Cal State Fullerton’s 2022 launch continued Tuesday with ceremonies for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Health and Human Developmentand College of Arts. Ceremonies were held at Titan Stadium and on the intramural field.
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
The graduating math and science class entered Titan Stadium for the ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ graduation march playing over loudspeakers, and in front of a cheering crowd of family and friends.
CSUF President Fram Virjee, Dean Marie Johnson and Faculty Marshal Nicholas Brubaker led the procession of faculty members and the class of 2022.
Johnson noted that education is the “great equalizer” in society and “there is no better and surer path to opportunity than higher education.”
“That’s why graduating from college is an especially special event for you who are the first members of your immediate family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree,” she said, noting that 474 undergraduates and 104 graduate students are graduating in math and science.
Johnson then asked graduate students who are the first in their families to graduate from college to come forward and be honored. Guests erupted in applause and whistles in praise of their accomplishments.
As scientists and mathematicians, Johnson shared how college professors are committed to working side-by-side with students in pursuit of the unknown and the thrill of discovery.
“We debug code and look through microscopes knowing that, every day, we might discover something wonderful.”
As senior graduates and masters students prepare to enter the next chapter of their lives, Virjee told a parable about scientist Albert Einstein. While teaching math, Einstein wrote an equation incorrectly – and the class laughed at him for his mistake.
“How often do we only see the error in ourselves or in someone else? We forget the positive and can only focus on the error; however, nothing in life is perfect. Nobody is perfect.”
Virjee told the students that the only way not to make mistakes is to do nothing.
“Moral of the story? Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not enough. You’re enough. Remember everything you’ve achieved over the past few years.
Student lecturer Tahj Stewart graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but early in his studies had doubts about pursuing the rigorous major.
“I can now say that the biology major chose me. It was a hard, sacrificial, sleepless and arduous process, and standing here today was not an easy task and required strong mental commitment. But I can say it was worth it. »
Stewart thanked her parents and sister, a former Titan student, for their support, as well as faculty and staff at the college for their guidance and inspiration. Their encouragement reinforced his love for science and his goal of becoming a doctor.
He likened the many twists and turns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to a high-speed roller coaster ride. The pandemic, he said, “threw us and the rest of the world into dramatic social and educational change, prompting two very unorthodox years spent at Cal State Fullerton.”
Stewart then asked everyone present to pause for a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.
“As scientists and mathematicians – future doctors, engineers, nurses, scientists, statisticians, medical assistants, ecologists, physicists and those in other careers in our field – we must constantly remind ourselves to keep our love for others high, our ethics high integrity and our passion high. We are the ones who are going to change the world.”
Ashley Scholder, a married mother of three, in her commencement speech, recalled how she went back to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in geology as an older adult to “make her family proud.”
“As a mature undergraduate student, I worried about being accepted and adjusting to the apparent age gap. But, much to my delight, early on my peers laughed at my outdated jokes and love for a well-constructed Excel spreadsheet,” said Scholder, a 43-year-old draftsman-turned-geologist.
“These small acts of kindness bridged any imagined age gap. With that supportive mindset, we reveled in each other’s successes and supported each other through temporary setbacks – a true team was built.
Scholder graduated with honors and is the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, BS Geology. She also received the Beardsley-Kuper Field Camp Scholarship from the Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG) Foundation, which will provide full tuition for a month-long field camp this summer.
In conclusion, Scholder told his fellow graduates that “science is at the forefront of society, and the natural sciences and mathematics are more important than ever”.
“With CSUF as a springboard as we leap into the future, I hope we use our connection made here and the education we have received to do something substantial for the human race. The tools, the drive, passion are ours now – let’s use them to change the world one experience at a time.
College of Health and Human Development
The College of Health and Human Development honored its class of 2022 graduates at two ceremonies, conferring degrees in child and adolescent studies, counselling, social services, kinesiology, nursing , public health and social work.
Faculty Marshal Kate Bono, Associate Dean and Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies, led this year’s ceremonies and honored graduating students with distinction.
Dean Cindy Greenberg congratulated the graduates, discussing the important role they will have as leaders in the fields of health and human development.
“As a graduate, you embark on a personally and professionally rewarding career path and, if you haven’t already, you’re on your way to becoming someone’s hero,” Greenberg said. “Your HHD education has prepared you to make a positive difference in our communities and in the world.”
Recognizing the challenges and profound costs of the pandemic, Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carolyn Thomas commended the graduates for their resilience and commitment to “beautiful, challenging and essential” majors, while pursuing a society healthier and fairer for future generations.
“It’s true, the pandemic has taken a lot away. But as the ground beneath you shifted and the uncertainty swirled, you leaned into the future,” she said. “The learning you pursued, the focus you maintained, the determination you showed – it brought you to this future, which begins today.
“Only you, as a generation, have experienced the pandemic as fundamental to your education and your first experience of yourselves as practitioners in your chosen fields,” Thomas continued, citing examples from student research. -professor in the areas of body mechanics, health disparities, big data, health policy, stress management, crisis intervention, nonprofit management, social justice and holistic care.
“Trust your voice, trust how these experiences influence your perspective, how they inspire you to interact with others, what opportunities inspire you to seize – and perhaps most importantly, what practices and behaviors you are led to question. Your struggles, your empathy, your ideas and your care – these will guide you to your final destinations. Congratulations, Class of 2022.”
College of Arts
They have studied, practiced and spent countless hours learning their craft.
Some chose to dance. Others create paintings and drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographic images and other works of art. Other students learned to sing, play and coax beautiful melodies from a variety of musical instruments.
And on Tuesday night, they lined up for the centuries-old tradition of the beginning…the culmination of years of hard work. Multiple ornate mortar panels made it clear that this was where the best artists would be found.
As befits the College of Arts, the crowd was treated to a special performance of the opera “Ah! My friends” from “La fille du régiment” by Donizettti by Ynqwie Zamarippa, who obtained a bachelor’s degree in music.
“Our graduates today join a long tradition of excellence and dedication to the arts,” said Arnold Holland, Dean of the College of the Arts. “Tonight marks a momentous occasion, and one that reflects the long hours of dedication and hard work of Cal State Fullerton’s new alumni.”
President Fram Virjee also greeted the new graduates, congratulating them on their achievement. He then told the story of a young boy who arrived home with a note from his school teacher. His mother then read it aloud to him. The note said the boy was too smart for his school. He was a genius. He would not reach his full potential in this school. The teacher recommended his mother to teach him at home. So she did, and her son developed a superior intellect.
Several years later, the son discovered the same note from his teacher that his mother had read to him…but it was decidedly different. This note claimed that he was mentally disturbed, unable to learn, and creating so much disruption that it affected his classmates. He implored his mother not to send him to school anymore but to homeschool him.
The subject of this note was Thomas Edison, one of the most famous and prolific inventors of his time. Today many understand that Edison was hard of hearing and probably had ADHD, but we also know that he was a genius. If his mother had revealed the real words written in that note and Edison had believed them, we might not credit him with inventing the light bulb.
“Don’t let anyone you are not enough,” said VIrjee. “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not smart enough, you’re not strong enough, you’re not enough. You determine your destiny, you chart your future.
Holland also recognized the work of parents, faculty members, family and friends, and others who have supported these student artists over the years.
“I want to thank all the parents there. We know you’ve taken students to thousands of piano lessons, dance lessons, attended countless band concerts, plays, art classes and exhibitions. Thank you for your dedication to the arts.
“And to the graduates, I hope you’ll take a second to call, email, write to all those coaches, dance teachers, high school band directors and thank them…because without them you probably wouldn’t be here today.”