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Congratulations May Graduates!

Congratulations to all of the spring graduates!

Commencement is quickly approaching for Millersville University’s 2023 spring graduates. The graduate ceremony for master’s and doctoral degrees will be held May 5 at 6 p.m. There will be three undergraduate ceremonies on May 6.

Here, we highlight some of our outstanding graduates, including two sets of twins and a mother-son duo.

Daniel Carpenter

Daniel Carpenter
Daniel Carpenter, from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, graduates with a degree in Applied Engineering & Technology Management with a Concentration in Robotics & Control Systems Technology; and a minor in Economics.

Plans after graduation? My thesis topic is “The Integration of Infrared Camera (IR) Sensor Technology with Machine Vision and Microcontrollers for Detection of Fire.” It will be a nice summer project, and it will be the last assignment that I need to complete to graduate with honors. I’ve been coming to Millersville University part-time for seven years and taking two or three classes a semester. I also worked full-time as a maintenance mechanic in local industries. Long-term, my plans are to someday become a maintenance reliability manager or an engineering manager at a manufacturing facility.

How did you balance having a young son with working and going to college? I have a wife and a three-year-old son, and he requires a lot of attention. His name is Sharp Carpenter, and he is very rough with his toys. He breaks them all the time, and if nobody watches him, he will break himself. Sharp has refused to take naps ever since he was a baby. Only on rare occasions would he ever nap. Balancing family, work, college, and health has been very challenging over the last seven years and specifically the last three years. After my son, instead of As and Bs, I got some Cs and even a couple Ds. Somehow, I still graduated with honors, and I learned that it’s not always about achieving the best grade possible, no matter what. Other things are important, and they took priority over what I originally wanted.

Memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I enjoyed being on campus because it brought back memories of visiting my Grandma because she lived very close to campus. My favorite memories are working in the engineering labs with my lab partners and professors. I enjoyed learning about electrical systems, programming robotics, and fluid power. I also enjoyed taking physics with calculus because it was very challenging and pushed my brainpower to the limit.

Anyone you want to thank? I’d like to thank my loving family for supporting me in becoming a returning student. I didn’t go to college after graduating high school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I later realized that there is an endless supply of knowledge out there, and it’s really up to you if you want to find it. College gives you the tools to continue lifelong learning.

Gabrielle Chisholm

Gabrielle Chisholm
Gabrielle Chisholm was born in Baltimore but grew up in York County, Pennsylvania. She graduates with a degree in sociology/criminology and a minor in African American Studies. She’s a first-generation graduate on her father’s side.

Plans after graduation? Find a job in my field and then go on to get my master’s degree in Forensic Science.

Memorable Experience? The most memorable experience was Summer 3 of 2018, when I came in as a freshman through PSSI. I gained another family when I came in through that program! It was a wonderful experience, and the program had a huge impact on my educational journey here at Millersville.

Anyone you want to thank? Darlene Newman, Christina Williams, Dr. Aaron Porter, Dr. Tracey Weis, Dr. Carrie Lee Smith, Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy, Dr. Onek Adyanga, Dr. Clarence Maxwell, Dr. Caleb Corkery, Dr. Stephanie Jerstad – You all have had a huge impact on my life and my educational journey here at Millersville. Through your kind words of encouragement, challenging me to step into my full potential, pushing me, making me re-do assignments until I got it right, letting me know that everything will be alright and that you’re here for me. I appreciate all of you from the bottom of my heart. I’m truly blessed and grateful to have had you as a professor, mentor, friend, and a constant voice of encouragement.

Dr. Aliesha Clark

Dr. Aliesha Clark
Aliesha Clark is originally from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, but spent half her life in Lancaster. She graduates with a Doctor of Social Work. In addition to her DSW, she also received her bachelor’s and master’s from Millersville.

Plans after graduation? To obtain my LCSW and open a private practice. My husband and I also have a ministry in Lancaster City.

Memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? Almost all my friends had homes in Cartledge near campus. One year there was a big winter storm and we all walked to one home, cooked together, watched movies…played games and had a huge sleepover. These same people later became the people in my bridal party when I got married! We were all in ministry together at MU, in the MU Gospel Choir, Bible Campus Ministries, and Young Sisters in Christ. All the singing engagements and Fellowship Fridays were really fun.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? My husband, Tyriq Clark, who I met in undergrad. Dr. Heather Girvin, she has been pivotal in my development as a student and as a social worker. We have grown such an amazing relationship. She has always encouraged me and helped me work through some really hard times when I faced challenges pushing through and wanted to give up.

Alyson Crose

Alyson Crose
Alyson Crose graduates with a bachelor’s in government, policy and law, with a pre-law concentration and a minor in English.

“For students considering a major in Government, Policy, and Law, I would advise them to get to know all the amazing professors in the department at Millersville University,” she shares. “They are all there to help you in the best ways they can and have a genuine passion for what they do.”

Plans after graduation? I plan on taking the next year to study for the LSAT and prepare my application materials to apply for law school for fall 2024 matriculation.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I was inspired to switch my English major for a Government, Policy, and Law major after learning about the Supreme Court cases that shape the fundamental rights and liberties that we enjoy today with little regard for how we got here. Particularly, I was inspired to learn more about women’s rights which led to me doing an independent study this semester on the evolution of women’s reproductive rights.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? My favorite professor at Millersville was definitely Dr. Glenn. If I hadn’t taken his GOVT412 class on a whim and discovered how much I enjoyed constitutional law, I’m not sure I would have met the friends that I have today or realized my potential as a future law student. Dr. Glenn has been supportive of me throughout the past three semesters and has pushed me to be a better student than I thought I was capable of being.

Alyssa Daniels

Alyssa Daniels
Alyssa Daniels, from Scott Township, PA, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in criminology/sociology with a minor in women’s gender and sexuality studies. Daniels is a YWCA hotline volunteer and says that while balancing this work with academics is difficult, it was manageable. “At the end of the day, it’s rewarding work,” she says.

Plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan to find a job in victim advocacy, continuing to use the valuable experiences and skills from MU and the YWCA to grow as a person.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I am proud of getting my piece ‘Bodies’ published in the second edition of the Engage for Change journal, presenting my YWCA internship experience at Made in Millersville, and winning an excellence award from my department as an outstanding senior! Other favorite memories on campus consist of going to the pet therapy events held by the MU counseling center with my friends.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. (Frederika) Schmitt for her guidance throughout my time at MU, and Dr. (Carrie) Smith for her daily statistics memes. They were a good luck charm of sorts. I appreciate all the staff in the Criminology and Sociology department, my best friends, and my family (especially my mom and grandparents) for their unwavering support.

Lianny De Oleo Ogando

Lianny De Oleo Ogando
Lianny De Oleo Ogando was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and moved to the U.S. four years ago. She is a first-generation college graduate. She majored in Social Work with minors in Latino Studies and Language Studies.

Plans after graduation? I plan to continue my education in the Advance Standing Master’s Program of Social Work here at MU.

Most valuable experience? Having the opportunity to be part of different programs like PSSI, CAMP, and LSLI. They contributed to my personal, social, and academic growth.

Anyone you want to thank? I want to thank all of my mentors through the different programs, but mainly Ms. Darlene Newman, Dr. Christina Williams, Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy and Jenny Hernandez, because they are the main reason why I am here today and why I was able to finish my education.

Nirmala Dhungana

Nirmala Dhungana
Nirmala Dhungana, from Lancaster, is a first-generation graduate. She majored in business administration.

Plans after graduation? I will be working as an Accountant I at a manufacturing company.

Memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I made lots of great friends and enjoyed my time at Millersville.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way?  Thank you to my friends and family for always being encouraging and supportive. Things don’t always go as planned, but hearing “it’s okay” from those around you gives you a lot of hope.  

Alexandra Dominguez

Alexandra Dominguez
Alexandra Dominguez, from Reading, Pennsylvania, is a first-generation college graduate who majored in anthropology with a minor in Latin Studies.

Plans after graduation? I will be doing a paid service year with AmeriCorps, working in inner city/low-income schools as a mentor/tutor for students K-12, wherever the program decides to place me.

Favorite memory? My favorite memory at Millersville will always be the Archaeology Field School of 2022. I made an entire group of lifelong friends with people I spent a lot of time digging in the dirt with.

Anyone you want to acknowledge? I am so grateful for my ‘dirt gremlins’ being there for me during a really hard time of my life. I would also thank Dr. Justin Garcia for convincing me to stay in Millersville during my freshman year and Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy, who allowed me into her course as a freshman, an incentive proposed to her by Dr. Garcia to convince me to stay. Two very understanding and compassionate professors who provided me with the necessary values I will carry on in my future career. I want to thank the Anthropology department faculty as a whole, which is full of compassionate, hardworking, and inspirational individuals whose only mission is to see their students succeed. I am grateful for every person I’ve encountered that led me to this very moment.

Becca and Maddux Drager

Becca and Maddux Drager (twins and graduates)
Becca and Maddux Drager are twins from Tucson, Arizona. Becca graduates with a degree in chemistry, while Maddux graduates with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in chemistry. Becca will graduate from the Honors College, and despite both sharing an interest in chemistry, the siblings only took one class together. (Maddux answered the questions below because Becca was busy finishing her Honors Thesis).

“We had the pleasure of taking Chem 265, or quantitative analysis, with Dr. Maria Schiza and we often worked together on our reports,” says Maddux. “One time, I accidentally copied [Becca’s] data when I was given my own set of numbers, and Dr. Schiza was so pleased with the fact that I turned myself in, she let me redo my work. I never did that again…”

Plans after graduation? We both will be doing separate things. Becca was accepted to Ohio State for their Pd.D. program and committed, so she will move to Ohio. I decided to work in the field before attempting graduate school and accepted a therapist position at Pressley Ridge in York, Pennsylvania.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I think about the times when we lived in the dorms together or the very second semester we had before being sent home from Covid. I had an ESA cat named Sasha, and I took her to visit my sister’s dorm in the honors college. I didn’t bring her any toys, so my sister’s roommate gave Sasha a tampon to play with, and I still cry laughing about that moment when it comes to mind. We also commute to school together when the time permits, so there are always memories being made as we crawl to graduation.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I’d like to thank Dr. Thyrum, who was the greatest advisor a psychology student could ever have, and she supported both of us all four years of college. I would also like to thank another professor in the psych department, Dr. Vredenburg, who taught me that applying myself fully as who I am is the best plan of attack and helped me maintain my passion for the field when I thought it was lost.

Becca would give all her appreciation to Dr. Schiza, who took her under her wing with her research project and supported Becca greatly.

Betel Erkalo

Betel Erkalo
Betel Erkalo was born in Hossana, Ethiopia, but has lived in Mountville, Pennsylvania, for the last 12 years. A first-generation college student, she was a member of the Honors College and graduates with departmental honors in chemistry.

Plans after graduation? I will attend Yale University for my Ph.D. in chemical biology.

Memorable experiences at the ‘Ville? I am so lucky to have had so many amazing experiences here at Millersville, but the one I will never forget is hosting Taste of Africa with the African Carribean student association. 

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way: I would like to start by thanking the faculty in the Department of Chemistry, especially Dr. Melissa Mullen-Davis and Dr. Edward Rajaseelan, for constantly pushing and supporting me. I would like to thank my parents for their sacrifice and support. My older brother for being a great role model and helping me find my interest in chemistry, and my sister for being so supportive and loving. I want to thank my friends for their support and for always being a source of laughter. And lastly, I want to thank God for being my refuge and strength. Everything I have accomplished comes from this support system, and I am forever grateful!

Brian Fodale

Brian Fodale
Brian Fodale, from Howell, New Jersey, graduates with a bachelor’s in mathematics with a concentration in statistics. In addition to graduating from the Honors College, Fodale completed a research experience for an undergraduate program at the University of Iowa.

“The University of Iowa Summer Institute in biostatistics was a wonderful experience,” Fodale explains. “It was a seven-week program where I was introduced to statistical applications in the field of public health. I took part in a group research project where I used statistics and machine learning to help detect areas of skin cancer in medical images.”

Plans after graduation? I will be attending the University of Iowa to pursue an MS in Biostatistics.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? One of my most memorable experiences was defending my thesis for the Honors College. I was extremely grateful to be surrounded by the support of my parents, professors and friends that were in attendance.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I would of course like to thank my parents and siblings, my professors in the mathematics department, the Honors College faculty and my friends, especially those I have had the pleasure to serve alongside as officers in Math Club and the Honors College Student Association.

Mercedes Garcia

Mercedes Garcia Guzman
Mercedes Garcia Guzman was born in the Dominican Republic and currently lives in Reading, Pennsylvania. A first-generation college graduate, she majored in social work.

Plans after graduation? I plan to continue my higher education in the Advance Standing Master’s Program at Millersville University.

Memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? My entire time at the ‘Ville has been a memorable experience. However, having the chance to take part in various programs such as CAMP, PSSI, and LSLI had a significant impact on my professional education. These programs helped me a lot, and in them, I met wonderful people who I now consider my family.

Anyone you want to thank? First, I’d like to thank my family for always being there and believing in me, for giving me the opportunity to come to college, and always supporting me. I’d also like to thank Darlene Newman, Dr. Christina Williams, Jenny Hernandez, Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy, Dr. Justin García and Dr. Saldana De Jesus for their support and constant voice of encouragement.

Thomas Herr, with his mother, Shirley Herr

Shirley and Thomas Herr (mother and son)
Shirley and Thomas are from Oxford, Pennsylvania and are mother and son. Shirley is an alumna who graduated in 1995 with a bachelor’s in nursing. This May, she graduates with a registered nurse practitioner certification. She is graduating alongside her son, Thomas.

Shirley says that it’s been exciting to have her and Thomas’ graduations align. “It’s just a great excitement for us both,” she says. “He’s a great kid, and he’s so hardworking. It’s an honor to graduate with him.”

Plans after graduation? After passing the boards and going through the credentialing process, I would like to work locally, since I’m already a part-time nursing instructor in the area.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I think the fact that I decided to come back to Millersville for my certificate and my son decided to come to Millersville for his degree is a testament to Millersville University. It was certainly challenging to balance schooling, work, family and the 140-cow dairy farm we manage, but having such a great school so close to home definitely helped.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? My husband and my children, who have been really supportive.

Thomas Herr graduates with a bachelor’s in mathematics education and a minor in computer science. He explains that balancing the two intense programs of study was challenging, but his college experience was rewarding.

“I have always had interest in technology, and I knew that mathematics was an in-demand content area. I ended up taking 5 years total to earn both the major and the minor, but I also took a semester off and took some music courses, including private lessons from Yamaha artist Amy Gustafson for a semester which was an awesome experience.”

Plans after graduation? I am excited to join Hostetter & Hostetter CPAs, a local accounting firm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. I will be working in payroll, bookkeeping, and managing some of the IT needs for the firm as well. In my spare time, I will produce content for my music and educational channels on YouTube: YouTube.com/@thomasherr73 and YouTube.com/@thomasherrmath.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I really loved my professional education courses and had some awesome professors in both the mathematics and education departments.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I would like to thank my sisters Grace and Marybeth for letting me “debrief” about my classes and workload with them!

Carolina Hidalgo-Ahmed

Carolina Hidalgo-Ahmed
Carolina Hidalgo-Ahmen is originally from Washington Heights in New York City and currently lives in Reading. She graduates this year with her undergraduate in social work and hopes to graduate in 2024 with her master’s degree.

How did you balance being a mother, having a child and completing your degree? 
Balancing motherhood, being a wife, working, and being a student, was not easy; it required a lot of transparency on my part with my instructors, peers and colleagues. I had a lot of pregnancy complications early on, and with four classes and two fellowships, I had to really sit down and talk to my mentors/professors and rely on their experience to get me through.  Challenges aren’t meant to break us as students; they are meant to strengthen us.

Plans after graduation? 
My plans after graduation are to continue working on the organization I started as part of my Ubuntu Fellowship, Pecan, The Hone Initiative, which focuses on food insecurity in Berks County. I will be shifting my focus in practice from macro to micro to strengthen my understanding of some of the problems I want to solve within the community.

Favorite professors at the ‘Ville?
Dr. (Bertha) DeJesus always ensured that I brought 110% no matter what was happening in life, never letting me drop the ball and constantly pushing me to improve and evolve with every hardship. Dr. Foels, both in class and as my advisor, has allowed me to see myself with my doctorate in the coming years, having a seat at the table to challenge injustice. Dr. (Karen) Rice and Dr. (Jennifer) Frank, who served as my Ubuntu Fellowship mentors for their insight on the different manifestations of the social work practice. Dr. Johnson always gave me unfiltered honesty that allowed me to develop alternative thoughts and challenge my own understanding of things. Dr. Redcay and Proctor for making social work research a passion. And Michele Santamaria who has been my mentor through the thick of it and encouraged me to stay true to myself because authenticity is gold.

Tanna Jenkins

Tanna Jenkins
Tanna Jenkins, from Philadelphia, is a first-generation college graduate and majored in social work.

Plans after graduation? In the fall, I will study for my master’s in social work at Millersville.

Most memorable experience? Being awarded the “Ambassadors for Hope” scholarship award. I was totally surprised and excited when I received the news.

Anyone you want to thank? I would like to thank God, without him none of this would be possible. I would like to thank my husband for reading every paper I’ve written in the last 3 years. My son for being my motivation to accomplish this goal. My classmates, Aja, Ashlee and Jennifer, for their never-ending support. I would like to thank the professors in the School of social work. You all are amazing; thank you for all your support and motivation.

Megan Jones

Megan Jones
Megan Jones, from Lancaster, is a senior assistant registrar at Millersville University and graduates with a master’s in emergency management with a concentration in communication. Jones says that working full-time while taking courses was challenging and took hard work.

“Time management is critical, being able to acknowledge what you can put on your plate and what you can’t,” she says. “I’m not very good at saying no to things, so there were definitely times I found that I overwhelmed myself. Between working full-time, coaching my kid’s sports teams, being a parent volunteer and working with a rescue organization fostering dogs, I had a full plate.”

Plans after graduation? My goal in finishing my master’s was to be able to take advantage of promotion or advancement opportunities for myself when they might arise. I love working at Millersville; I’ve been here for over 15 years. I’m hoping that completing my degree will afford me some opportunities that I might not otherwise have been able to qualify for.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I’ll say that my first time logging into an online course (my first online course ever) and participating in ANY college work since I graduated with my bachelor’s degree (now 20 years ago) was my most memorable. I was slightly terrified of taking that leap, but being in a program that has many non-traditional students and had supports that were available for “figuring out” online coursework got me through that first class.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I appreciate the support that I’ve received from my colleagues in the Registrar’s office and my supervisor, Alison Hutchinson, as I balanced being a student and an employee. I also would like to thank my husband and my kids for being so understanding and supportive while I tackled this venture!

Gladys LaPorte-Rodriguez and Skully.

Gladys LaPorte-Rodriguez
Gladys LaPorte-Rodriguez, from Lancaster, graduates with her bachelor’s in philosophy and a minor in women’s studies. She has been taking classes off and on for 15+ years.

How many years to graduate?  I started college when it was still named Millersville State College. After many bumps on the road and taking a long hiatus, I returned to Millersville University as an employee. Then after a few years into my employment, I began taking classes again.

How did you manage working full-time and taking classes? When I first started taking classes, I would take one class a semester, usually in the evening or during my lunch hour, so it wouldn’t interfere with my work schedule. I’d take classes in the winter and summer when they were offered online, which were easier for me to handle while raising my daughter. I was never really sure what I wanted to major in, so I took a number of courses that interested me in various disciplines. I did this until it was absolutely necessary that I had to declare a major. It wasn’t until the summer of 2018, when I enrolled in a philosophy course with Professor Jennifer Miller, that I finally knew what I wanted to major in. After finishing classes for my major, I remembered a class I took with Professor Elizabeth Powers-Costello called Women in Education that I enjoyed and found very interesting. My decision was made, I decided to minor in Women’s Studies.

Plans after graduation?  First, I’d like to take a short break from the hustle and bustle of school. Then, I will begin planning my retirement after 35+ years of service with the Division of Finance and Administration.

Memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville?  I would have to say that it was the friendships I made along the way with students, staff, and faculty members. I have made special bonds with many of them that will stay with me forever.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? First and foremost, I want to thank my beautiful, caring daughter Simone for her love and support. Also, my family, friends, colleagues, and students from Millersville Concerned Women. They say it takes a village; in this instance, I believe it did. During the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly, I have received such loving support throughout my 15+ years of school. Confucius once stated, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

Kaitlyn Leister

Kaitlyn Leister
Kaitlyn Leister, from Reading, graduates with a bachelor’s in allied health technology with a minor in chemistry and a concentration in sports medicine. Leister will graduate from the Honors College, and she ran both track and field and cross country.

Discussing how she balanced academics and athletics, Leister says, “I learned a lot about time management and the importance of communication. I’m grateful for the support I received from my coaches, teammates and professors, and I feel that the experience has prepared me well for the challenges of balancing multiple priorities in the future.”

Plans after graduation? I plan to further my education at Alvernia University where I will be completing my doctorate in physical therapy.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? My most memorable experience was getting to host and winning the PSAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet last spring with my team.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I’d like to thank my mother Pamela Leister, my godparents Lauren and Adam Ressler, my academic advisors Heather Lehman and Elizabeth Thyrum, my coaches Andy Young and Akil Stokes, and my teammates and friends for always encouraging me and supporting me these past four years. I could not have done it without them.

Garrett Lowe

Garrett Lowe
Garrett Lowe, from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s in applied engineering technology and management with a concentration in construction management. During his time at school, Lowe balanced academics between playing baseball and firefighting.

“I am super thankful to be a part of the Millersville baseball team as well as the Blue Rock Fire and Rescue Service, serving Millersville and the surrounding communities,” he says. “Being a part of two great organizations like this kept me very busy but I wouldn’t want it any other way. For me having a routine was huge, waking up and knowing the tasks I need to do for the day, trying to get things done as soon as possible. I enjoyed always having something to do.”

Plans after graduation? After graduation, I will be working for Warfel Construction Company with the plan to become a project manager. I intend to continue working in the fire service and hopefully coach some baseball at a local high school.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? Forming lifelong friendships with my teammates and classmates. I feel very blessed to have made such great friends in my time here at Millersville. I will never forget the long workouts, practices, game days and bus rides with my teammates. My teammates and friends here on campus have truly become like family to me, I look forward to seeing them every day and just enjoying every day that we have together.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? First, I’d like to thank my family for providing me with the opportunity to come to college and for always supporting me and loving me unconditionally. Next, I’d like to thank Coach Shehan, Coach Baker, Coach Kramer, Coach Roche, Coach Sass and Coach Regs, for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to play baseball for Millersville. Next, I’d like to thank Blue Rock Fire and Rescue for taking me in and working with my schedule. I’d also like to thank Dan and Lisa Devinney for teaching me so much and helping me grow in my faith. Lastly, I’d like to thank my roommates, friends and teammates, they have become family to me, and I have enjoyed every moment spent with you guys. You are all the highlight of my time here at the ‘Ville.

Elliott and Evan Newman (twins and graduates)
Elliott and Evan are twin brothers from Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

Elliott Newman

Elliott graduates with a bachelor’s in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. He also graduates alongside his twin brother, Evan. The siblings ended up taking two classes together, Calculus 2 and Calculus 3.

“I definitely remember the professors being confused on who was who,” Elliott says. “They even switched our exam grades!”

Plans after graduation? I will be attending the Penn State College of Medicine to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? A memorable experience at the ‘Ville was receiving the Murley Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in chemistry. This fellowship allowed me to deepen my research skills and propelled my passion to pursue a graduate degree.

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? There are many people I want to thank! I want to thank my parents, my research advisor Dr. Rajaseelan for his direction and my fiancée Elise for her encouragement as well. I also recognize none of this would be possible without the goodness, grace, and direction from God!

Evan Newman

Evan graduates with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology and a minor in heliophysics and space weather.

Plans after graduation? Attending the University of Wyoming to pursue a PhD in atmospheric sciences.

What was a memorable experience during your time at the ‘Ville? I really enjoyed getting close to my other meteorology classmates and doing fun, weather-related stuff with them. Back in September of 2021, four classmates and I went storm chasing, which was the birth of the meteorology department TILTTING project!

Anyone you want to thank for encouraging you along the way? I couldn’t have done any of this for the past four years without the encouragement of my parents!

Terry Papavasilis (left) receives a graduation “certificate” from Dr. Dominique Didier. Both are accomplished scuba divers, and Dr. Didier can’t make the graduation ceremony, so she conferred a special certificate to Papavasilis.

Elefteria M Papavasilis
Elefteria “Terry” Papavasilis, from Lancaster, graduates with a bachelor’s in marine biology and a minor in oceanography. The former National Park Ranger (she protected the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia) plans to attend graduate school for marine fisheries.

Memorable experience? Helping to map Lake Allure in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, for its eventual use as a training ground for scuba diving. In 2021 I used the University’s remote-operated vehicle, sonar and global positioning satellites to map the bottom contours of Lake Allure. Millersville University does not offer scuba certification, and this is important for marine science students seeking a job in the field. The closest training facility for certification dives was over two hours away. By developing Lake Allure into a dive training facility, students now only have to drive 20 minutes to do their certification dives.

Anyone you want to thank? “I would like to thank my mentors, Dr. Dominique Didier, Dr. Ajoy Kumar, and Dr. Christopher Stieha. In addition, I would like to thank the Biology and Earth Sciences Departments and Dean Marc Harris for their endless support.”

Priyanka Subedi

Priyanka Subedi
Priyanka Subedi was born in a refugee camp in Jhapa, Nepal and raised in New Hampshire. A first-generation college student, she majored in biology pre-med with a minor in chemistry.

Plans after graduation? I am going to the University of Pittsburgh for their PharmaD program.

Fondest memory? Living in the dorms the first year and getting to experience college life.

Anyone you want to thank? My family. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I also want to thank all my professors and my friends who supported me beyond my imagination.

 

Jordyn Williams

Jordyn Williams
Jordyn Williams is from Philadelphia and will receive her bachelor’s degree in criminology.

Plans after graduation? I plan on moving to Texas to hopefully start my career as a criminal investigator.

Memorable experience? My most memorable experience at Millersville would probably have to be the drag show last year, where there were drag queens from RuPaul’s drag race. It was fun to experience with my friends, and I had never been to anything like it before.

Anyone you want to thank? I want to thank my parents for always being there and believing in me. I also want to thank my best friend Amira for always reminding me to never question myself and give myself more credit than I do. I also want to thank my friend Olivia for always offering her help even when she had other things to worry about. I love every single one of you guys, and thank y’all for being the reason I kept going.

 

One reply on “Congratulations May Graduates!”

I believe that this is the first graduate shout-out that the Registrar’s Office has ever received! Megan Jones we are so so proud of you and I am truly in awe of how you do it all. What a wonderful role model you are to your two beautiful girls.
–Registrar Alison

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