Commencement 2016

UC Merced conferred more than 900 degrees over the course of two ceremonies on May 14 and 15. This was UC Merced's 11th commencement and another trailblazing year for the University of California's youngest campus.

  1. Among the degrees awarded over the weekend were some important firsts:
  2. Stephanie Ruiz and Carisza Lenaburg became the first UC Merced students to simultaneously earn their bachelor's degrees and teaching credentials through the CalTeach Program. Both have teaching jobs lined up at Livingston Middle School, where Stephanie will teach math and Carisza will teach science.
  3. Nikko S. Da Paz, who has earned her Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences, is the university's first African-American woman to obtain its highest degree. Nikko's research focuses on the emotional and physical effects of parenting children with autism. She also serves on the Area VIII Board for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
  4. 🎓💗@drdapaz !!!!! First Black woman to receive her #PhD at @ucmerced  #classof2016
    🎓💗@drdapaz !!!!! First Black woman to receive her #PhD at @ucmerced #classof2016
  5. Yuriana Aguilar, Quantitative and Systems Biology, has made headlines near and far by becoming UC Merced's first student to acheive a Ph.D. under the protections afforded by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) law. As a "DACAmented" student, Yuriana is able to work and study in the U.S. as long as she continues to meet a strict set of legal requirements. Through her research on sudden cardiac arrest, she hopes to change the face of how patients with malfunctioning hearts are cared for in hospitals.
  6. Congratulations to my beautiful cousin #UCMerced Ph.D Graduate #Latina #Achievements #SkyIsTheLimit #Dreamer
    Congratulations to my beautiful cousin #UCMerced Ph.D Graduate #Latina #Achievements #SkyIsTheLimit #Dreamer
  7. And we want everything handed to us?! Come at us again! #Repost @undocumedia with @repostapp. ・・・ Thank you for being an inspiration to many! 🎓✊💯 #sisepuede ___________________ "Yuriana Aguilar es la primera persona indocumentada de recibirse con una doctorado en UC Merced." #undocumented #undocumentedandunafraid #chingona #doctor #inspiration #goals #ucmerced #mexico #mexican #america #usa #mx #us #graduate #graduates #latinas #latina #power
  8. Student speakers Domonique Jones (SSHA) and Laura Showalter (NatSci) inspired their peers with words of encouragement, as did members of UC Merced's administration and the event keynote speakers.
  9. So many of our graduates -- too many to name -- have compelling stories about their journey to UC Merced, the time they spent here and their plans now that they've got degrees in hand. Reflecting upon the years spent here is bittersweet for many. They are excited about the future, yet there is much they will miss.
  10. UC Merced | Making Memories
  11. UC Merced Journeys | Stephen Maxey
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  13. Every year, the infectious enthusiasm of our students spreads to staff and faculty, many of whom make either volunteering at or participating in commencement an annual tradition.
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