UTEP Celebrates Spring Commencement on Saturday

More than 2,500 degrees will be awarded to graduates during UTEP’s 2012 Spring Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, at the Don Haskins Center.

The three Commencement ceremonies are scheduled as follows:  

•         The 9 a.m. ceremony will honor students in the College of Liberal Arts.

•         The 2 p.m. ceremony will honor students in the College of Business Administration and College of Education.

•         The 7 p.m. ceremony will honor students in the College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and UT Co-op Programs.

All ceremonies will include undergraduate and graduate degrees.   

This year’s ceremonies will celebrate several milestones in the University’s 98-year history.

Commencement highlights:

Master of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC)

The College of Health Sciences will award the first Master of Rehabilitation Counseling (MRC) to 10 students.

Started in fall 2010, the program prepares graduates to help people with disabilities obtain employment, secure accessible housing and live independently in the community, said Timothy Tansey, Ph.D., associate professor and MRC director.

According to Tansey, agencies such as the Veterans Administration and the Texas Division of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services – Division for Rehabilitation Services in El Paso, are required to hire people with training in rehabilitation counseling and who are eligible for accreditation to provide services in vocational rehabilitation.

The master’s program at UTEP has now made it possible for agencies to hire individuals who have both the necessary training and the awareness of the local community and the region to deliver these services, Tansey said.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ph.D.

Rebecca Escamilla will receive the first Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) from the College of Science. Her research focused on whether global environmental changes have impacted the native vegetation of a Chihuahuan Desert mountain ecosystem.

The single mother of three children received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from UTEP in 2002.

Launched in fall 2011, the EEB program prepares students to assess the impact of humans on our living environment and on sustainability of life in arid lands, and to promote practical solutions to protecting and improving our environment.

Teaching, Learning and Culture Ph.D.

The first Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Culture will be awarded to Miguel A. Serrano, who is the principal of Socorro High School.

Housed in the College of Education, the program prepares teaching professionals to do research in the field of urban education, the Southwest border region and Texas, and beyond.

Special Regalia

This Commencement marks the first time that military service members and veterans will wear red, white and blue cords, courtesy of UTEP’s Military Services office.

The cords are free and can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday, May 11, at the Military Services Office in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, room 127. Recipients must present their military identification or DD214 form. Cords will be available on Saturday for those individuals who reserve them by calling 915-747-5342 before 5 p.m. Friday.

Commencement Day Coverage:

Media parking is available in lot R-1 (Brumbelow Building lot at the corner of Glory Road and Randolph Drive). Media should check-in with University Communications staff at the Don Haskins Center through the south tunnel.

Graduates will be available for media interviews 30 minutes before each ceremony in Memorial Gym (across from the Don Haskins Center) or following the ceremonies outside the Don Haskins Center. Interviews will not be allowed in the Don Haskins Center tunnel.

Find out more about commencement here