December 12, 2017
The University of Tampa will hold its 145th commencement on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 9:30 a.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Expo Hall.
When Chelsea Finch ’17 walks across the stage on Saturday to get her diploma, it will be as both an undergraduate and graduate candidate. As part of the 4+1 program, she receives her undergraduate degree at UT in business management with a minor in economics and her Master of Business Administration at the same time.
“I will forever value these professors, their teachings, their wisdom and genuine care for students,” said Finch, who will join 501 graduates in UT’s 145th commencement on Dec. 16 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Expo Hall.
“UT has impacted me professionally by equipping me with the necessary tools to survive in the real working world,” said Finch, of New Port Richey, FL. “The MBA program was especially instrumental in my professional growth. I discovered important things about who I am as a leader and as a person, realized areas of improvement and created an action plan for my career.”
That action plan included utilizing HIRE-UT, the University’s career management system, where she landed an internship with General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense company, in the human resources department. When she completed it, she was offered a full-time position as a human resources generalist in their St. Petersburg office working on strategy projects and involved heavily with benefits for the organization.
Cui Li, who will be receiving an MBA and M.S. in finance, also held an internship at which she was then offered full-time employment. Li’s current role is in cash management for Jabil, a Fortune 200 company, and she will be a treasury analyst in her full-time position.
“It was an amazing two years,” said Li, of Dezhou, Shandong Province, China. “Although I have received academic recognition for my classroom work, my real education has been in meeting instructors, advisors and fellow students who take a real interest in assisting others,” which differs from her experiences in China.
“Inspired by the professionals I have met both at school and in my company, I have started to give back to the community in ways I never did in my home country,” Li said.” This has been the best facet of experience of my American education.”
Deanna Scotti, of West Islip, NY, is graduating with two degrees, one in criminology and criminal justice and the other in cybersecurity. She leaves Tampa for Japan, where she’ll be working in the U.S. Embassy and Consulate translating network documents. In addition, she’ll be teaching for Interac America and start an online master’s program in information security and assurance.
“UT has given me the opportunity to travel and network with professors who are active in their field. This has pushed me ahead by giving me personal recommendations and enabled me to make contacts in the cybercrime field,” said Scotti, whose long term goal is to act as an information security liaison and integrate long term technology initiatives into the federal government.
After taking studio television and writing for broadcast news classes and interning at CTTV, HSN, NBC2 and WFLA News Channel 8's Daytime, December graduate Megan Myers, of Naples, FL, has received offers and is pursing options across the U.S. to be a multimedia journalist.
“I have had incredible professors at UT who have taught me valuable information I will carry on throughout my career journey,” said Myers, a communication major with a minor is journalism. “Classes such as studio television, writing for broadcast news and multimedia journalism helped prepare me for my future endeavors. Going to school in a city like Tampa gives students great opportunities that I tried my best to take advantage of.”
The speaker for Saturday’s ceremony is Gregg Bachman, professor of communication and recipient of the 2016-2017 Louise Loy Hunter Award, which is given annually by its previous recipients to a UT professor for excellence in teaching and cumulative contributions in service and scholarship.
Missy MacFarlane ’04, co-founder and principal of B2 Communications, is the recipient of the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes UT alumni who have made great accomplishments in their careers or civic involvement.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, several departments will hold hooding ceremonies for their master’s degree candidates:
Thursday, Dec. 14:
Friday, Dec. 15:
- Department of Education hooding ceremony, 6 p.m., Plant Hall, Grand Salon
- Department of Nursing hooding and pinning ceremony, noon, Plant Hall, Grand Salon (by invitation only)
- Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance hooding ceremony, noon, Plant Hall, Music Room
- Sykes College of Business hooding and awards ceremony, 6 p.m., Martinez Athletics Center
View a live webcast of Saturday’s commencement ceremony.