Kalynda Cloud, center, enjoys the graduate recognition  program and reception at Ohio University Southern Friday.
Kalynda Cloud, center, enjoys the graduate recognition program and reception at Ohio University Southern Friday.

Archived Story

The next step

Published 12:00am Sunday, May 5, 2013

OU Southern holds graduation ceremony

The weather was perfect Friday evening as Ohio University Southern students — well, alumni — walked across the outdoor stage to receive their diplomas.

Dean Bill Willan greeted the crowd before the ceremonies began by speaking of the new graduates taking the next step in their lives with the receipt of their diploma. He said it was with great joy he and the university faculty and staff watch the students as they take that step.

Hallie Cook, who received her bachelor’s of health services administration, said she did not start her pursuit of higher education at Southern but was glad she ended there.

“I started at a community college before I transferred here,” Cook said. “If I could, I would erase those two years and start here.”

Cook said she worked two jobs while attending Southern, and a great faculty and flexible online class options made her time there much easier.

Husband and wife team of Dwayne and Morgan Hall took the first step toward graduate education in 2011 and in 2013 they took the last step, both graduating with their master’s in education administration.

“This feels pretty good,” Morgan said. “I dropped out of high school, so to get my graduate degree means a lot. It is also significant to finish with my husband. We took the same classes and did this together.”

Morgan said she hopes she can use her experiences to inspire younger students to finish school and pursue their dreams.

The graduation ceremony also recognized outstanding faculty members for being leaders in their profession.

Mashawna Hamilton, Haley Haugen and Pruba Das received faculty awards. Elizabeth Delaney, Haley Haugen and Donald Moore received tenure and a promotion to associate professor and Mikiko Crawford was recognized as a RHE Outstanding Professor.

Willian concluded the ceremony by reinforcing his message of graduation being only the next step. He said education has not ended for those graduating, it must not end, because they will be the leaders their country needs.

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