Purdue Calumet Winter Commencement Is Thursday

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December 16, 2014 — Purdue Calumet officials say 764 students will be honored at Thursday’s graduation exercises at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., in the university’s Fitness & Recreation Center.

Spokesman Wes Lukoshus says 459 baccalaureate and master’s degree graduation candidates are expected to participate in the two ceremonies — 269 during the morning from the Colleges of Business; Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Technology, and 190 in the afternoon from the Colleges of Education; Nursing; and Engineering, Mathematics & Science.  A member of the Purdue University Board of Trustees will be present to confer degrees.

Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon will present a Chancellor’s Medallion to the graduating senior with the top GPA in each of the university’s six academic colleges. Other distinguished baccalaureate degree candidates also will be recognized.

“Times” publisher Chris White will deliver the commencement address at both ceremonies.

Highland resident graduating from Purdue Calumet with job and much more  

Ask Sarah Kern to describe a high quality, college education, and she’ll tell you about caring, helpful professors and a campus learning environment that, as she puts it, “has enabled me to bloom.”

The 24-year-old Highland resident is on track to graduate from Purdue University Calumet Thursday (12/18) with a degree in accounting. Less than three weeks later, she begins a job with White Lodging as an auditor.

“I hope I have as much fun working as I’ve had going to school,” she said. “The people at Purdue Calumet are the best. I’ve been blown away by the professors I’ve had. They care so much about their students.”

Job opportunity tip

For one, there’s Ed Furticella—faculty member, head of the Department of Accounting and campus Accounting & Finance Club advisor—who tipped off Kern about the job opportunity with White Lodging and encouraged her to apply for it.

“When he found out the type of person White Lodging was looking to hire, he told me, ‘You should apply’,” she said. “He’ll do anything for his students.”

She also points to Professor Gail Hoover-King, who led a study abroad, experiential learning business class to London and Paris last summer. “It was an amazing trip,” Kern recalled. “I learned how business is conducted in different cultures. I also became close to seven other students I didn’t know very well before.”

Campus job

Among others on her Purdue Calumet “best” people list are the individuals for and with whom she has worked in the university Registrar’s Office, as well as the many students she has assisted.

As for the campus learning environment, she is quick to credit her involvement in Purdue Calumet’s Finance & Accounting Club, through which she said she gained valuable insights about networking.

“(Furticella) would bring in speakers, which gave me a chance to ask questions about stuff you just can’t learn about from Googling,” she said.

Valuable internship

Her internship last summer with a local accountant, as part of Purdue Calumet’s experiential learning requirement, was another rich opportunity she described as “extremely stressful, but worth about three classes of learning.”

Impressed by the experience her older sister enjoyed at the Hammond campus years earlier, Kern admitted that Purdue Calumet was the only university she applied to attend following her graduation from Highland High School in 2009.

Initial undecidedness about her academic major delayed her graduation progress slightly. But when her boyfriend encouraged her to try accounting, she found a program that by her own admission could not have fit her better.

Drive to succeed

“I’m not the smartest one in our program, but I do OK, and I’m passionate about accounting,” she said.

Furticella describes Kern as “one of those individuals who has gone above and beyond. She is one of our stars and definitely has the skills, maturity, persistence and drive needed to be successful anywhere.”

Asked to reflect on her preparation as she looks forward to starting her career, she said, “Being involved on campus and being able to go talk to professors and get good feedback helped me a great deal. Purdue Calumet has been a confidence-booster for me. The whole environment here has enabled me to bloom.”

PUC graduate excels in lab and on the soccer field

Her smile is perpetual. So has been her commitment to excellence, as well as a belief that most anything supported by hard work and determination is attainable.

Meet Rachel Shmagranoff of Munster—Dean’s List student, aspiring bio-remediation researcher, soccer standout and soon-to-be Purdue University Calumet alumna.

By her own admission, her three and a half years on campus since graduating from Munster High School have been a blur. But for someone who enjoys staying busy, that’s a good thing.

Microbiology major graduating Thursday (12/18)

Being a straight A student in microbiology who will receive a Chancellor’s Medallion during Purdue Calumet Commencement Exercises Thursday (12/18) as the top graduating senior in the university’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science is impressive enough.

So is having participated in scholarly research since her freshman year—receiving several grants and earning opportunities to present at various regional and national ecology conferences.

But also finding time to captain this fall’s Purdue Calumet women’s soccer team and become the university’s first student-athlete to be named 1st Team Academic All-America, as recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America and Capital One, pretty much epitomizes what can happen when ability, hard work and determination come together.

‘Determined to work to get it’

“I’ve always been someone who, whenever I see something I want, I am determined to work to get it,” the 21-year-old Munster resident said.

She credits much of her high octane drive to her parents, Chris and Therese, both Purdue Calumet alumni. That her older brother, Alek, also is a graduate and one of two younger siblings is enrolled at the Hammond university as well, Rachel’s decision to attend Purdue Calumet was hardly surprising.

“I knew I’d get a good education here,” she said. “The professors are awesome and so knowledgeable. Plus, the farther along in the program you go, the smaller the classes become, which means students get more individualized attention.”

Made most of soccer opportunity

What she did not expect when she arrived at Purdue Calumet was to continue a soccer career she enjoyed in high school.

“I was ready to move on and focus on my college academics,” she said.

But with Purdue Calumet introducing a women’s soccer program her sophomore year, she impressed coach Leslie Ferguson with her play as a freshman in the campus intramural league. Subsequently, Ferguson invited Shmagranoff—“Shmags” as her coaches and teammates refer to her—to try out for the team, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Along with lengthy days of study, labs, classwork and research, she embraced a disciplined regimen of athletic training. The result? She led her Purdue Calumet soccer Peregrines in scoring and minutes played this past fall, while also earning all-conference and multiple-scholar-athlete honors.

‘Outstanding role model’

“Shmags is the ideal definition of a student-athlete; the dedication she has shown on and off the field has been incredible to witness,” Ferguson said. “She is an individual who has a great grasp on balancing her education, athletics, volunteer hours and social life. She is an outstanding role model—the type of individual a coach would like to clone.”

Aside from making her wedding plans, she is leaving her future options open for the time being. While she says graduate school is in her future, she first is exploring job opportunities in research science.

“I’m confident everything is going to work out,” she said. “Looking back at everything I’ve done here at Purdue Calumet, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

Source: Purdue University Calumet

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