Youngstown State University’s fall 2011 graduating class will walk through Beeghly Center on Dec. 18 for commencement.
Ron Cole, director of university communications, said commencement is one of the highlights of each semester.
“It represents a culmination of a lot of hard work and commitment by hundreds of students who have come here to seek out their educational dreams and accomplish their career goals,” Cole said.
This semester, 614 students are graduating.
Jacquelyn LeViseur, interim director of alumni and events management, said a lot goes into planning the ceremony. Her office helps with program books, logistics of bringing the speakers here, setting up the gym and planning rehearsal.
“I’m happy to be a part of it. It’s such a happy day. The graduates, friends and family are all so proud,” she said.
LeViseur said that another aspect she enjoys is the unification of all the departments on campus.
“It involves a lot of communication and planning,” she said.
YSU will be joined this year by alumna Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. Gooden will be speaking at the ceremony and is this semester’s honorary degree recipient.
Gooden attended YSU and received her bachelor’s degree in computer technology. She’s also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from the University of Maryland.
President Barack Obama appointed her to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee in 2010.
Gooden was inducted into the prestigious Career Communications Hall of Fame in 2011.
Student speaker April Hauser will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in applied science.
Her YSU career began when she attended an Early College program, bringing 45 college credits with her after high school graduation. She has worked as a lifeguard on campus, and she volunteers at Youngstown Municipal Court as a member of the Veterans Court Team.
“I was definitely surprised and honored,” said Hauser of when she heard the news that she was chosen as a speaker at commencement.
“April was chosen because of her success as a student,” said Joseph Mosca, dean of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services. “We’re very happy for her and feel that she is a strong student.”
Hauser said that she is proud of her time at YSU.
“My sister and I are the first in our family to graduate college, so it means a lot to me and my family,” Hauser said.
She plans on pursuing a career in criminal prosecution and hopes to attend law school.