Kansas State University


Graduate School

2017 Spring Graduate School Commencement

The Graduate School celebrated the spring 2017 graduating class by awarding 80 doctoral, 2 masters of fine arts and over 500 master’s degrees at the spring 2017 commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12 at 1 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. During the ceremony, the honorary doctorate degree was awarded to Geraldine “Geri” Richmond, professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon. Dr. Richmond also presented the commencement address to the graduating class.

Geraldine Richmond provided five pieces of advice for the graduates as part of her commencement address  –

1) Be willing to take risks by viewing your life and career as a well-balanced financial portfolio that is comprised of low risk, medium risk and high risk investments.

2) Viva la difference! – Embrace diversity in your life and in your work.

3) Up your game – When making an important decision in your life, whether it be a job change or taking on any new venture, never make that decision when you are tired, angry or over worked.

4) No one makes it alone in this world – You are here because of so many people that helped you along the way. Thank them, hug them and return the favor to others.

5) Have the courage of your convictions – summed up in a poem by Edgar Guest called It Couldn’t Be Done.

Read the full commencement address here.

Commencement is a time to celebrate the major successes and accomplishments for the graduate students and to close a chapter of their life with family, colleagues, and all the friends they made during their time at K-State.

“It meant a lot to have my advisor, lifelong mentor and role model, Dr. Harms, hood me for successful completion of my doctoral degree,” said Stephanie Kurti, doctoral student in the department of kinesiology. “The hooding ceremony represents years of hard work, and of personal and academic achievement. It represents the culmination of my time here at K-State. Graduate school has been one of my favorite times of my life, so I wanted to end it on a high note.”

Matthew Buckwalter, master’s student in personal financial planning, explains why he wanted to participate in the spring 2017 commencement ceremony.

“I feel that it is a necessary thing to attend as it is not every day that you get to graduate with a degree and celebrate your accomplishment. Also, it is a gift to my family and friends who supported me through my education.”

The following spring 2017 graduate students share some of their favorite experiences, memories from graduate school and the people who inspired them throughout their time at K-State.

Nana Baah Appiah Nkansah, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, explains who influenced him during graduate school.

“Dr. Donghai Wang, my academic advisor, has influenced me greatly. He inspired me to achieve excellence in my work. He encouraged me to participate in several conferences and also mentor undergraduate research interns which enabled me to develop strong interpersonal, communication and mentoring skill set. He literally set me up for success. I achieved several notable awards on campus and elsewhere!”

Jill Abbott, master’s student in counseling and student development, shares what she will miss most about being a graduate student.

“I made some incredible connections while I was here. I got to meet so many people with the most incredible stories and I feel like my time here was truly enhanced by those interaction.”

Ana Claudia Sant Anna, doctoral student in agriculture economics, reflects on her favorite experience at K-State.

“I am grateful for the teaching experience I had at K-State provided by the Agriculture Economics department and for the teaching seminars from the Teaching and Learning Center.”

Adam Sobba, master’s student in business administration, shares a favorite graduate school experience.

“My favorite experiences are always when I am doing something with my fellow classmates. In both years, I took part in the Big XII Case Competition and had an absolute blast. It was a lot of work and a lot of stress, but it was a fantastic experience and worth it in the end. I think the most important thing to do in grad school is to get involved.”

Emily Roth, master’s student in communication studies, shares her favorite memory of graduate school.

“I loved being a participant in the Graduate Student Leadership Development Program. It connected me with other graduate students and helped me work through a challenge in my department that required me to exercise leadership.”

Watch the Spring 2017 Graduate School Ceremony here.