Spring 2014 Commencement

Spring 2014 Commencement

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Maha Neouchy
May 13, 2014

Not even the polar vortex could stop nearly 450 #twcspring14 interns embarking on a new journey in the nation's capital in early January. From the moment the group descended on Washington, D.C., each student took full advantage of the array of opportunities offered to them through TWC, their internship sites and their dynamic host city.

 

Yet 15 weeks passed quickly – as they always do – for TWC’s students, and on Monday, May 5, the spring 2014 interns came together one last time at Commencement. Navy commander, heart surgeon and health policy advocate Hassan Tetteh, a 1993 TWC graduate, delivered an inspiring address to the class. He discussed his journey from TWC’s Minority Leaders program to his military service and career as a thoracic surgeon, touching on  program the way mentors and professors shaped his personal and professional aspirations. He also provided a copy of his book, Gifts of the Heart, to every graduating TWC spring intern and staff member in attendance. The novel tells the story of a doctor who has a life-altering experience and begins asking himself how he can devote his life to helping others. That was the message Tetteh left with TWC’s graduates: that three key things that are guaranteed to happen when you choose a life of service:

 

  • Great things will happen in your life.
  • You will create an enduring legacy.
  • You will exceed expectations.

Tetteh spoke further about his experiences in an interview with TWC in April.

 

Student Pillar Awardees

 

During every Commencement, TWC also has the opportunity to celebrate the many achievements and special students who stand out among TWC staff members, professors and internship site supervisors over the course of the semester. This spring, TWC recognized three students for their accomplishments in leadership, professional achievement, and civic engagement:

 

Maisie Baldwin

Leadership Pillar Awardee

Program: Law and Criminal Justice

Drury University, Missouri

 

PeiChun Liao

Civic Engagement Pillar Awardee

Program: Business and Global Trade

National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

 

Rachael Soloway

Academic and Professional Achievement Awardee

Program: Law and Criminal Justice

University of South Florida

 

Student Performance

 

For the first time in TWC's Commencement history, four students put together a heartwarming and comical performance, which helped sum up their experiences and sent off their peers with a special farewell. #twcspring14 student performers included:

 

Jeff Realejo

Program: Business and Global Trade

University of Rhode Island

 

Rachael Soloway

Program: Law and Criminal Justice

University of South Florida

 

Karly Tolentino

Program: Law and Criminal Justice

Monmouth University, New Jersey

 

Nicole Twarek

Program: Law and Criminal Justice

Tiffin University, Ohio

 

Student Commencement Speakers

 

Last but certainly not least were TWC's phenomenal student commencement speakers. Near the end of each semester, students participating in the spring, summer and fall terms write speeches and audition to become a student commencement speaker. This has become a tradition that is now recognized as both a great honor and privilege because of what the speech represents:  the experience of hundreds of students who come to Washington, D.C. Searching for life-changing professional opportunities that they usually cannot find on their home campuses. This year's student commencement speakers included:

 

William Adams

Program: Business and Global Trade

University of Florida

 

Morgan Dux

Program: Politics and Public Policy

Juniata College, Pennsylvania

 

Check out TWC's interactive #twcspring14 Tagboard to view posts, pictures, and videos of last semester's journey in the nation's capital.

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