’Tis the Season!
It’s hard to imagine that the end of 2019 is already upon us. What a great year it has been for us at Texas Woman’s University!
Festival of Lights builds community
For the eighth consecutive year, our faculty senate led the expansion of our annual Festival of Lights celebration and brought together a record crowd of more than 1,000 staff, students, families and area residents to our Denton campus.
Over the past several years, participants have enjoyed the fun displays and decorations put up by student volunteers and the beautiful artistic presentations of the Music, Theatre, Dance and Fashion & Textiles departments. This year, we incorporated numerous cultural displays, and students from Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam wore traditional garb, created information posters and shared their winter holiday celebrations.
Commencement ceremonies highlight outstanding grads, alumni
After graduation, Kiran Kanwar will be an instructor and golf science consultant in Southern California.
What a wonderful way to end our semester, and this calendar year—with 1,635 students graduating from our Denton, Houston and Dallas campuses. I always am amazed at the talent of our new graduates, as well as the successes of our alumni who come back and speak with our students.
Ryan Matthews shares a celebratory high five during the ceremony.
I invite you to visit our special commencement photo gallery, which includes students whom we showcased during the ceremonies—including Kiran Kanwar, the first female golf instructor in India, who just earned her doctorate in kinesiology; Ryan Matthews, who was wrongfully convicted of murder at age 17 and spent five years on Death Row before being exonerated through DNA evidence in 2004; and Nicole Carroll, who 25 years ago was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and plans to pursue research for children who also suffer with Type 1 diabetes, thanks to her newly earned doctorate degree in early child development and education.
Alumnus Darren Stevens addresses TWU graduates at commencement.
In addition, special thanks to our alumni speakers during this month’s ceremonies: Jessie Taylor-Yearwood ('84 BS; '88 MS), who serves on the faculty of El Centro College in Dallas and was an early mentor of TWU alumna Michelle Tribble ('16 BAS) who graduated from our nutrition program and won the national Hell’s Kitchen television competition; Darren Stevens ('06 EMBA), assistant chief of the Frisco Police Department; A. Tracie Brown ('95 BS), assistant superintendent in the Arlington ISD School Leadership program; and Dr. Anne Gill ('99 MS), assistant dean for interprofessional education at the Baylor College of Medicine.
TWU reveals first Oakley Mascot
TWU’s first Oakley, biology major Joshua Cortinas, was unmasked at his commencement ceremony last week. Joshua wore Oakley's "bird shoes" and a special mascot stole for his walk across the stage. “I’m going to miss wearing these shoes. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to be the mascot. And to be the first one in school history makes it just that much more special,” says Joshua.
In addition to his role as Oakley, Joshua has also worked for TWU’s Office of Admissions and as a Pioneer Ambassador—helping to recruit new students through tours and events. A veteran who spent six years in the Air Force with two deployments, Joshua plans to return to the military to serve as a commissioned officer.
My husband Chad and I wish you and your families the merriest of holidays and a joyous New Year. I will write you again in February after we welcome back our faculty and students for the spring semester.
Thank you for your interest in Texas Woman’s University. I invite you to email me if you have any comments or questions, and I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.
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Page last updated 12:03 PM, April 22, 2021