From the Desk of the Chancellor, May 16, 2011
Chancellor Charles R. Bantz View print-quality image
May 16, 2011
- Diane Brown
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Yesterday, we celebrated commencement. Among the graduates were many students who have been very involved in campus life and have left a legacy of service and advocacy on behalf of their fellow students. Their dedicated engagement in student activities and organizations enriches the educational experiences not only of the individuals involved but of the campus as a whole. We’d like to wish them well and offer our thanks. Please read on to learn more about the impressive graduates I have gotten to know and what they have done for IUPUI as student leaders.
Courtney Robertson was IUPUI Undergraduate Student Government President in 2010-2011. Courtney gave eloquent presentations to the IU Board of Trustees on students’ behalf and was a student assistant on the staff of the Multicultural Success Center, having served on the Multicultural Center Implementation Committee in 2007-2008. Courtney was a Gates Millennium Scholar and Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholar, a biomedical engineering major, vice president of the IUPUI chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, and president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Sigma Phi Chapter.
Brady Harman was USG President the year before. As he turned the reins over to Courtney, he sent campus administration the following note: “I wouldn't trade my time at IUPUI for anything. I believe the progressive, open-minded, and thoughtful means by which our university confronts issues is directly responsible for the growing national recognition that IUPUI has received in recent years. Yet, more importantly, I believe the ability for faculty and administration to work with students to accomplish a common goal is the key to our success and our ‘up-and-coming’status.” Brady Harman was a Bepko Scholar who earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Hilda Rojas, who is from northern Indiana, will be going on to a graduate program in higher education administration. A former Latino Student Association president, she is the founder of the IUPUI Chapter of the Latina Sorority, Gamma Phi Omega. The School of Physical Education and Tourism Management major received the 2010 Chancellor’s Multicultural Impact Award.
Cora Griffin was also a Bepko Scholar. She has been very involved in campus life, including student government, and served as president of the IUPUI Student Foundation, which gave her the privilege of being the student emcee at the annual Spirit of Philanthropy luncheon. The Student Foundation promotes philanthropy through its main event, Jagathon, which raises funds for Riley Hospital for Children. After graduation, Cora plans to return to IUPUI to pursue her master’s in public and environmental affairs.
Derek Flores-LeFranc, a native of Puerto Rico, is graduating in nuclear medicine from the IU School of Medicine. Derek was the president of the IUPUI Latino Student Association for 2010-2011. Under his leadership the LSA increased membership and developed an ongoing relationship with the Ivy Tech Student Organization of Latinos—creating a community within a community to support the academic success of Latinos in Indianapolis.
Nick Estrada, the USG Vice President in 2009 – 2010, helped make campus a home away from home for residents of the Campus Apartments on the Riverwalk by establishing a very active Hall Council as residential assistant. He was also the National Representative for his Fraternity (Phi Kappa Psi) and lead organizer for the 2011 “One Day without Shoes” initiative that IUPUI won for most participation nationally. The forensic and investigative sciences major is headed to a Student Affairs Graduate Program next year at the University of South Carolina.
And now that these graduates are alumni, we are especially appreciative of students like Nic Oberholtzer, who was the Student Organization for Alumni Relations Vice President for Alumni Events. He served on the 2011 Homecoming Committee and IUPUI Regatta Planning Committee. The Speedway native majored in finance and accounting in the Kelley School of Business and was active in the KSOB Finance Club.
My thanks to these and all the other wonderful student leaders who advanced student life at IUPUI and our very best wishes in whatever the future holds for them.
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