University to conduct Fall Commencement

The Fall 2017 semester at Texas Woman’s University will draw to a close with commencement ceremonies scheduled Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Houston and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16 on TWU’s Denton campus.

The Houston ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the Hilton Americas Hotel. Amanda Ward, assistant clinical director for perioperative services at Texas Children’s Hospital and a TWU alumna, will deliver the commencement address. Approximately 230 degrees will be awarded during the ceremony.

The Denton ceremonies include candidates from TWU’s Dallas Center. Approximately 1,067 degrees will be awarded during the Denton ceremonies, which will take place in the Kitty Magee Arena of Pioneer Hall, located on Bell Avenue.

Denton ceremonies scheduled Friday, Dec. 15 are:

  • Ceremony I at 9 a.m., with guest speaker Helen Benjamin, Ph.D., chancellor emerita of the Contra Costa Community College District in California, as well as a TWU Distinguished Alumna;
  • Ceremony II at 1 p.m., with guest speaker Greg Crow, co-founder and president of Crow Therapies and founding president of Dysphagia View 360, as well as a TWU alumnus;
  • Ceremony III at 4 p.m., with guest speaker Susan Sheriff, Ph.D., R.N., Cornaro Professor of Nursing and director of graduate education for TWU’s Dallas campus. Sheriff also is a TWU alumna.

Denton ceremonies scheduled Saturday, Dec. 16 are:

  • Ceremony IV at 10 a.m., with guest speaker Carolyn Corporan, chief inspirational officer of Creative Marketing.
  • Ceremony V at 2 p.m., with guest speaker Trisha Lynn Van Duser, Ed.D., executive director for student services and Title IX coordinator at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, as well as a TWU alumna.

Specific ceremony information is available on the commencement webpage.

A number of the 1,679 students walking across stages in Denton and Houston this year have remarkable stories of significant achievement:

Valerie Costanza Coindreau will receive her master of science in nutrition during the Houston commencement. During Hurricane Harvey, Coindreau and her husband had more than 3 feet of water in their Dickinson home and had to be rescued by boat. Even while working to restore order in her life, Coindreau maintained a near-perfect grade point average and completed rotations for her dietetic internship program.

Arisha and Shafeeka Sumar will receive bachelor’s degrees in health informatics with a clinical application minor during Ceremony I. The sisters are the third and fourth students to graduate from TWU’s new clinical application minor program. Both say that being hearing impaired brought additional challenges to balancing schoolwork with part-time jobs and long commutes, but they received support from their professors and interpreters. Both sisters have thrived at TWU as Phi Kappa Phi honor society members and dean’s list honorees.

Sandra Samy Awad will receive her bachelor’s degree in health studies with an emphasis in pre-occupational therapy during Ceremony II. Senior Airman Awad is in her third year of service with the United States Air Force Reserves, where she is a surgical technician. When she was 17, Awad and her family left their Egyptian homeland following the country’s 2011 revolution. She found a second home at TWU, and credits the military-friendly campus and helpful professors and staff for inspiring her to become a leader. She plans to earn a master’s degree in TWU’s occupational therapy program.

Eight graduates receiving their undergraduate nursing degrees will be recognized during Ceremony III. These students participated in specialized externship programs created by Texas Woman’s University to address critical nursing shortages in operating rooms, intensive care, emergency departments and veteran care. As a result of their participation in these immersive externships at Medical City Healthcare and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Dallas, these graduates will walk into their first jobs with more experience than many of their peers.

Victoria Perez will receive her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Perez completed her educational journey without the luxury of a car, taking 10 internships in different cities to help pay for her education. Her daily schedule typically included a four- to 10-hour commute by foot, train, bus and Uber transport. The experience taught her that anything is possible.

Theresa Lindsay will receive her Ph.D. in family studies. She plans to continue her work as coordinator for Learning Success Programs in the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence and teaching in TWU’s department of family sciences. Lindsay became pregnant at age 17 and often felt she was discounted and diminished by others. She focused on providing a better life for her son, who followed her example and now is in college.

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Page last updated 12:20 PM, May 17, 2018