By Stephanie Para |Staff Writer|
CSUSB students have endured all sorts of obstacles to make it out on top and graduate this year.
Rowen Concepcion is a graduate student here at CSUSB.
He will be graduating on Friday, June 13, 2014 with a Master’s degree in computer science.
He has endured senior projects, master thesis deadlines, and even academic probation.
“One, my friends saying that you can do this [kept me going]. My mentor told me to think of this as a distant memory, if you survive it, and she said I will, then I will be ready for anything. Two, I was so close to the finish line. All I had was my master’s thesis. To quit when I was 80 percent done, why? I just had to remind myself why I pursued higher education, which was to create opportunities for myself for a better life,” said Concepcion.
He plans to continue applying to careers in computer science, especially with corporations that are concerned with developing cutting edge technology, such as MITRE.
Anissa Brown is set to graduate this quarter on Saturday, June 14, 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in communications.
She has balanced school, a job, maintaining other means of transportation, and caring for her sick mother since her freshmen year.
“I have never been the type to quit and once I start something I have to see it to the end. I’d like to think that I have a great work ethic, so more often than not I was my own motivator. Of course, I had the support of my friends and family but I knew that to accomplish my goals I had to do it for myself and no one else,” said Brown.
Brown plans on applying for jobs this summer and beginning graduate school next year.
Chelsea Underwood will be graduating this spring on June 14, 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in mass media studies.
She survived 15-17 unit quarters, coaching high school basketball, and regular contribution to the Coyote Chronicle.
“My parents never really had the opportunity to go to a four-year college, so when my sister and I had the opportunity to go to a four-year, they were fully supportive. They told us that they would pay for both of our four-year tution, so we can acquire a quality education and graduate with no debt. I am so thankful for my parents and their support along with my friends, colleagues, and mentors. It is a blessing,” said Underwood.
She plans to apply for an internship at the U.S. Olympic Committee Internship Program for the upcoming fall in communications. If she needs to, she will also be interning with the L.A. Clippers communication department for a second season, along with working at a sports camp as a volunteer for her church’s sports program, Upwardbound Sports.
Jennifer Baeskens is ready for graduation day at the end of this Spring quarter.
She will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Arts in communication studies.
She took 19 units this quarter and her mind set on graduating. She had to overcome her poor time management skills and the temptation to procrastinate.
“I wanted to graduate and I wasn’t letting anything stop me. It has been challenging but completely worth it,” said Baeskins.
Her future plans include a media relations internship for a nonprofit, public relations job searching, and getting some much needed rest.
Angelia Butler will be set to graduate with a degree in nutrition and food sciences and a certificate in gerontology on June 14, 2014.
She had persevered through a major struggle, the loss of her father, with the help and support of her family and friends and her drive to make her dream come true.
“During that time, I wanted to be able to mourn for my loss but I had to keep going because I knew he would have wanted me to continue and finish college,” said Butler.
She looks forward to the coming summer with sleep recovery plans, a ten month internship, and an exam that will enable her to work as registered dietician.
Rusty Nzekwu will walk in graduation on June 14, 2014 with a degree in environmental studies.
He had to cope with readjusting to school life after returning to school at the age of 25.
“My prize is knowing that I stuck to my guns. Knowing my family never quit on me and even in my darkest moments they kept pushing me forward. Collecting my BA allows me to earn a better living and in the future provide for my family,” saud Nzekwu.
Nzekwu plans to work for the government, primarily in the area dealing with waste and/or drinking water.
Stephanie Attar is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science with a concentration in political economy and minoring in Arabic. She accomplished this in four years.
“I’ve always liked studying, no one in my family went to college […] I wish people would take academics seriously, devote energies to studying if we want to achieve a more perfect society — it starts with us,” said Attar.
She plans on going to graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in political science, and eventually earn a Ph.D. in economics.
Velasquez is set for graduation this Fall 2014, with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in geological sciences.
She had to face the death of three family members within a six months while working a full-time manager position in addition to her attendance here at CSUSB.
“Throughout every road block or challenge that I have faced my parents were always by my side. They always reassured me that everything will be okay and that everything happens for a reason. No matter what problem I faced, they were always there to pick me up and I am forever grateful to have such supportive parents. My prize for graduating is being able to make a difference in children’s’ lives and being able to repay my parents for everything that they have done for me,” said Velasquez.
She plans on being a substitute teacher at nearby schools, and once she has taken the CBEST and CSET exams, she plans on attending the University of Redlands to earn her teaching credential.