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Spring 2011 Commencement

College of Arts and Sciences and College of Nursing and Health Sciences

By Christine Rojas & Nidia Yanez
On May 15, 2011

Moments of excitement and happiness filled the Texas A&M International University lawn with the Spring 2011 Commencement Exercises. On a breezy summer evening, the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Nursing and Health Sciences students were eager to move their tassels and receive their degrees.


The TAMIU Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. David Garcia, Assistant Professor of Music, provided music for the ceremony. Administration and faculty, followed by graduates walked towards the stage. Dr. Pablo Arenaz, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs made an opening declaration. The TAMIU ROTC under the direction of Captain Marivel Sanson made the presentation of colors. Accompanied by the TAMIU Symphonic Band and Stephanie Solis-Schnyder, who sang the National Anthem. Dr. Ray Keck, President of TAMIU, then presented the 2011 Commencement speaker, Judith A. Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.


Canales, named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States in 2010, took the opportunity to encourage graduates to seize opportunities as she did in her career.  Her educational background includes a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Trinity University. She also holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Austin and an Associate of Arts from Southwest Texas Junior College. A native of Uvalde, she recently lived in Eagle Pass, TX.


Canales gave graduates the following advice, "In order to attain educational and professional achievements, you must establish your goal, but you must follow through with them. This means setting a game plan that includes hard work as well as developing the stamina to help you overcome the challenges that you will certainly encounter."


Following the commencement speaker was the Distinguished Student Scholar, Andrea Deyanira Beattie, Political Science graduate and Irma Fabiola Guerra, Nursing graduate.


Beattie spoke to graduates on the importance of leadership and appreciating the unique stories within all graduates. Guerra spoke on the challenges graduates faced at the beginning of their collegiate careers and the satisfaction of attaining a diploma.


The University Teacher of the Year Award as well as the University Scholar of the Year Award was presented by Dr. Arenaz. The Teacher of the Year was Dr. Bernice Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Education. The University Scholar of the Year was Dr. Halibo Wang, Assistant Professor of Business.

Certification of degrees was preformed by Dr. Arenaz followed by a conferring of degrees by Dr. Keck. Ms. Mary Trevino, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, then read the Presentation of Candidates for Degrees.


Ashley Montemayor then sang the Alma Mater along with entire graduating class, administration, faculty, and guests. Triana Gonzalez, Student Government President then gave the prayer of gratitude. Closing declarations were then given by Dr. Arenaz following the recessional march by graduates, faculty, and staff.


The Bridge would like to congratulate the Spring 2011 graduating class for your investment in education. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Dust'em!


(Christine Rojas and Nidia Yanez may be reached at christine_r7@dusty.tamiu.eduand

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