Thirty-seven graduate students received the velvet-lined hoods that denote earning advanced degrees during the hooding ceremony, in Kresge Auditorium.
Undergraduate students were saluted for their academic success Monday as well, in the annual honors convocation, moved to the Central Middle School Auditorium because of the Main Building renovation.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated the students on their dedication to their studies, and challenged them to use what they have learned at IU Kokomo to be leaders.
“Hard work, dedication, and commitment have played a role in your success,” she said. “We will look to you for your leadership. You are some of our best and brightest, and we need you. We need your leadership in our world.”
The master’s hooding, in Kresge Auditorium, marked the end of a long journey for Fadwa Alshanbari and Nahar Alshanbari, who each completed a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).
The couple moved to Kokomo from Saudi Arabia with their two preschool daughters for the opportunity.
“I’m really proud of us, because we worked really hard,” said Fadwa Alshanbari, noting that she and her husband were able to study together and support one another through the program. She is considering starting her own business when they return home.
Nahar Alshanbari said they enjoyed becoming part of the IU Kokomo community, and making friends they will miss when they return to their home country.
‘’I will start to find a new job, a new career,” he said.
For Margaret Christopher, earning her Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) is the fulfillment of a life long goal — and one achieved while supporting two daughters in college.
“It will give me more opportunities to be a nurse educator,” she said.
Kevin Howell looks to move up the career ladder in his job, after completing his Master of Public Management (M.P.M.). He has an administrative job, helping people who have disabilities, and said his new degree will allow him to advance within his company.
“It’s the culmination of a lot of work, and a lot of sacrifice, for sure,” said Howell, from Fishers.
The honors convocation honored students who earned dean’s list honors, outstanding student awards in their program, leadership awards, or honors diplomas.
Julia Person expressed astonishment at receiving the outstanding student award in history and political science. She balances classes with serving in the U.S. Air Force, where she was recently promoted to tech sergeant.
She chose her major because “I like stories, and seeing how things come together.”
Tara Covey worked as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital while completing the R.N. to B.S.N. program. She was “extremely flattered” to earn her program’s outstanding student award.
“I just love to learn and help others,” said Covey, from Carmel. She began her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and then earned an A.S.N. She plans to continue her education, by enrolling in a program to become a family nurse practitioner.
“It opens so many opportunities when you continue with your education,” she said, adding that her husband and family make it possible for her to work, be a mother, and excel in school.
“It’s a community effort,” she said. “I have a great support system.”