Meet the Speakers

Dynamic students will address their classmates at SU's Commencement

Story by: Mike Thee
Published: 2012-06-05

The student speakers for SU's commencement ceremonies have been chosen, and if their answers below are any indication, we're in for quite a treat. Here's a quick rundown of who they are, what they plan to do after graduation and what they'll talk about at commencement.

BrendaTrejo_154Undergraduate speaker: Brenda Trejo Rosas

Graduating with: Dual degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Latin American studies following the Diversity, Citizenship and Social Justice Core Track.

Where she's from: "My many homes include Hood River, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho and Zimapan, Hidalgo, Mexico."

Thoughts on being selected to speak at commencement: "I'm honored to have this opportunity and hope that the class of 2012 will enjoy it."

Biggest takeaways from her time at SU: "Memories and friendships. The relationships and support from great SU professors and mentors: Dr. Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Dr. Ted Fortier, Dr. Gordon Miller, Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez, Wes Howard-Brook, Luci Masredjian-Murray and Rich Okamoto. I also will take away with me, Liberation Theology. The fascinating relationships with my friends Yesenia Sanchez, Marianne Mork, Aldo Resendiz, Andrea Chicas and Karla Garcias and others.

Plans for after graduation: "Spend time with my family. Traveling. Mexico and Egypt are a must. Start school for an MPH in 2013. Breathe."

Short preview of what she'll be saying at commencement: "Nature is awesome. The class of 2012 and everyone who supported us is awesome."

Trivia: "I was Eastern Idaho's Miss Cinco de Mayo in 2006. I was the Hispanic Youth Symposium speech contestant winner 2006 and took second place in 2007."

MaryGerardo_154Graduate speaker:  Mary Gerardo

Where she's from: El Paso, Texas

Graduating from: Master of Nonprofit Leadership Program 

Thoughts on being selected to speak at commencement: "It's a great honor! I am very excited (and nervous, of course) to share my SU experience with the other graduates." 

Biggest takeaway from her time at SU: "If you want to see change happen, you have to keep nudging the system. Change will happen; you just need patience and faith to persevere." 

Plans for after graduation: "I will be attending UCLA for a Minority Training in Cancer Control Research Program this June. I am also in the process of establishing the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance Washington Chapter. Establishing the chapter was my biggest goal during my program so it is extremely exciting to see my dream being realized and I have SU to thank!" 

Short preview of what she'll be saying at commencement: "This is the only piece I will share because this is a speech you aren't going to want to miss so I can't give it all away! :)  Come to Commencement and hear the rest...'At Seattle University students are blessed to have faculty and staff committed to lighting a flame within their students and to challenging their students to stay true to themselves and their values even amidst conflict. They have prepared us to emerge as leaders and make positive impacts on our communities. I am grateful that I was a part of this remarkable SU community.'" 

Anything else: "It's funny-for these last two years, I have been so ready for graduation. I was so excited to have that feeling of being 'done.'  Now that I am done, I'm a little sad. I am going to miss this SU community so much. Time flies by so fast so for those of you who are still in your programs, enjoy EVERY minute while it lasts."


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