June 2022 Commencement

commencement wooden podium

June Commencement

Friday, June 10, 2022–Sunday, June 12, 2022. Carver Academic Facility.

Congratulations to all the June 2022 graduates!

Ceremony Videos

Visit the June 2022 Ceremony Videos page to watch your event.

Ceremony Photos

Visit the The Grad Team website to purchase photos taken during the ceremony.

Friday, June 10

2:30 p.m.

  • College of the Environment
  • College of Fine and Performing Arts

6:00 p.m.

  • College of Business and Economics

Saturday, June 11

9:30 a.m.

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology (includes Behavioral Neuroscience)
    • Sociology

12:30 p.m. 

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Communication Sciences & Disorders
    • Global Humanities and Religions
    • Health & Human Development (includes Kinesiology, Physical Education and Health P-12, Public Health, and Recreation)
    • Linguistics
    • Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

3:30 p.m. 

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Communication Studies
    • East Asian Studies
    • English
    • History
    • Journalism
    • Modern & Classical Languages (includes Latin American Studies)

Sunday, June 12

11:00 a.m.

  • Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • University Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Woodring College of Education

2:00 p.m.

  • College of Science and Engineering
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Geology
    • Mathematics
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Science Education

5:00 p.m.

  • College of Science and Engineering:
    • Advanced Materials Science & Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering and Design

    Ceremony Information

    Student protocols for attending commencement.

    Where to be and when on your ceremony day.

    If you have tested positive, are feeling ill, or have had a possible exposure, please review the COVID-19 protocols here.

    Accessibility accommodations for graduates and guests.

    Commencement ceremonies are held in Carver Gym, which is located in the middle of campus. Find parking and shuttle options here. 

    Information about when food and gift locations will be open during commencement weekend.

    Graduates can sign up to purchase any photos taken during the ceremony.

    Individual graduate slides can be accessed here. A search bar is located at the top of the page.

    All graduates participating in commencement must wear the regalia appropriate to their degree.

    Student Speakers

    Aidyn Stevens in a gray blouse in front of foliage

    Aidyn Stevens

    B.A., Theatre

    Right before the curtain rises, performers feel a rush of energy, Aidyn says, a mix of excitement to perform and apprehension about what comes next. Graduation is much the same. At Western Aidyn had roles on stage as a performer and singer and behind the scenes as an assistant director and costume designer. She also lent her voice to choirs and to committees devoted to inclusion, and she volunteered in youth sports and in Covid vaccine clinics. Aidyn is also the Presidential Scholar from the College of Fine and Performing Arts and a graduate of the Honors College.

    Friday, 2:30 p.m.
    Qudaffi standing in a hallway in shirt, slacks, and tie

    Qudaffi Howell

    B.A., Business Administration – Management

    Qudaffi knows the last couple of years have been a struggle for many of his fellow graduates. “Q” has come to his own understanding about struggle: “the struggle is what gives us character and the wherewithal to persevere through hardships,” he says. “The struggle is the armor that protects us.” Q has also worked to ease the struggle for others. He has given presentations to local businesses and schools about the importance of educational opportunities in prisons and he now serves as the finance director for the Freedom Project, which provides instruction in nonviolent communication, mindfulness and equity in the community.

    Friday, 6:00 p.m.
    Natalie Miller in a gray check jacket on a sunny day

    Natalie Miller

    B.A., Sociology

    Today, Natalie wants to create an opportunity for her fellow graduates to acknowledge how much they have persevered to get to graduation and to celebrate. “Now they can take a break and just be proud,” she says. Natalie is a first-generation college student who brought her experience and perspective to classroom discussions, often advocating for more representation and critical thinking. She also sought out community partnership opportunities, such as learning from migrant youth, and connecting with community members working with people experiencing homelessness. Natalie was also a member of WWU Ace and Aros, WWU Honors Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honors society.

    Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
    Sadie Spektor in a black blazer in front of white siding

    Sadie Spektor

    B.S., Psychology and B.A., Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Sadie is fascinated by the brain and our tendency as humans to categorize each other. “Our brains crave normality,” she says, “but the idea of normality is inherently flawed.” At Western, Sadie served as a THRIVE Wellness Advocate, talking to her peers about self-care and other topics in mental health. She also interned with NAMI Whatcom County and works as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line, helping people “move from their hot moment to a cool calm.” A longtime runner, Sadie also works to create a more inclusive space for athletes of all levels as vice president of the WWU Running Club.

    Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
    Kaleigh Carroll in a floral sweater at sunset

    Kaleigh Carroll

    B.A., Journalism

    Some of the best journalism advice Kaleigh ever received was “be accurate, be concise and, if you can, be witty.” That applies to more than reporting and writing a good story, she says, but to life, too. At Western, Kaleigh was a senior editor for both The Front and The Planet, served on the KUGS news team, and was president of the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Like many of her fellow graduates, she feels a sense of “triumph and relief”—and a profound sense of gratitude—to have made it to graduation. This summer, she’ll intern at the Seattle Times as a copyeditor.

    Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
    Drake-Anthony Michael Pearisaeff in front of spray painted art in a dark green knit sweater

    Drake-Anthony Michael Pearisaeff

    B.A., Sociology and Human Services

    After serving as a lead mentor in Compass 2 Campus and as an RA through the Covid-19 pandemic, Drake-Anthony has seen many people thrive under pressure. “College gave us the power to see into ourselves,” he says, “and then begin to grow outwards.” A proud first-generation college student, Drake-Anthony was a teaching assistant in the Sociology Department and a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honors society. He also minored in Leadership Studies, co-led Compass 2 Campus’s Community Building Committee, working to build rapport among C2C mentors, and served on the diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

    Sunday, 11 a.m.
    Elliott Khilfeh in blue and white striped shirt in front of a field of flowers

    Elliott Khilfeh

    B.S., Physics

    Elliott was extremely shy and nervous when he started at Western, and he says he has overcome many of his fears thanks to his fellow graduates. Along the way, Elliott has become an important part of the Physics and Astronomy Department as a research assistant and laboratory teaching assistant. He authored two research papers for peer-reviewed journals and worked as a math tutor. Elliott is also devoted to inclusion as a member of Physicists for Inclusion in STEM, the Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Club, the Arab Student Association and WWU SUPER (Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights).

    Sunday, 2 p.m.
    Hien Ho in a large knit scarf and red t-shirt smiling cheerfully

    Hien Ho

    B.S., Psychology

    Hien is an international student from Vietnam who has found her niche at Western by welcoming and supporting others. As a lead mentor for Compass 2 Campus, she assists fellow WWU students in mentoring and building relationships with K-12 students in Whatcom County schools. She also set up conversation partnerships for international and U.S. students so both can learn from each other. Today, she wants graduates to take the time to reflect on their accomplishments and thank the people who have supported them along the way.

    Sunday, 5 p.m.

    Presidential Scholars

    Hisham Abdus-Salam in a gray suit under foliage

    Hisham Abdus-Salam

    College of Business and Economics

    CBE faculty who nominated Hisham for this award describe him as a “brilliant scholar and a servant leader.” The accounting graduate from Plano, Texas, is known for his critical thinking and insightful questions in the classroom, for his beautifully written papers and glowing presentations. Humble and generous, Hisham is also leader in Western’s Muslim Student Organization, as co-president and treasurer, and for Beta Alpha Psi, the international accounting honorary society, as the reporting secretary. Hisham also serves as a director and manages the financial books for Noorishment, an education non-profit in Dallas, and serves as a mentor to first-generation students and students of color. After graduation, Hisham will intern with EY in their audit department.

    Sienna Reid wearing beaded jewelry in the forest

    Sienna Reid

    College of the Environment

    Sienna, whose Tlingit name is Kushxeet, is a member of the Point House of the Kiks.ádi Clan in Sitka, Alaska. An environmental science major and skilled scientist whose work spans many boundaries, Sienna’s summer research has yielded two peer-reviewed articles and one oral presentation. She is also devoted to building community, climate and access for indigenous students at Western through her leadership in the Native American Student Union, on the Tribal Relations Committee, and on the Coast Salish Longhouse planning and steering committees. In Sitka, Sienna serves on the Tlingit and Haida Youth Commission and recently helped with a Tlingit community event honoring the return of herring.

    Aidyn Stevens in a gray blouse under foliage

    Aidyn Stevens

    College of Fine and Performing Arts

    With a major in theatre arts and minors in music, arts enterprise and cultural innovation, and honors interdisciplinary studies, Aidyn is a performance artist who has held leading roles on stage and behind the scenes. Her performance in “Henry V” earned an Irene Ryan Nomination from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Backstage, Aidyn was an assistant director for two productions and a costume designer for three others. She also sang with the Advanced Treble Choir. In addition to performing, Aidyn is a scholar who explores how skills from theatre arts can build more inclusive communities. Aidyn was co-chair of CFPA’s Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce and represented the CFPA in the AS Senate.

    Aliyah Dawkins in a red jacket and striped shirt in front of flowers

    Aliyah Dawkins

    College of Humanities & Social Sciences - Behavioral Sciences Division

    Aliyah is a phenomenal student who has succeeded in double-majoring in two of the most difficult fields at Western, biochemistry and neuroscience. Her ambition is a career in biomedical research to develop better drugs for people impacted by brain diseases, while building representation of African Americans in medicine and biomedical research. She has already developed a reputation for meticulous organization, observational skills and leadership in the lab while excelling in the classroom with an extremely high grade point average. Aliyah, from North Mankato, Minnesota, is also an accomplished track and field athlete who set a WWU record in the pentathlon, was a two-time All-American in the high jump, and received WWU’s Athletics Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.

    Nate Joe wearing a ribbon, braided tassels, and a medal in front of a stone wall

    Nate Jo

    College of Humanities & Social Sciences - Humanities Division

    Nate, from Richland, is an accomplished student and leader who served as the Student Trustee on the WWU Board of Trustees as well as the vice president for Business and Operations on the Associated Students Executive Board. He completed a major in philosophy, politics, and economics with a 3.98 GPA and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Nate also interned for Speaker Laurie Jinkins in the Washington State Legislature and for the Whatcom Housing Alliance, researching solutions for housing affordability. Outside of the classroom, Nate was a crisis counselor for the Trevor Project, sang in WWU choirs, and was a captain of the WWU Swim Team. After graduating, Nate will intern in the U.S. Congress and was admitted to the London School of Economics for graduate school.

    Erin Howard with large glasses and a pale red shirt in front of a house plant

    Erin Howard

    College of Science and Engineering

    Erin is already a dedicated and accomplished scholar who excelled in both their physics and mathematics-computer science majors while leading and contributing to multiple research projects in astronomy and physics education. Notably, Erin’s work has identified hundreds of eclipsing binary star systems that had so far escaped detection; they’re submitting a research manuscript for publication in the American Astronomical Society Research Note. Erin’s work has been commended by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference. They’re also devoted to inclusion, serving as co-president of the Physicists for Inclusion in STEM club and the STEM Clubs liaison for the Out in Science club. Erin is also active in community groups in their hometown of Bremerton.

    Liana Garvett in a khaki jumper over white turtleneck in front of blurred fall foliage

    Liana Garvett

    Woodring College of Education

    Liana, a special education major from Mercer Island, is an outstanding scholar devoted to equity, restorative justice and teaching students who struggle with learning. She seeks out opportunities to promote equity and justice for all students, especially those with complex emotional and learning needs. Liana also struggled in school when she was younger and wants to create a more equitable community by supporting students’ development of self-advocacy and self-determination. She views disability as a form of diversity, rather than a deficit. These principles guided Liana in her internships in elementary and middle school classrooms. She also presented at Scholars Week on strategies to help students with various disabilities and was a guest lecturer on special education through the lens of the disabled experience and disability advocacy.

    Outstanding Graduates

    College of Business and Economics

    Ruby Jayne LeClair, Accounting, Decision Sciences

    Samuel H. Britt, Economics

    Natale Gabrielle Szabo, Finance & Marketing

    Nancy Stoita, Finance

    Abbey Spivey, Marketing

    Keaton Seifert, Management

    College of Fine and Performing Arts

    Cassandra N. Hart, Art and Art History

    Emma Rose DeSantis, Dance

    Joshua J. Shinoda, Design

    Alexander David Marbach and Jordan Marbach, Music

    Carly Cloward, Theatre

    College of Science and Engineering

    Courtney Yoshiyama, Biology

    Kate Alina McConnell, Chemistry

    Dani Sprague, Computer Science

    Rose R. Solway, Electrical Engineering

    Katherine Stelling, Geology

    Dylan Willis, Industrial Design

    Robert Butnar, Manufacturing Engineering

    Forest Hart Easley, Mathematics

    Elliott James Khilfeh, Physics and Astronomy

    Juliana Marie Covarrubias, Plastics and Composites Engineering

    College of Humanities and Social Sciences

    Hailey Marie Maltempi, Anthropology

    Aliyah Dawkins, Behavioral Neuroscience

    Shauna Lynch, Chinese

    Catherine Denise Baxter, Communication Sciences and Disorders

    Rylee Tuttle, Communication Studies

    Natalie Dandan Tietz, East Asian Studies

    Kai Gabriel Broach, English-Creative Writing

    Madisen C. Palomares, English-Literature

    Alea Kirby, French

    Reece Dayne Carpenter, German

    Devan Gunther, Global Humanities and Religions

    Tanner Elizabeth Sprankle, History

    Maddux Pearson, Japanese

    Kaleigh Carroll, Journalism

    Alejandra Howard, Kinesiology

    Braden Reese, Latin American Studies

    Nikolas Thomas Attebery, Linguistics

    Bryce Wilson Rosenwald, Philosophy

    Tatum Leigh Dow, Physical Education and Health P-12

    Anna Corinne J. Huffman, Political Science

    Khadijah Boyker, Psychology

    Madison C. Emry, Public Health

    Jaiya Caraminta Peaks, Recreation

    Sokyana Srey, Sociology

    Sylvia Cohen, Spanish

    Emma Ruth Wansley, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

    College of the Environment

    Antonia Marion Parrish, Environmental Sciences

    Jessica Peterson, Environmental Studies

    Brandon James Whitmarsh, Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy

    University Honors College

    Isaac Kenneth Heiman

    University Interdisciplinary Programs

    Bert Tower, American Cultural Studies

    Andrea Shawn Predko, Canadian American Studies

    Zoe J. Hemez, Institute for Energy Studies

    Woodring College of Education

    Jillian Mercer, Early Childhood

    Sarah Jane Taylor, Elementary Education

    Guadalupe Mendoza, Future Bilingual Teacher Fellow

    Paige Holman, Human Services

    Jennifer Colleen Hale, Nursing (RN to BSN)

    Barbara Granger, Special Education