2013 International Commencement Celebration – California State University, Fresno

2013 International Commencement Celebration – California State University, Fresno

October 17, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Thank you. It is a pleasure to
be here today to join you in honoring our Fresno State
international students who earlier today were conferred
with the Fresno State Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree by
President John Welty. They are among 4,000 recipient this
academic year. This is an opportunity to individually
recognize our International students in the presence of
family and friends, mentor and the campus community . For
family member who is could not attend and participate in this
special day with their graduate today’s ceremony is being
streamed live on the internet to a worldwide audience. I would
like to send a special thank you to the Fresno State parent’s
association for its generous support and to the staff of the
international students staff programs office for the
logistical arrangements which made the streaming a reality.
Our international students are important to the campus in many
ways. The sharing of domestic students and faculty and staff
create a climate of positive exchanges and experiences from
which we all learn. These interactions are intertwined
within the academic departments, their research projects and a
wide range of extra-curricular and social activities all
contributing to the arrive diversity of our campus and
their development as 2 individuals. The Fresno State
International students population represents more than
50 different countries adding to the great diversity of this
campus and resulting in many lifelong friendships that reach
around the globe. Today we celebrate these achievements and
graduates leave with today and graduates have contributed to
the Fresno community by sharing your perspective with staff,
faculty and residents of the central valley. I would like to
thank you the graduate support groups. Without you we would
not be here today. You contributed to their success in
many ways that can be expressed. It is equally as important that
we recognize you today. We recognize families. You made
the decision to send your young adults on the long journey on
the United States entrusting them to our services and care.
We recognize friends here and abroad. You have lent support
along the way and we recognize the community’s international
and fellowship programs always welcoming our International
students and welcoming the city of Fresno their home away from
home and we recognize faculty, mentors and staff that have
assisted, encouraged and guided these graduates while learning
from them as well. The celebration today includes an
opportunity for several individuals to express their
sincere thoughts at this important culminating event.
Today we will hear from university leaders who honor
your accomplishments and welcome to you to the family of Fresno
State Alumni and to graduating 3 students who will draw on
experiences to speak to International students. At this
time I would like to ask the Vice President for student
affairs Dr. Paul Oliaro to speak on the occasion and manages
services across campus and provides means to engage
students with the surrounding communities through leadership
opportunities and community service. Please welcome Dr.
Oliaro. [Applause]
>>Thank you. Good afternoon. I am the one that students refer
to as Dr. O. And as the Vice President for student affairs
it’s my distinct pleasure to welcome all of you to our
international Commencement celebration and in particular I
want to welcome the graduates of the Class of 2013.
Congratulations. [Applause]
You’ve done it. You have graduated. And I am sure you
will not get tired of that throughout the day and the rest
of the weekend but I want to offer a special welcome to the
family and friends of each of the graduates. I realize that
many of you have traveled thousands of miles to be here
today and to be a part of this special event and I thank you
for that. I also offer a special welcome to the family
and friends of our graduates who are watching this ceremony on
video streaming in your homes in locations all over the world.
Would all the parents, family and friends of your graduates
please stand so we can recognize you and all of the support you
have provided to our graduates. 4 Please stand.
[Applause] You may be seated. To our
graduates you became a part of the Fresno State family when you
expressed interest coming to Fresno State. The international
services and staff were there at the beginning. They were there
all along the way and they’re among those most proud of you
today and of course they are with you today so please join me
in thanking all of the ISSP staff and their support. Would
all of the ISSP staff please stand.
[Applause] And I personally want to
acknowledge your role that you have played in helping our
students achieve their college degrees. Today we not only
celebrate your accomplishments but also thank you for reminding
that that a rich diversity of ideas is achieve achievable and
is achievable and alive here at Fresno State. I want to thank
you for coming to Fresno State with a hope and a dream. Today
your dream has been achieved and our hope is that it will reap
many rewards throughout your lifetime. You should know we
received our award just by your presence on our campus. Each
day you reminded us even the diversity of cultures on campus
we can realize our oneness as a global community. You helped us
recognize that wherever people live around the world we share
the same aspirations of having healthy families, a happy life,
and to sleep each night in safety and awaken each morning
with hope. You have been wonderful ambassadors for your
country. You have increased our 5 awareness and knowledge about
the international community with whom we share this planet. We
hope now as you get ready to leave you will be good
ambassadors for Fresno State as we continue to reach out our
hand of friendship to other countries around the world and
that we all share the same believe in the power of
education to bring us together. Today is a day of celebration,
acknowledgment of your skills and abilities and persistence to
achieve your goal. Enjoy it. Enjoy every minute of it. But
remember tomorrow is the beginning of your next
challenge. Celebrate today but remember tomorrow there is new
work to be done, new goals to be set, and new mountains to climb.
Also please remember that you are our connection to the rest
of the world, so we hope that wherever you go after you leave
here you continue to be our connection and our ambassadors
to our global community. We hope you will continue to remind
us that we’re all neighbors regardless of our country of
origin, culture, or race. We all share the common bond of our
humanity. It is been a personal pleasure for me to get to know
many of you. I hope you always remember that you have a home
here at Fresno State. You will always be a part of the Fresno
State family and Fresno State will always be a part of you.
Again congratulations. Enjoy your day and I thank you all for
being such an important part of our campus community.
[Applause]>>We are going to change the
order of the program just a 6 little bit and we’re going to
move ahead to having our graduate speakers. At this time
two members of our graduating group upon share their
international collegiate experiences. A graduate student
and undergraduate. They speak about their own experience and
also on behalf of their peers both that are here today and
those not able to be with us today. First is master’s
graduate with Ms. Gulmira Moldalieva. Ms. Moldalieva is
from Russia
and she has earned a Master of Arts in Linguistics.
Gulmira.>>Dear International graduates
family and friends, faculty and the ISSP staff. Thank you all
for coming today and joining the international students
graduation for 2013. I am Gulmira Moldalieva and I am a
graduate student so I did my graduate in Linguistics and it’s
been an honor and pleasure to be here today and share my feelings
and memories with you so I came to the U.S. feeling scared and
excited at the same time so one of the things to remember. It
was the International students orientation which I met friends
from Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, Iran… and if I have to
name all of the countries represented here at Fresno State
that will take me at least 10 minutes and I will say we are
blessed to meet people from all over the world and share our
cultures and traditions with each other and with American
people. So how do you find Americans? Probably many of you
would agree that American people are very friendly, smiling, kind
and very supportive. And also 7 they have been willing to share
their culture with us and willing to learn about other
cultures too. With the experience with the
International Friendship Program, International Student
Fellowship, Global Cafe and many organizations that provided us
multiple opportunities to get to know the community better.
Thank you very much our American friends for being so welcoming
to us. My fellow international students I have no doubt you
would agree that the next people we should say thank you to are
the international students service program lead by Paul
Hoffman, Paul Yunouye and many wonderful people and students at
the reception desk who strive to make our life in the U.S. more
comfortable and smooth. The members of the ISSP did a great
job answering our questions and guiding us through academic and
personal matters and organizing cultural events and given us a
lot of opportunities to get to know each other and share the
best of our cultures so I am talk talking about the
international coffee hour and night, the highlight of each
year. What else do we remember? Am I missing anything? Oh yeah
I think we didn’t only play around and had fun. Most of our
time was devoted to studying of course, so we spent countless
hours listening to lectures, writing papers, prepared for
midterms and finals at Starbucks next to the library and I think
we made a significant contribution to their profit and
increase the number of Facebook users; right? But on a serious
note I would like to thank the 8 professors and the faculty and
staff of Fresno State who were very patient to us International
students explaining all the things we didn’t get at once,
and I am personally grateful to the Linguistics department and
to the American English institute who have been the
whole world to me through all these years and from whom I
learned a lot. I am thankful to my American host families Arlene
and Doyle Merrow, and Cathy Self and friends and my mom who came
all the way from Russia and my students from the Linguistics
department and to all of my international and American
friends who came here today to support me and to be here to
celebrate all my fellow students’ success so in
conclusion I would like to congratulate all the
international graduates of 2013 and with the great
accomplishment receiving a degree from California State
University Fresno. Be proud of it and remember that great
experience we have had throughout these years. Fresno
State gave us a good start. The door of success is open to us so
don’t stop and good luck and thank you very much for the
attention. [Applause]
>>Thank you Gulmira. It is a pleasure to introduce our
undergraduate speaker, Mr. Jai Sidhu. Mr. Sidhu.
[Applause] Mr. Sidhu comes from India and
earned a Bachelor’s Degree to mechanical engineering. Jai.
>>Thank you Dr. Hoffman. Firstly as was said I am Indian.
For some of you this might come 9 as a shock but India is in the
Middle-East. And I’m not Muslim either. I am a Sikh. Not a
sheikh, a Sikh. These are some of the things that I have had to
break down to people over the last four years and this is
exactly what my mom was worried about when she was sending me
off to this wonderful country. My mother like everybody else’s
over here was concerned whether I could fit into the American
culture. However when I got here even there are a lot of
cultural differences the American people and the
community is very accepting and considerate about other
cultures. In fact I find it funny that the number of
Facebook friends I have from America are a lot more than
India. This means I met more friends in the last four years
of college life than the 14 years of school life. This just
goes to show how accepting the community is and how loving it
is so at this time I would like to take this opportunity to
thank all of you the support you have shown to all of the
International students over here. Without you, without the
love and support we wouldn’t have made it this far.
Personally I would like to thank the Mexican community a lot for
the awesome food. I wouldn’t have made it this far it wasn’t
for the bean, cheese and rice burritos and cheese quesadillas.
I believe that International students in all actuality are
just ambassadors of their respective counties. Over the
last four years I have come in contact with people all over the
world and shared information 10 about our cultures, countries,
religions and languages. I have been a physics student in the
learning center for a year and a half and I can’t count the
number of times my students have stayed back to hear stories
about India. This helps me spread the knowledge of my
country and helps me learn about other cultures around the world.
One of the most important things that I learned when trying to
teach someone a new language all they’re interested in learning
are the curse words of that language. I’m not sure why.
It’s not those words will come into play when you’re hungry for
food or thirsty for water or looking for a restroom. A
personal piece of advice don’t teach them those words because
they’re going to come back and easy them at you and it’s not
going to be funny then. My fellow graduates I know you’re
excited about completing your degrees, but worried about the
future. I know you’re excited that you don’t have any homework
due next week but you’re worried to look for a job. What I want
to tell you is that this is not the time for mixed emotions.
It’s the time to celebrate your successes, your triumphs. Be
proud of yourself for not only completing a college degree but
completing it in a second language of the I want to you be
proud of getting this degree during the worse economic period
in the last decade but most of all be proud of the supposed end
of the world and be the first class to complete a degree that
cannot be traced on the Mayan Calendar.
[Applause] 11 Now, this wasn’t a part of the
script but I feel like giving everybody air five’s so if
everybody can raise their right hands and the graduate class and
on the count of three air five all those that supported you and
your friends. So one, two, three — air five’s. Thank you.
[Applause]>>Thank you very much Jai.
Thank you. The president of California State University,
John Welty values each of you, your decision to go to Fresno
State and achieve your dreams and you added to the presence in
California central valley. Fresno State’s
internationalization efforts are growing. We are a global
institution of higher education of which you are always be a
part of it. As many of you know President Welty is retiring this
summer and we would like to take this opportunity to publicly
thank him for the commitment to internationalization over the
last 22 years. President Welty we thank you.
[Applause] Ladies and gentlemen, please
join me in welcoming John Welty. [Applause]
>>Thank you so much and congratulations to our
graduates. This is a special day and it’s a great pleasure to
join all of the you here and around the world for the
international students Commencement celebration. We
are so very, very grateful that you’ve chosen Fresno State and
you’ve completed your work here. In my 47 years working at
universities in the United States I’ve come to really
appreciate that international 12 students provide great benefits
to the entire campus community. I hope that you have learned
from us and that we certainly have learned to appreciate and
accept differences, opening opportunities to build bridges
of understanding and collaboration will help people
around the world. I know some of you will stay and contribute
to the success of the United States. Others of you will
return home with training and perspective to be successful
there, but my hope is that our country’s leaders will reform
immigration laws to give greater flexibility to international
students who want to stay here after graduating at Fresno
State. Your time has been enhanced by your accomplishments
and certainly by the caring faculty and dedicated staff that
you had the opportunity to work with so let’s take a moment to
thank the faculty and staff here for the great work that they
have gone in support of all of you.
[Applause] But today is really about what
you’ve accomplished, and how your time here prepared you for
whatever career you have chosen. Now, I like to say it’s probably
not going to be all completely smooth but you understand that.
I suspect to be successful here you faced obstacles and overcome
them but hopefully if we did our job you’re confident that you’re
prepared for the career that you enter and committed to the
community in which you will live and you will remember that
Fresno State is a special place and also it’s very important to
remember that we want you to 13 stay connected with your
university because we’re going to need your advice. We also
need to know how we can do a job better for future international
students so don’t be hesitant to let us know no matter where you
end up living, and by all means plan to come back and see us.
Some of us won’t probably be here but others will be here and
you will remember those very, very special people. I couldn’t
not be more proud that you represented yourself well. You
represented your country well and you’re prepared to dream the
impossible dream so don’t sell yourself short. Anything is
possible and if you stay focused like you have been with us you
can do anything you want to do and we look forward to learning
about your amazing accomplishments and the
leadership you will provide in the coming year.
Congratulations to all of you.>>Thank you Dr. Welty. Next on
our program is an opportunity for us to recognize some very
special international students. Each year at the international
Commencement ceremony California State University Fresno
recognizes a group of International students who have
been nominated by faculty and staff for the distinguished
international student award. At this time I invite Dr. William
Covino Vice President for academic affairs present the
awards to the nominees. Dr. Covino will introduce the
students. Students as your name is read by Dr. Covino please
stand at your Chair while he introduces you and shares some
of the accomplishments with us. 14 When he is finished with sharing
your accomplishments I ask that you approach the podium to be
given a small token for your nomination. Ladies and
gentlemen Dr. Covino. [Applause]
>>As Dr. Hofmann said each year we nominate students who are
graduating, graduate and undergraduate students. At this
international Commencement celebration all nominated
students are honored. A committee selects one of the
student says as the distinguished international
undergraduate student and one of the graduate students as the
distinguish international graduate students. For the
2012-2013 academic year four undergraduate students and four
graduate students were nominated for this special recognition.
There names are highlighted in bold face in your program. Now,
I am delighted to present to you these nominees. I will read a
brief description of each of the students and then announce this
year’s award winners. Each nominee as you have heard please
rise and remain standing in your Chair as I share information
about your qualifications. After I have spoke about each of
you I will announce the two awardees. I will start with the
two undergraduate nominees. First Ms. Kerstin Henriksson.
Kerstin is from Sweden and graduates with a Bachelor of
Arts in Psychology with a 3.69 GPA. Faculty note she is
gifted, an outstanding researcher, a diligent worker
and processes exceptional interpersonnel qualities.
Kerstin is a member of our 15 highly selected year long
undergraduate honors program that only admits 10 to 12
advance students with clear research potential. Kerstin
originated and coordinated the Secular Student Alliance on
campus. Next Ms. Julia Plein Amar.
[Applause] Julia comes from Brazil
graduated in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in
Business Administration and finance and a 4.0 GPA. Faculty
note that Julia is hard working, quantitatively and qualitatively
prepared, a self starter who assumes responsibility is not
afraid to face new challenges. Julia has a very positive
attitude toward education in particular and life in general.
Julia was invited to become a member of the Golden Key Honor
Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Business Society, and Gamma
Sigma Alpha Honor Society she is a part of the Kappa Alpha Theta
Sorority and the Financial Management Association. Next
Mr. Andreas Torsvik. [Applause]
Andreas is from Norway and graduates with a Bachelor of
Science in Geomatics Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. Faculty note
that one of Andreas’ strongest points is his ability to
understand and solve mathematically oriented problems
advisory and that he is the person that every other student
looks to for advice, help and wisdom. Andreas is the elected
Vice President of two student clubs, ACSM American Congress on
Surveying and Mapping and the ASPRS American Society of
Photogrammetry and Remote 16 Sensing. He served as Chairman
for the 52nd annual Geomatics Engineering conferences. He
joined the national surveying competition team in Sandy Utah
and lead the Fresno State Geomatics Engineering team to
victory. Andreas serves as a volunteer for the international
coffee hour program. Congratulations.
[Applause] Next Ye Hong Wong or Sean. All
right. Yes. [Applause]
Sean is from Singapore and graduated in December with a
Bachelor of Science in economics and a 4.0 GPA. Faculty state
that Sean demonstrated a strong understanding of theory, modeled
what was learned and applied to the real word as well as being
prepared and organized. Sean demonstrated excellent
analytical skills with clear capacity to think outside of the
box and an outstanding ability to gather and organize data in a
very efficient fashion and wasn’t shy from intellectually
challenging his instructors and peers. Sean was a member of the
Fresno State Triathlon Club and the Economics Student
Association and was involved with university hope community
service. Now, let me tell you about the four graduate student
nominees. First Ms. Ekaterina Enelyanenko.
[Applause] Ekaterina who is from Russia
graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in computer
science and a GPA of 3.54. Her professors state that she showed
leadership, was a diligent student, eager learner and
project team member who 17 contributed greatly in group
settings. It was mentioned that Ekaterina had a positive
attitude and analytic nature that is asset in later
endeavors. Ekaterina worked in the department as a graduate
assistant and worked with the Henry Madden Library with their
team. Next Mr. Yaun Gao. [Applause]
Mr. Mr. Gao is from China and graduates with a master in
science in industrial technology with a great fie and 3.89 GPA
and is self motivated and displays a sincere desire to
commitment and has a great desire to learn. He passed the
quality technology certification exam and a member of the
American society for quality and actively involved in the Fresno
section of ASQ meetings. He is President of the Chinese Student
Association and a member of the Fresno State motor sports club.
Next Ms. Jiaqi Liu. [Applause]
Ms. Liu is from China and graduates with masters in
Business Administration and described as having a strong
desire to understand more about world issues and world business.
As a mature learning, outgoing and engaging and displaying
independence of thought, oral and written communication and
self motivation and as a very mature learner who enjoys new
topics and their content. She has worked in the international
business program’s office and the department of accountacy
office and interned in a local accounting firm.
Congratulations. [Applause]
And finally Ms. Gulmira 18 Moldalieva.
[Applause] Ms. Moldalieva is from Russia
and graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics teaching
English as a single language option with a 4.0 GPA. She is a
Fulbright scholar. Noted by faculty bright, focused and
energetic. She is considered as one of the very best Theoretical
Linguistics students. She has been active at the American
English institute on campus serving as a conversation
partner, an assistant and tutor. She is involved with the
International Friendship program, the International
Fellowship Program, Chinese Student Association,
International Coffee Hour, and International Education week.
congratulations. [Applause]
At this time it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners
of the distinguished international student awards.
As I read your two names please come to me here at the podium.
I have a plaque to give to each of you. The distinguished
international undergraduate student award for 2012-2013 goes
to Mr. Andreas Torsvik from Norway. Congratulations. The
distinguished international graduate student for 2012-2013
goes to Ms. Gulmira Moldalieva. [Applause]
We extend our warmest congratulations to these
students. We are proud of all of the international students
who are here with us today. We know that you are all be an
outstanding ambassadors for California State University
Fresno and we wish you every 19 success in the future.
Congratulations to all of you. [Applause]
>>Thank you. We have an additional recognition to a
degree recipient of Fresno State. The division of graduate
studies traditionally gives a special award at Commencement.
This award is the Phyllis Watts Eudy memorial award. In memory
of former Dean of the graduate division Phyllis Watts Eudy and
her commitment to bringing talented international students
to our campus, a fund was established to provide a
monetary award to an outstanding international graduate student.
The 2013 Phyllis Watts Eudy memorial award recipient is Ms.
Gulmira Moldalieva. [Applause]
Once again congratulations to the award recipients and
congratulations to all of our graduates. We’re now at the
point that you all want us to come to and the individual
introductions. It’s time to recognize all graduating
students. Before we begin I would like to remind everyone of
a few logistical items. As each student’s name is read the
graduate will go across the stage. Please hold the applause
until the reader has introduced the student. For the safety of
you and others please take photos from your seats. We
arranged for a photographer to take pictures as students
receive their diploma and thank you for your assistance and
graduates, are you ready? I didn’t hear you. After all the
work are you ready?>>Yes!
>>All right. I invite the 20 readers who will announce the
the graduates. Today’s readers are Bianca Maglanlang and
William Riley. Bianca Maglanlang is from Canada and
undergraduate majoring in mass communication and journalist and
William Riley is a graduate student majoring in educational
leadership and administration. I invite all of the graduates in
the back row to please rise and proceed to the readers.
(calling graduates names). [Applause]
>>Thank you, Bianca and William. Thank you and let’s
have another great round of applause for all of our
international graduates. [Applause]
Graduates it is my hope that you leave Fresno State with fond
memories and make a positive difference in the world. The
future is yours and we wish you the best in your career choices
and
with life’s adventures. As Dr. Welty shared or asked please
remember us, please come back when you have an opportunity to
visit us and at this time I would like you as graduates to stand and thank your family and
friends for their support and without family and friends we
wouldn’t be here today. [Applause]
In conclusion I take this time to say thank you to our campus
colleagues, faculty, staff, friends, community members who
worked hard to make your time here rewarding and memorable.
Scattered amongst the audience today are members of the office
of international student services and program staff and
if you’re still in your seats if you could stand one more time to 21
be recognized. [Applause]
I would like to have a special
thank you for Melissa Perez and Paul Yunouye, member of the ISSP
staff who help put this event together and recognize Lucia
Hammer and my predecessor and this is my first time at
international Commencement here and it’s a wonderful tradition
so thank you very much Lucia. [Applause]
In a moment I will ask faculty and ISSP staff to exit the
concert hall and — form a receiving line outside for the
graduate s. a processional of graduates will follow up the
center aisle. At this time I request that you remain
standing. Guests, you request that you also stand and remain
at your seats until the graduates have left the hall.
Then guests will exit through the doors on the side here.
Faculty and staff I invite you to please exit and form the
receiving line.