Kennesaw State University commencement set for Dec. 13 and 14

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When Kennesaw State University holds graduation Dec. 13 and 14, some 1,700 will walk across the stage at the KSU Convocation Center to receive their diplomas. All the graduates have unique stories to tell. Here are just a few of them.

Katheryne Castro (Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Science) was born in Colombia, South America, and moved to Sydney, Australia, when she was seven and lived there until she was 12 years old. A graduate of Campbell High School in south Cobb County, she is a commuter student who loves everything about the college experience. A runner-up for KSU 2012 Homecoming queen, Castro threw herself into many campus volunteer activities during her time at Kennesaw State.

An exercise and health science major she plans to become certified as a health fitness specialist. Her next step will be to take physics courses to help her prepare for the MCAT and apply to medical school.

“I want to specialize in pediatric cardiology,” said the outgoing chapter president of Lambda Theta Alpha, the first Latin sorority in the nation. “It’s going to be a long journey, but it will be worth it.”

Castro took only three and a half years to obtain her degree, pushing herself and attending summer school every year.

At 22, Brian Graham (Bachelor of Science in Computer Science) has broken school and Atlantic Sun Conference records in track and field for Kennesaw State. He’s been on the Dean’s and President’s Lists.  A competitor in the decathlon, he can send a javelin sailing half the distance of a football field.

The former Mill Creek High School standout from Gwinnett County entered KSU on a track and field scholarship. A computer science major, he hopes one day to work in the film industry. 

A hurdler before turning to the decathlon, Graham understands what it’s like to deal with obstacles in his way. That’s why he enjoys working with special needs children in Acworth.

“I liked playing baseball with the kids. Their field is wheelchair-accessible and we run the bases with them. Everybody has a good time.”

Donna LaShay Flippen (Bachelor of Science in Human Services) started college a couple of decades ago at the University of Maryland, but she wasn’t quite ready to settle down.

“I wanted to travel the world, so I joined the Army.  I was stationed in Germany and Korea, and I loved it.”

The 48-year-old retired sergeant first class said while the Army taught her many life skills and prepared her for a career in human resources, she knew she wanted to complete her education.

Flippen, who works as a transition coordinator in the KSU Veterans Resource Center, also created Project Shelter, which provides services for homeless student-veterans.

 

By Robert S. Godlewski