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Congratulations, Class of 2015

This year’s commencement ceremonies were bigger than ever. On May 14-16, some 5,000 students claimed their degrees at College Park Center. The UT Arlington Class of 2015 included approximately 3,500 undergraduates, 1,400 master’s students, and 100 doctoral candidates.

The rising number of graduates is thanks in part to steady enrollment growth in the College of Engineering, which awarded degrees to more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students. That figure represents more than a 50 percent increase over the number of engineering degrees awarded a year ago.

Among the speakers featured during commencement ceremonies were Bill Hale (College of Engineering), the Texas Department of Transportation’s chief engineer, who manages, controls, and provides oversight for all TxDOT operations; Alumnus Dr. Joel Montgomery (College of Science), director of the Division of Global Health Protection in Kenya for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who is a part of the Ebola Response Team in Liberia; and Matthew Rose (College of Business), executive chairman of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, whom many financial analysts see as a possible successor to Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BNSF’s parent company.

A number of graduates earned prestigious honors and wide recognition for their academic work. One example is Emmanuel Fordjour from the College of Science. Fordjour received degrees in biology and microbiology and was one of just 15 United Negro College Fund Merck Science Research Scholarship award-winners in 2014, which earned him $25,000. He also completed important research investigating a dangerous, hospital-acquired disease called Clostridium difficile. As an undergraduate, he presented his findings to members of Congress. He now plans to complete a combined M.D./Ph.D. program and become a physician, educator, and researcher.

Sareek Hosein, a first-generation college student, graduated with a degree in international business with a Spanish concentration. He has worked for his mother’s insurance agency for three years and commutes daily from Mesquite after work for class. He plans to start a nonprofit agency that would take a business-themed, personal-development approach toward getting the homeless off the streets. His family is from Trinidad and Tobago, and his culture and family traditions play a very important role in his life.

Maritza Moreno, also a first-generation college student, graduated with top honors from the College of Liberal Arts. Moreno learned early in her UT Arlington career that entering the communications field would not be easy and that competition would be intense. So she took the challenge to heart and completed six internships in three years across North Texas. The Monday following her commencement ceremony, she began working full-time with Richards/Lerma, a Dallas-based Hispanic marketing agency, as the youngest member of the team.

These outstanding students represent only a small sampling of the talented, dedicated, and hardworking graduates in the UT Arlington Class of 2015. Congratulations to everyone who earned their degrees this spring.