In May, we celebrate our graduates!
Indiana University and Purdue University will award degrees to 6,011 students during the IUPUI commencement ceremonies on May 15. Indiana University degrees will be conferred upon 4,760 graduates, and Purdue degrees will go to 1,015 graduates.
A growing number of these graduates will have a special notation on their academic transcripts: completion of a "RISE to the IUPUI Challenge."
Building on IUPUI's tradition of practice-based learning, we launched the "RISE to the IUPUI Challenge" so that we could document on students' transcripts the distinctive experiential character of an undergraduate education at IUPUI. RISE refers to Research, International, Service, and other Experiential learning activities that both enrich classroom study and better prepare students for graduate school and careers.
Each undergraduate student at IUPUI is challenged to include at least two of the four RISE categories into their baccalaureate degree programs.
Since we began adding the special transcript notations in fall 2009, 704 IUPUI graduates have received a notation recognizing their achievement of the RISE to the IUPUI Challenge. (This does not include May 2011 graduates because we are still collecting grades.) Of those receiving notations, some 20 or so graduates have achieved a notation in not just two but all four of the RISE experiences!
One of the students who has completed all four RISE experiences is Honors College student Cora Daniel. A native of Fort Wayne and Herbert Presidential Scholar in 2007, Cora studied in our School of Nursing and added an international studies major after enjoying a study abroad experience. In addition to her strong academic career, she was active on campus in such organizations as the IUPUI Student Foundation and Undergraduate Student Government. Her plans after graduation are to join the Peace Corps and continue to work abroad in the health field.
Undergraduate research was important to the learning experiences of many of our graduates this year, including the two graduating seniors who will address the Class of 2011 at IUPUI's Commencement Ceremonies this year.
The first commencement speaker, Shytierra Gaston, conducted research in criminal justice and presented her project "Who are the Unclaimed Dead?" at the IU Undergraduate Research Conference. She studied the demographics of individuals left unclaimed by next of kin at the Marion County's Coroner's office. Shytierra also studied abroad in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Paris, and London and performed community service both on campus and during her studies abroad. After graduation with a degree in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice.
The second commencement speaker is Sung Kyung Kim, a native of DaeGu, Korea. A transfer from Loyola University in Chicago, she will earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Purdue School of Science. She plans to continue her studies and work toward becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon and missionary doctor among children with congenital heart problems. She was the recipient of a fellowship from our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and received the American Institute of Chemists Student Research and Recognition Award, which is given to an outstanding senior majoring in chemistry or biochemistry.
As with both Shytierra Gaston and Sung Kyung Kim, research often links with civic engagement and study abroad experiences. That was the case with Meghan Cross, who is receiving a School of Liberal Arts degree with majors in Spanish and International Studies. She was a Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholar as well as a Plater International Scholar, a program designed for incoming freshmen committed to combining academic excellence with global citizenship. In addition to a research project on poverty in Brazil, she assisted a professor in implementing a microloan program in Mexico as a service learning project. After graduation, she plans to seek an internship at Amnesty International in Chicago and work on sex trafficking and other issues.
These are just a few of the graduates who are representative of our very impressive Class of 2011. Please consider endowing a RISE Scholarship to make such rich learning experiences possible for even more students.