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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA’s winter graduates prepare for challenges

Kevin Brost
Kevin Brost / Arizona Daily Wildcat Harry Siskin purchases a cap and gown for winter graduation at the UofA Bookstore on Thursday Dec. 1.

The UA’s winter commencement on Dec. 17 will mark the closure of academic careers and honor both undergraduate and graduate students.

As the majority of students graduate in spring, the comparatively smaller number of winter graduates allows for a combined, intimate commencement, according to Christine Salvesen, director of academic success and achievement. An estimated 1,721 UA students are expected to graduate this fall, whereas 3,612 are anticipated for this spring’s commencement, according to Melanie Brady, senior graduation services adviser.

The speaker at this year’s ceremony is swim Olympian and UA alumna Lacey Nymeyer-John, formerly known as Lacey Nymeyer. Nymeyer-John was on the UA women’s swimming and diving team and received silver in the 400-meter freestyle race at the 2008 Summer Olympic games in Beijing.

Salvesen, who helps coordinate the commencement, said a commencement office group meets regularly to ensure all operations run smoothly.

“It’s a lot of work up to that point but once you’re there, the students are celebrating and you see them in their caps and gowns,” she said. “It’s such a good feeling … to see the families, everyone enjoying that celebration.”

Winter graduate Rebecca Zayon, a marketing senior in the Eller College of Management, said she recently accepted a position as a sales representative for The Hershey Company.

“I couldn’t be happier with this position and I will be moving to the Midwest for the first time and starting my new life at the end of January,” Zayon said.

Before her senior year, Zayon switched her major from accounting to marketing, which she said delayed her graduation by one semester.

“In the past six months, I have grown in many new ways that I am ready to take what I have learned here in Eller and apply it to be successful in the next chapter of my life,” Zayon added.

Sociology senior Harry Siskin completed his undergraduate studies in three and a half years. Siskin said once he realized he could graduate early, he took on a heavier academic load.

“I’m definitely excited because I feel like I’m ready to move on to the next step in my life and I’ve enjoyed every experience I’ve had here,” Siskin said.

In order to graduate a semester early, Siskin received credit from his summer internship and took an online course over the summer, as well as two correspondence courses, which are guided self-study courses. Siskin said his ultimate goal is to work in college basketball doing administrative work, and said he hopes to one day move on to the NBA and work for its front office. As for now, starting next fall, Siskin plans to be a graduate assistant for Pepperdine University’s men’s basketball team.

“I want to get on the right path,” Siskin said. “I’m not necessarily just trying to run away from college, or I’m not just trying to get out of here because I’m not having a good time … I’ve had great experiences here and I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.”

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