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Graduates excited to make future plans

May 9, 2017
KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo Class of 2017 expressed their excitement to graduate and begin the next phase of their lives artistically, decorating the tops of their mortarboards with sequins, flowers, bows, and words, succinctly summing up their higher education journey.

While some were specific to their majors — “Psyched to be done with this,” worn by a psychology major, “My watch has ended,” for a criminal justice graduate, “Teach the change you wish to see,” “Miss Wickersham,” and “& she taught happily ever after,” for education majors — others were more universal.

“Thanks, Mom and Dad.”

And “finally done 2017.”

Jen Troxell, who wore the “Psyched to be done with this” mortarboard, was both excited and sad to have completed her degree, because it is the end of an era in her life.

“It seems like I’ve been working for it forever, but it’s worth it,” said Troxell, from New Waverly. She’s the first of her siblings to graduate from college, and she plans to return for a master’s degree when she decides between studying occupational therapy and art therapy.

For now, she’s looking for a job, and has already had two interviews working in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Spencer Brumley (My watch has ended) plans to complete an internship and look for a job, before eventually earning a master’s degree in criminal justice. His goal is to be an emergency management director.

His best student experience was taking a political communication class.

“I used the knowledge from that class for all of my classes,” he said. “It really opened my eyes, and changed the way I write, and gave me a different perspective.”

Though their headwear may not have stated it, many expressed happiness to have completed their programs, and to decide what they will do in the future.

Camden resident Jessica Flora is excited to start a new tradition for her family.

“I’m the first in my family to even go to college, let alone graduate,” she said. “It’s kind of a big deal. I’m excited”

She anticipates that her twin brother will graduate from the School of Business next year, following her example.

After completing her Bachelor of General Studies with a minor in English literature, Flora is looking for jobs in publishing or editing.

Shane Arnold is relieved to graduate, completing a six-year journey that started at another school. He changed his major twice, and then transferred to IU Kokomo to major in secondary education.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this day,” the Kokomo resident said.

Now he’s ready to begin the rest of his life, living in his first house, getting married this summer, and looking for his first job as a high school English teacher.

“I’m just taking it one step at a time,” he said. “It’s all going so fast.”

Mandee Carroll is excited to start looking for a job, potentially in corporate health or managing a fitness center. She previously earned a degree in health sciences, and decided to stay on campus to earn a Master of Public Management.

“I feel this will be a big asset with my health sciences undergraduate degree, and will make me stand out among applicants,” she said.

She graduates with unique experience, having managed the Cole Fitness Center on campus while completing her master’s degree.

“That should make me more marketable,” she said. “I’m graduating with experience in that field. It feels good to be done. It was a lot of work, and a lot of long hours. I’m grateful to everyone who pushed me to keep going.”

Now that he’s completed his business degree, Mahussi Tossou, a native of Benin, in West Africa, plans to focus on his family — especially the new baby on the way.

Later, he wants to go back to school for an M.B.A., and possibly start a business.

“I always have wanted to be in business for myself, and maybe be an entrepreneur one day,” he said. “IU Kokomo was the right choice for me.”

Bri Rose called it “awesome” to be among the first graduating class from the hospitality and tourism program.

“My five-year plan is, I’m going to be coastal, working with resorts,” she said. “I’m relieved because now I can be done with school and pursue my future plans. I’m pumped.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana

Last updated: 05/09/2017