic, O’Neill has had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and was a part of Expressions, Millersville’s student-led dance team. Carly also participated in the Writing Wrongs program, a three-day intensive journalism program in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania  and wrote for Her Campus during her early years at  Millersville. 

What was a highlight of your time at Millersville?
Studying abroad gave me a sense of independence. I navigated airports by myself, metros, I lived in a different country for a month, I made amazing friendships. It was awesome. Working at the Snapper was also a highlight.  When I originally came to Millersville, I went in thinking, ‘Okay I’m going to be a communications major, I’m going to focus on being a news reporter, like the editing side, the videography side.’ I joined the Snapper . . . and I immediately fell in love with journalism. This is where I should have been all along, this is what I’m going to stick with. It just kind of gave me a sense of purpose. This is what I was meant to be doing all along. 

Who is a professor that has impacted you most?
Dr. David Owen was my international studies advisor and I also had two classes with him, including senior seminar, which is where I wrote my research paper that I ended up submitting for Made in Millersville to be published. He is just such an interesting guy to talk to. He has so many cool stories because he lived and taught in Thailand. I got to learn about a completely different culture that I never would have really known about if I didn’t take classes with him. He also supported me through my study abroad experience and introduced me to new cultures.  

I took my intro to journalism course with Dr. Alan Foster and that was kind of my first introduction to journalism. He’s such a cool guy, such an interesting personality. He was always very encouraging with my role in the Snapper and how frequently I would write. He ended up writing me a recommendation letter because I was applying to the Steinman scholarship. actually ended up getting that scholarship.  

What is something you have learned while at Millersville that you will carry into your career?
I’ve learned my writing skills at Millersville. Looking back at my first article in the Snapper to now, it’s so cool seeing how I’ve grown through my writing, editing and communications skills. I’ve learned the radio aspect of communications, I’ve learned the video broadcasting side, the editing side [and] the writing side. I have so many skills I will take with me through my professional career and cherish for the rest of my life. I met amazing friends, amazing professors, was faced with a lot of interesting challenges that I’m glad I was faced with in college because now I know how to deal with them in the real world. 

What’s next for you after graduating? If this is still in the works, what are your goals/hopes for the next chapter?
Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers at the moment, which I am okay with. One of the big goals that I do have though is I want to work towards moving to Charlotte, North Carolina within the next year. I have always been very interested in traveling and experiencing different cultures and I honestly have yet to experience a lot more of the United States, so I’m excited to hopefully do more of that. 

 

Jordan Peer hails from Honesdale, Pennsylvania and will be graduating with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology.

Jordan Peer
Jordan Peer hails from Honesdale, Pennsylvania and will be graduating with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology. Over the course of her four years at Millersville, she has been involved in Women’s Choir, Best Buddies and Relay for Life. Peer maintained a retail position at Carters and Oshkosh for two and a half years, and within thpast month, has begun work as a behavioral health technician for TW Ponessa in Lancaster. Her position requires her to provide behavioral interventions to children with behavioral and mood disorders in school and home settings. 

What are your plans for after graduation? 
After graduation, I plan to take a gap year before pursuing graduate school to get a masters degree in school psychology. For the duration of this year, I plan to live in an apartment located in downtown Lancaster while continuing my new job as a behavioral health technician.  

What do you like most about your new job? 
The part I like most about my new job is developing personal connections with my client. In the month that I have known them, I have noticed improvement in their behaviors and have started to get to know them on a personal level. The connections I have made make applying interventions easier and the progress he makes is even more satisfying to watch. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville? 
My favorite memories at Millersville have been any that take place at a live performance. I have many friends involved in the music department, so I have gone to a lot of their shows that take place on campus and at outside venues. Let’s just say that these performances are always high energy and never contain a dull moment when the people are so unique. 

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU? 
Starting out as a psychology student, I never planned to add sociology as a minor. After taking Sociology of the Family with Dr. Smith, I had an immediate interest. These courses have been some of the most impactful because they have truly reshaped my perspective on issues in the world. I apply these lessons in my everyday life and I hope that I continue to do so long into the future. 

Any advice for new students? 
It is very cliche, but your time really does fly here. Take advantage of your time here and do not be afraid to try new things. This is college and you will never have the opportunity for some of these experiences again. Even if you think you won’t like something, try it anyway just to say you did. Do not be afraid to reach out to professors and administration for help along the way because they areoften are your biggest supports and can provide you with great opportunities. Also, get to know Lancaster City! There are so many things to do there and sometimes students do not take advantage of it. 

Anything else you would like to add?  
I am really happy with the time I have spent at Millersville and I value the friendships I have made. I am sad to see it come to an end, but I am extremely excited for the next chapter and navigating the new challenges of adulthood. I wish good luck to all those who are graduating and hope that these next few months work out in your favor. 

 

Wanli Wang is graduating from Millersville with a bachelor’s in music performance.

Wanli Wang
Wanli Wang, from Dalian, China, is graduating with a bachelor’s in music performance. She has played the piano since she was four years old, and knew she wanted a career in music while growing up.

What is next for you after graduation?
After I graduate from Millersville University, I will pursue my master of piano performance degree at Indiana University of Bloomington the Jacobs School of Music. 

Do you have a favorite memory or experience from your time here at Millersville?
I thoroughly enjoy singing as well as playing the piano. That is why my favorite place on campus is the Winter Center, which encompasses the music performance facilities.

What was the most impactful part of your time at Millersville?
I am grateful to have been awarded the Lancaster Piano Festival scholarship and the Vyner scholarship, both of which were awarded based on academic performance and musical abilities. I am honored that Millersville would consider me for these prestigious awards. Being placed on the Dean’s list for multiple semesters in Millersville was also a great honor.

Do you have any advice for new students?
My main recommendation to any other student thinking of attending Millersville is to utilize the English Language Institute hosted by the Office of International Programs and Services. For those who still need to learn more English, it truly does help improve your language proficiency.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I knew Millersville was the right fit for me because of the great music department. Although one of my biggest fears was making friends when I arrived, I found that it wasn’t as hard as I thought because people at Millersville are very friendly and welcoming. Beyond that, I have also joined the University’s choir to continue enhancing my musical abilities. During my time at Millersville, I believe I have improved the most in two main areas: my general education classes and my English language skills.

 

Faith Willenbrock graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology and a minor in military science.

Faith Willenbrock
Faith Willenbrock graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology and a minor in military science. This Downingtown, Pennsylvania native was a member of the Millersville University softball team, Army ROTC, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Green Dot bystander training program.

Willenbrock tested into flight school for the Army, one of the most difficult branches to test in to. She is very excited she got her first choice of aviation; her dream is to fly helicopters for the Army, a 10 year commitment. After graduation and commission, she will go to basic officer leadership course at Fort Rucker Alabama and will stay there for flight school.

What are your plans for after graduation?
Commission as a 2nd LT Army Aviation Officer and move to Fort Rucker Alabama to start flight school where I will become a helicopter pilot for the Army.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Millersville?
One of my favorite memories I have from my time at Millersville is being in the dugout with my teammates during softball games. In particular, when we swept West Chester by hitting 10 homeruns off of them including 2 grand slams. Our team is so supportive and uplifting and that was truly a team win I will remember forever.

What was the most impactful part of your experience at MU?
The people here. I have professors, coaches and mentors that I will keep in touch with forever, they are here to help you and want to form a good relationship with you, it has made my experience incredible.

Any advice for new students?
Get involved, talk to people, say YES a lot more than NO. If you are living within your comfort zone you are not fully living and if your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough!

 

COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES

The ceremonies include; Thursday, May 6 at 5 p.m. for 2020 undergraduates; Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m. will be the graduate ceremony for Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 Grad Studies graduates; and Saturday, May 8 there will be two undergraduate ceremonies for May 2021 undergraduates -10 a.m. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences & Lombardo College of Business and 3 p.m. College of Education and Human Services & College of Science and Technology

The ceremonies will be held outdoors in Biemesderfer stadium, rain or shine. Various safety measures will include appropriate social distancing, limiting potential touchpoints and the requirement to wear facial coverings. Registration and tickets are required for all graduates and their guests.

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