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Congratulations May Graduates

Here we highlight some of our outstanding undergraduate students.

Graduation is fast approaching at Millersville University. The undergraduate ceremonies, including Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 undergraduates, will be held on Saturday, May 7 in Pucillo Gymnasium.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences & Lombardo College of Business will graduate at 9 a.m.  The College of Science and Technology will graduate at 1 p.m. And the College of Education & Human Services and School of Social Work will graduate at 5 p.m.

Here we highlight some of our outstanding undergraduate students.

Hermenegildo Alvarado-Blanco

Hermenegildo Alvarado-Blanco from Lititz, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Language & Cultural Studies.

Hermenegildo Alvarado-Blanco, from Lititz, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Language & Cultural Studies.

Plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on having a full-time Spanish teaching position in Lancaster County, where I plan to reside. I will continue serving the public at Brickerville House Family Restaurant and enjoy the time I have with my customers.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am proud of having the support of my family, my Warwick school district family, and my customers, who always encourage me throughout my long 13-hour days of work. I strived to be able to care for my niece and my brother while getting further in my education. Now finally, I am so proud to be able to say that I finally did it. Most important – I am proud to be a Marauder.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville was having Spanish club with my professor Amaya Amell and being able to attend my Latino Student Leadership Institution retreat at Black Rock. After my first two years at HACC in Lancaster, I remember calling Dr. Nimmrichter, who is a phenomenal mentor and professor, and I said excitedly, “When can I be a teacher? I feel ready” She notified me that it is not something someone does overnight. It has been a long journey, and all of my professors guided me through every step that led me to my graduation ceremony.

Pryor Barnes

Pryor Barnes is from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. She graduates with a bachelor’s in psychology.

Pryor Barnes, from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Plans After Graduation?
After graduation, I will be getting my master’s degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology at West Chester University, starting the fall 2022 semester.

What Are You Most Proud of During Your College Career?
I am most proud of staying dedicated and on top of my studies while maintaining a 3.5 GPA during my college career.

Best Memory at Millersville?
My best memory was my first full week living on campus. I remember walking around the beautiful campus, attending the multiple planned events that week and decorating my dorm room, so it felt like my home away from home. There was so much welcoming and positive energy during that time I wish I could go back.

Bemnet Bekele

Bemnet Bekele from York, Pennsylvania graduates with a bachelor’s in social work.

Bemnet Bekele from York, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in social work.

Plans after graduation?
My plans are to continue my education here at Millersville, where I have been accepted into the advanced standing MSW program.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
Being president of Social Justice Beyond Borders was one of the highlights of my time at Millersville. It is a new organization on campus, but we have accomplished great things.

Best memory at Millersville?
The most memorable moment at Millersville for me was sitting by the pond with friends and enjoying some coffee from the library’s Starbucks.

Christine Bescript

Christine Bescript graduates with honors with two degrees as a collegiate athlete and a first-generation college student.

Christine Bescript is from Cinnaminson, New Jersey, and graduates cum laude with two degrees; a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a bachelor’s in Economics with a concentration in financial economics.

Plans after graduation?
Financial Advisor at Tri-State Financial Advisors in Philadelphia.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am most proud of graduating with honors with two degrees as a collegiate athlete and a first-generation college student.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory is playing for the Millersville Women’s Soccer team during the most record-breaking seasons in school history and creating life-long friendships with my teammates.

Keihana Carelock-Thomas

Keihana Carelock-Thomas graduates with a bachelor’s in social work.

Keihana Carelock-Thomas, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Social Work.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend the Master of Social Work Program at Millersville University.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
My proudest accomplishment in my college career was when I realized that I would complete my degree. This has been a long journey for me as I initially began attending Millersville in 1998. I put my education on hold, and life went on, but this has been a 24-year journey of completion!

Best memory at Millersville?
Being an online student, I haven’t had many face-to-face interactions with peers, but I will have fond memories of completing my field at The Learning Institute. The enthusiasm and support that I have received from my family helped to reassure me that I am on the right path. My best memory will be that of receiving my cap and gown in the mail.

Kassandra Castaldi

Kassandra Castaldi, a member of the Honors College, graduates with a bachelor’s in chemistry.

Kassandra Castaldi, from Trumbull, Connecticut, a member of the Honors College, graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Chemistry and a Mathematics minor.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in Chemistry at Yale University!

What are you most proud of at Millersville?
I was able to publish some of the results from my research with Dr. Rajaseelan. Being the first author on a publication as an undergraduate feels really awesome!

Best memory?
This isn’t one specific instance, but I’ve made some amazing friends as a member of Millersville’s Sigma Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. I’m so grateful I joined & met them—every time we’re together, we make fun memories!

Robert “Robbie” Commodari

Robbie Commodari, from Perry Hall, Maryland, graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Meteorology along with minors in Mathematics and Athletic Coaching.

Robbie Commodari, from Perry Hall, Maryland, graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Meteorology along with minors in Mathematics and Athletic Coaching.

Plans after graduation?
My plan is to attend graduate school to study severe weather, including tornadoes and/or tropical cyclones. I do not yet know where I will be attending, but I want to become a professor later on in my career and attending graduate school will be a part of that process!

What are you most proud of during your college career?
During my college career, I am most proud of staying true to myself. There were times that I questioned whether meteorology was still for me, even after being interested in science for most of my life. I’ve learned how important it is to stay true to myself through the experiences I have had during my time at Millersville. I’ve been able to hold leadership roles in organizations like our local AMS chapter, compete in my first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon, develop many new friendships and learn many new ideas through these individuals. These experiences have shaped me into who I am today, and choosing to embrace each of these experiences, including many others, is what I am most proud of.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville has been our weekly Sunday football games within the meteorology department. I have joined many others in the meteorology department for Sunday morning football every week during the semester since my freshman year, and it has been an absolute blast. I have been able to make many new friends and many more memories.

Kirsten Deaver

Kirsten Deaver graduates with a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

Kirsten Deaver, from Red Lion, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting.

Plans after graduation?
To continue working as an accountant at ROCK Commercial Real Estate in York while studying and working towards my CMA certification.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
My proudest moment in my college career is probably a tie between when I passed my Excel certification test and when I got hired at my first accounting job about halfway through my junior year.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville is when I changed my major to accounting. The amazing professors I had the opportunity to learn from made the experience all the more enjoyable!

Delvys Starlyn Garcia Martinez

Delvys Starlyn Garcia Martinez graduates with a bachelor’s in Language & Culture Studies with a concentration in Teacher Education Spanish and a minor in Latino Studies.

Delvys Starlyn Garcia Martinez is originally from the Dominican Republic but now lives in Reading, Pennsylvania. He graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Language & Culture Studies with a concentration in Teacher Education Spanish and a minor in Latino Studies.

Plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working in Governor Mifflin School District in the high school as a teacher.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
Four years ago, graduating from college was just a dream for me, even though I was enrolled in college. I thought there would be some type of obstacle that would prevent me from graduating due to my language barrier. However, by letting my obstacle become my strength, I realize that nothing is impossible if you want it. What counts is the amount of dedication and effort that you put forth. During my career at Millersville University, I was part of the Pre-Scholar Summer Institute, College Assistance Migrant Program and Latino Student Leadership Institute. Being part of the Latino Institute is one of the most important things I am proud of during my college career. Their help and dedication to me were tremendous. And I was proud to be part of two honor societies: Alpha Alpha Alpha Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.

Best memory at Millersville?
In four years, I had a lot of great memories. I met amazing people and some of my best memories occurred in the Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El Intercultural Center. I worked in the center my entire college career, and throughout the years, I met amazing people there.

Cameron Gonteski

Cameron Gonteski graduates with a bachelor’s in Meteorology with minors in Environmental Hazards & Emergency Management and Mathematics.

Cameron Gonteski, from Barto, Pennsylvania, a member of the Honors College, graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s in Meteorology with minors in Environmental Hazards & Emergency Management and Mathematics.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am going right into the job field, working as a meteorologist with an emphasis on emergency management. I hope to continue tying the two fields together through research and data analysis of severe weather events.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am most proud of my involvement with research in the meteorology department during my college career. I have participated in seven different projects since being a freshman, with projects ranging from field campaigns during winter storms to collecting data for a space weather data portal. I have even had the chance to lead many of these projects. Also, I am the founder of the Millersville Weather Balloon Team, which allows me to teach other students about the importance of research and data analysis.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville was winning the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship in 2020. This is the most talked-about scholarship in our department due to its prestigiousness and competitiveness. I remember receiving the acceptance email on April Fool’s Day and thinking it was a joke! I am so thankful for the opportunities it has given me in meteorology.

Milena Gracia Garzon

Milena Gracia Garzon, lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, but was born and raised in Colombia.

Milena Gracia Garzon, lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, but was born and raised in Colombia. She graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s in International Studies with two minors, one in Latin Studies and, one in Cultural Studies.

What are your plans after graduation?
I want to work for a non-profit organization, and I would like to further my education in law school.

What are most proud of?
As a first-generation student, I am proud of being an example for the upcoming generations in my family. I am also proud of the person that during my college career I have become. I have gained a sense of persistence and resilience when it comes to my future goals and dreams.

What’s your favorite memory at Millersville?
Millersville has given me unforgettable memories that have helped me both in my professional and personal growth. I can say that one of my best memories from Millersville has been the strong relationships that I have built. Some of my friends have become my family.

Dustin Horn

Dustin Horn (right) will join his great-grandfather, Clifton Arthur, in becoming an alum of Millersville University.

Dustin Horn from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will join his great-grandfather, Clifton Arthur, in becoming an alum of Millersville. Horn graduates in May with a bachelor’s in chemistry. Arthur graduated from Millersville State Normal School 110 years ago in 1912.

Plans after graduation?
Enlist in the Marine Corps, where I plan on becoming an Officer.

What are you most proud of during college?
Being president of the fraternity, I’m in – Sigma Tau Gamma.

Do you feel a connection with your great-grandfather?
In some ways, I’m following in his footsteps by coming to Millersville, and then military service. (He was in WWI.). My cousin Will also graduated from Millersville in 2012, so it’s neat to come from the same place as my family.

Best Memory?
My best memory of Millersville would have to be all of the connections, friends, and experiences I had and all that MU offered.

Xingze Jiang

Xingze Jiang, from Harbin, China, graduates with a bachelor’s in music.

Xingze Jiang, from Harbin, China, graduates with a bachelor’s in music.

What are you plans after graduation?
I have applied for the master’s program at Millersville. I will pursue my master’s degree starting in the fall of 2022.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
The professors who helped me with all kinds of difficulties.

Best memory at Millersville?
I live with three lovely roommates, and we have a cute cat.


Cedrick Kazadi

Cedrick Kazadi from Philadelphia graduates with a bachelor’s in Information Technology.

Cedrick Kazadi, from Philadelphia, was a member of the Honors College and graduates with a bachelor’s in Information Technology.

Plans after graduation?
I’ll be working in Cybersecurity while attending graduate school

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I’m most proud of my involvement with NAACP, the Honors College and the Orientation team. As a first-generation college student, I’m fortunate to have had these experiences while successfully completing my degree.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory was meeting a student who committed to Millersville after being part of my tour group.


Mikayla Kelhart

Mikayla Kelhart graduates with a bachelor’s in Finance and a minor in Spanish Language Studies.

Mikayla Kelhart, from Center Valley, Pennsylvania, graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Finance and a minor in Spanish Language Studies

Plans after graduation?
After taking a vacation to celebrate graduation, I am very excited to begin working as a Client Service Associate at Steel Valley Wealth Strategies of Raymond James in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I will begin my career by studying for several investment licenses, assisting Financial Advisors and providing help to clients. I cannot wait to enter the financial services industry to be in a position where I can help others.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am most proud of the resilience and work ethic I put into everything during my time at Millersville. From classwork to studying to internships and extracurricular activities, I put my best effort into everything. Even though it was intimidating at first, I pushed myself to take on a leadership role and become a Vice President of the Marauder Fund Student Investment Association, which has taught me valuable skills. I additionally learned numerous skills through internships during college and learned how to manage my work-life balance. I am very grateful for these opportunities, education, and experiences during my time at Millersville, and proud to be graduating Magna Cum Laude.

Best memory at Millersville?
Over the past four years, I have made many great memories at Millersville and loved being a student here. One of the best memories is the time I spent in the Marauder Fund Student Investment Association from sophomore to senior year. Aside from the incredible knowledge, experience, and professional skills I have learned, the people I have met in this organization have become close friends. We have made memories both within the organization and outside. Getting together for pizza after our weekly meetings, having bonfires together, and having end-of-the-semester parties are some of the best memories I have as they brought people with similar interests closer together.


Annelise Lorentzen

Annelise Lorentzen, from Bel Air, Maryland, was a member of the Honors College and graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s in Music Industry with concentrations in management and production.

Annelise Lorentzen, from Bel Air, Maryland, was a member of the Honors College and graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s in Music Industry with concentrations in management and production.

Plans after graduation?
I will be spending some time traveling and then pursuing a career in music publishing, specifically in copyright and licensing.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
In my time at Millersville, I am most proud of my academic accomplishments as well as improving my violin skills and graduating with departmental honors.

Favorite memory?
I have many amazing memories at Millersville, but I think one that stands out was playing basketball with members of the band Young the Giant when they came for Festiville in 2019.


Niamh M Lotty

Niamh Lotty graduates with a bachelor’s in History with a minor in Spanish Culture Studies and one in Government, Policy and Law.

From Fox Chase, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Niamh Lotty graduates with departmental honors. She majored in history with minors in Spanish Culture Studies and Government, Policy and Law.

Plans after graduation?
I was accepted to Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland for their MA program in International Relations. I hope to apply my skills and knowledge that I learned in the History and Government departments to this program and eventually work for a humanitarian organization specializing in women, children and refugees.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
Throughout my four years at Millersville, I have accomplished many things I did not think possible. I have made the Dean’s List, wrote a Departmental Honors Thesis, and represented the History department at open houses with professors. What I am most proud of is completing my honors thesis. It was hard but rewarding work. I was able to incorporate my rich family history of Irish immigration into my passion for historical research and produce a thesis that told my family’s story while also referencing the details of overall Irish immigration.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville has to be my first semester here. I came to Millersville in August 2018 as a freshman and quickly found myself at home here. The professors in the history department, specifically Dr. Robyn Davis, Dr. Erin Shelor and Dr. Tracey Weis, took me under their wing and helped me become the historian I am today. Their dedication to their students is outstanding, and I soon realized I had a multitude of good memories at Millersville because of them. Also, in my first semester, I met my best friends, Gwen and Jack. They have stuck with me all four years, and somewhere along the way, we created a second family within our friendship. Millersville has given me some of the best memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I am so grateful to have been given so many opportunities.


Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin, from Kingsley, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Automation and Intelligent Robotics Engineering Technology.

Ryan Martin, from Kingsley, Pennsylvania, graduates with departmental honors. He receives his bachelor’s in Automation and Intelligent Robotics Engineering Technology.

Plans After Graduation?
Take a month off before starting my job at Berry Global.

What are you most proud of during your time at Millersville?
I’m most proud of my independent study that led me to present at the ATMAE conference this past fall.

Best Memory?
My best memory at Millersville is probably my time with the Robotics Team.


Kristin Maurer

Kristin Mauer from Manahawkin, NJ., graduates with a bachelor’s in Meteorology with a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management.

Kristin Maurer, from Manahawkin, New Jersey, graduates with a bachelor’s in Meteorology and a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be transitioning from an intern to a full-time employee at Pepco Holdings, an Exelon Company. I have been an Intern on their Emergency Preparedness team for the last year, and I am looking forward to starting as an associate business analyst this summer.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am most proud of joining the meteorology community and taking on leadership roles within the community. For the past two years, I have served as an officer for Millersville University’s American Meteorological Society. In my junior year, I served as the public relations officer and in my senior year, I occupied the secretary position. In addition to having a leadership role in our local MU-AMS, I am also a member of our national American Meteorological Society. I have aspired to become a meteorologist since the 4th grade, and I am proud that I have accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed of here at Millersville University.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville is attending The American Meteorological Society student conference in Houston, Texas. This was one of my first in-person conferences since the pandemic started. I was very appreciative of the opportunity to attend and network with other students and professionals in the meteorology community.


Kyle Preston

Kyle Preston graduates with a bachelor’s in Business Administration-Accounting and a bachelor’s in Economics.

Kyle Preston, from Harleysville, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in Business Administration-Accounting and a bachelor’s in Economics.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be working for RKL LLP, a CPA & business consulting firm, in their tax services group.  I will also be sitting for the CPA exam. Long-term, I plan to start a real estate investment company that focuses on providing housing for those who need it.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
What I am most proud of is the person I’ve become. These four years have been immensely transformational, and it is safe to say that the person who came into Millersville four years ago is not the same person that is leaving.  My time here has given me a world of knowledge and experience, which has allowed me to reinvent myself and discover the person that I want to be. And although there is much more to come, that is what I am most proud of from my time at Millersville.

Best memory at Millersville?
My favorite memory is the entire journey itself.  I have been fortunate enough to meet so many great people who have helped shape who I am.  I got to learn and grow with some of the best people I have met, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.  Looking back, it’s amazing how many people come and go in four years, but I will always cherish the memories I have made here and the people that I was lucky enough to meet.


Ellie Rohrback

Ellie Rohrback graduates with a bachelor’s in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology.

From Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Ellie Rohrback graduates summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree. She majored in  Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and had minors in Psychology, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies.

Plans after graduation?
I am happy to announce I was offered a job with the American Institutes for Research as a research assistant. I will be working out of their Chapel Hill, North Carolina location.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am most proud of organizing and hosting the “Women in Blue” Film Screening and Q&A that took place Wednesday. April 6th. The goal of the event was to screen the incredible film directed and produced by Deirdre Fishel and include the campus community in a conversation around the benefits of increasing women’s representation in law enforcement. Following the screening, a panel of experts, including Deirdre Fishel, law enforcement relations expert Ganesha Martin Esq. Former Minneapolis Police Department Inspector CJ Johnson, featured in the film, joined virtually to answer questions. It was an incredible success!

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory at Millersville was presenting the evaluation of the Fall 2020 Millersville University Police Academy as a research assistant and project manager at the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change at Made in Millersville. I remember feeling proud, accomplished and professional. That experience boosted my confidence in my research skills and encouraged me to pursue a career in social science research.


Marissa M Tripus

Marissa Tripus graduates with a bachelor’s in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology.

Marissa M Tripus, from Elmhurst Twp., Pennsylvania, was a member of the Honors College and graduates magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology.

Plans after graduation?
I will be attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison to work towards my Master’s and hopefully my Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. I will be conducting research on the Arctic Ocean by modeling its circulation in the present and future. I hope to eventually get to conduct research in the Southern Ocean, maybe even visit Antarctica.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
One of my most proud moments at Millersville has been being nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. This was something I never expected to be nominated to apply to. It was the first time I realized I had proven myself to my professors and the university as a whole.

Best memory at Millersville?
My best memory of being at Millersville is making friends with people who love the ocean and the weather as much as I do. Some of these people have made my experience amazing. After exams, we will sometimes do game nights to help relax and not stress about academics for an hour.


Coleman Wheeler

Coleman Wheeler graduates with a bachelor’s in Government, Policy and Law with a pre-law concentration. Minor – Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management.

Coleman Wheeler, from York, Pennsylvania, a member of the Honors College, graduates summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Government, Policy and Law with a pre-law concentration. His minor is Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management.

Plans after graduation?
I will be attending law school. Though, as of now, my destination is undetermined.  It may take up through June to find my ultimate location with any certainty.

What are you most proud of?
Though I have had an above-average academic career quantitatively, I would say that I am most proud of the group of like-minded people I have managed to cultivate.  COVID made it incredibly hard to form lasting relationships; however, in a couple of semesters back from those perilous times, I have formed a group of friends who challenge my fundamental beliefs and engage with me intellectually.  I am unsure what more I could have asked for from my college experience.

What is your best memory at Millersville?
I met my girlfriend nearly three years ago, not long before the pandemic, at a school event for the Global Marauders Club, and I would have to say that is my best memory here at Millersville.  Again, COVID makes this question hard to answer as the pandemic deprived all students of the experiential side of education for two years.  That caveat aside, we are attending grad school together and will likely be together for the foreseeable future. I think it is a testament to the importance of the college experience that in my three years at Millersville, my favorite memory is from a time when we could actually be on campus.


Tyler Wright

Tyler Wright graduates with a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.

From Exton, Pennsylvania, Tyler Wright graduates cum laude with a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting.

Plans after graduation?
Go back to school to work towards 150 credits to continue to chase my goal of eventually becoming licensed as a CPA and working in the public accounting industry.

What are you most proud of during your college career?
I am proud of the work I put into achieving both in the classroom as well as on the baseball field as a student-athlete.

Best memory at Millersville?
Competing for the regional championship in 2021 with a chance to play in the Division 2 College World Series.

 

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