IUP to Celebrate Graduates with Ceremonies on Dec. 11

Posted on 12/6/21 3:13 PM

IUP will hold commencement ceremonies on December 11 for 642 graduates, including honoring 12 undergraduates who completed their studies with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

The ceremony for students receiving graduate degrees is at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony for students receiving bachelor’s and associate degrees is at 1:00 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Students who have completed academic requirements for their degrees in December 2021 and January 2022 are eligible to participate in the ceremonies.

Face coverings are required while inside IUP buildings. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the door of the facility. Full cleaning and sanitation of the commencement ceremony area will take place between each ceremony.

The ceremonies will be broadcast live on the university’s YouTube channel; links to the broadcasts are available on the IUP Commencement website. After the event, the video recorded during the livestream will be available to watch anytime. Each webcast will begin 15 minutes before the actual start of the ceremonies.

Of the invitations to students to receive degrees at the December ceremonies, there are 427 bachelor’s degree recipients, 179 master’s degree recipients, 35 doctoral degree recipients, and one associate degree recipient. 

Of the bachelor’s degree applicants, 181 qualify for Honors (3.25 or above cumulative grade point average). The total number of graduates by college are 59 from the College of Arts and Humanities; 88 from the Eberly College of Business; 66 from the College of Education and Communications; 145 from the College of Health and Human Services; 58 from the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; 12 from the University College, and 214 from the School of Graduate Studies and Research. 

President Michael Driscoll will preside over both ceremonies. All students participating in the commencement ceremonies will be recognized by name and congratulated on stage. Tonya Anthony Hsiung, who received her undergraduate degree in 2000 and her master’s degree in 2003 from IUP and serves as president of the IUP Alumni Association Board of Directors, will offer greetings from the Alumni Association.

Undergraduate commencement speaker Saige KarasturyBrent Johnson, a criminology major and homeland security minor graduate from Indiana, will present the Senior Class Gift during the undergraduate ceremony. Johnson is the son of Frank and Sherry Johnson of Indiana and is a 2018 graduate of Indiana Area Senior High School. He has been a dean’s list student and provost scholar at IUP and a member of the IUP Men’s Rugby team. He also was a volunteer for the IUP Food Pantry and Help Center.

A total of 75 graduates, honored with the crimson and gray philanthropy cords, contributed $1,943.52 to the Senior Class Gift.

The undergraduate ceremony student speaker is Saige Karastury (pictured), a dietetics major summa cum laude graduate from Conneaut Lake. Daughter of Senta Karastury and William Karastury, she is a 2018 graduate of Conneaut Area Senior High School. A member of the Cook Honors College, Karastury was a recipient of a Board of Governor’s Scholarship and the Academic Success Scholarship. She was a member of the Catholic Student Association, the IUP Dance Explosion, and was chair of the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Four students will be granted military commissions by Captain Adam Becker. Upon conferral of their degrees, these students will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the US Army.

The graduate student speaker, Oscar Rodriguez-Franco of Lansing, Michigan, will be receiving his PhD in safety sciences at the ceremony. Rodriguez-Franco has more than 30 years of work in the safety sciences field, including in an analytical chemistry laboratory and as an occupational and environmental safety and health consultant, educator, and manager in a variety of industries, including environmental services, academia, water treatment, and electric power generation, transmission, and distribution.

The IUP Alumni Virtual Band and the IUP Wind Ensemble will provide music for both ceremonies, and Elise Reichenfeld, an education and music education major who is one of the 4.0 graduates, will provide live vocals at both ceremonies.

Distinguished University Professor Gian Pagnucci will serve as grand marshal for both ceremonies. Francisco Alarcón and Lydia Rodriguez will be marshals for the undergraduate ceremony. Mimi Benjamin and Jan Wachter will be marshals for the doctoral and master’s students, respectively.

The reader for both ceremonies is Associate Vice President for Academic Administration John Kilmarx.

The Office of Alumni and Constituent Engagement will honor the Class of 2021 with a celebration toast on December 11. Graduates, along with their family and friends, are invited to walk through Breezedale Alumni Center and enjoy a toast with champagne or sparkling cider to celebrate the occasion. Graduates will receive a commemorative IUP alumni champagne flute while supplies last. Registration is required.

Designated parking lots near the ceremonies and across the IUP campus will be used for commencement parking at no charge. Parking attendants will direct drivers to available lots and parking spaces in the area. Free shuttle service will be available during the day. A parking and shuttle map is available on the commencement website.

Guests who require handicapped (ADA) accessible parking may park in the lot directly in front of the Kovalchick Complex or directly west of the facility; parking attendants on-site will direct drivers to the available spaces in the area. A disability parking placard is required to park in these areas; drivers are asked to have this placard displayed when arriving on campus.

For the safety of IUP guests and to maintain traffic flow, stopping and drop-off is prohibited along Pratt Drive. Limited accessibility drop-off is permitted in the drive-through circle directly in front of the Kovalchick Complex. Persons who have difficulty walking extended distances are asked to use the Indigo shuttle service available in each primary parking lot.

For questions about commencement parking, call the IUP Parking and Visitors Services office at 724-357-8748.