25th Annual Commencement - 2015

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25th Annual Commencement - 2015

The Rousing Spirit of Celebration: 25th Annual Commencement - 2015

On June 12, 2015, thousands of well-wishers convene at the Tacoma Dome to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 1,600 newly-minted graduates of the University of Washington Tacoma.

At this festive time of year, which recognizes endings and beginnings, there is a monumental accumulation of stories—of perseverance, of setbacks, of triumphs—but mostly of transformation. Everyone involved in Commencement has changed in some way, over minutes or over years. And everyone leaves Commencement a different person from who he or she was before.

We are proud to take this time to share just a few stories of transformation – of those who have been transformed and of those who make such transformation possible.


Kevin Bogue, '15

Kevin Bogue

Hails from: Tacoma
Degree: 2015 BA, Sustainable Urban Development
Kevin was awarded a 2015 Bonderman Travel Fellowship, which provides $20,000 to 14 UW students every year for eight months of solo travel to at least six different countries in two main world regions. Kevin has a strong interest in construction, environmental sustainability and development of urban centers. As a Bonderman Fellow, he plans to explore an array of urban environments throughout southeast Asia, Turkey and southern and eastern Europe. Read more about Kevin...

Caleb Horst, '15

Caleb Horst

Hails from: Tacoma
Degree: 2015 BS (double major), Computer Engineering & Systems, Computer Science & Systems
Caleb was only 17 years old when he entered UW Tacoma's Institute of Technology as a transfer student, but he didn't let that stand in his way of success. Caleb is the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor's Medal, highlighting his academic excellence, and will return in the fall to the Institute to pursue his master's degree, also in computer science. Watch a video profile of Caleb...

Wesley McIntosh, '15

Wesley McIntosh

Hails from: Olympia and Tacoma
Degree: 2015 BA, Ethnic, Gender & Labor Studies; Global Honors student
Wes never imagined, during his first year as a transfer student, that his time at UW Tacoma would inspire him to pursue a Master's degree. After a study-abroad trip to Ghana and his experience as a global honors student, however, he feels driven to take the next step. Wes will continue his education next fall, as he pursues a graduate degree in public administration, focusing on educational and social policy. Read more about Wesley...

Ganita Musa, '15

Ganita Musa

Hails from: Ginnir, Ethopia and Seattle
Degree: 2015 BA, Social Welfare; Global Honors student
As a child in Ethopia, Ganita dreamed of one day pursuing her education. In order to make that happen, she had to first find her way to the United States. She has come a long way since then, earning her Associate's degree, and now her Bachelor's in social welfare with global honors. Ganita has juggled her student responsibilities with those of being a mother and an employee. Her journey continues this summer, as she works towards a Master's degree in social work at UW in Seattle. Read more about Ganita...

Tia Squires, '15

Tia Squires

Hails from: Montana, California and Tacoma
Degree: 2015 BA, Criminal Justice and Law & Policy
Tia is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, transfer student, and exceptionally driven. Her first two quarters at UW Tacoma were spent taking a total of 30 credits each (don't try this at home!), and she managed to maintain a high GPA. Classes about human rights and humanitarian law have inspired Squires not only to pursue a Master's in criminal justice at Seattle University (which she'll begin this summer), but her long-term goals include a law degree, in hopes of eventually working on human rights and social justice at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Read more about Tia...

Nick Stillman, '15

Nick Stillman

Hails from: Tacoma
Degree: 2015 BA, Writing Studies; Global Honors student
Nick was one of three students this year to receive a Haley Writing Award for his paper, "Of Ghosts and Spaceships," in which he examines how Chinese national identity is reclaimed through science fiction. Students who receive this award are nominated by faculty for their examplary writing. Nick also served as fiction editor for UW Tacoma's literary arts magazine, Tahoma West, where he was "able to see the publishing industry from both sides," as he says. Read more about Nick...

Inteus Taylor, '15

Inteus Taylor

Hails from: Tacoma and Olympia
Degree: 2015 BA, Global Studies
Inteus has a knack for languages. So much so that as a recipient of a Chinese Government Scholarship, he hopes to attend Nanjing University in China--where all of his classes will be taught in Mandarin. Inteus, through his volunteer commitments at the Rescue Mission and Tacoma Public Schools' Re-Engagement Center, is also the recipient of the 2015 Rod Hagenbuch Award. Read more about Inteus...

Kebra Thompson, '15

Kebra Thompson

Hails from: Puyallup
Degree: 2015 BS, Computer Engineering & Systems
Kebra Thompson knows all about going to school. Her BS degree from UW Tacoma follows a BA in Math, an M.Ed. in Technology (from another institution) and 18 years of teaching high school math. Now, Kebra will continue along her educational path as a Master's student at UW Tacoma's Institute of Technology, supported by a 2015 Scholarship for WOmen Studying Information Security, one of 16 awarded nationally. Watch a video profile of Kebra...

Alana Zautner, '15

Alana Zautner

Hails from: Puyallup and San Diego, Calif.
Degree: 2015 BA, Global Studies; Global Honors student
Prior to her life at UW Tacoma, Alana served in the U.S. Air Force and worked as an air traffic controller. A transfer student, she was accepted into the Global Honors program in her second year. The international focus of her studies "has transformed me from a local citizen, to a global citizen," she says. Alana will be pursuing her Master's degree in anthropology at Oxford University in England, next fall. She resides in Puyallup with her husband and two children. Read more about Alana...



Amanda Bruner, Director, Student Transition Programs

Distinguished Staff Award

Amanda Bruner implemented wide-reaching organizational improvements to UW Tacoma’s Math-Science Leadership summer STEM program.  Believing that a lifelong interest in science and technology is not preordained by gender or socioeconomic status, Bruner works to create a positive and safe environment for MSL program participants.

Sergio Carrillo, Maintenance Supervisor 2

Distinguished Staff Award

Sergio Carrillo is the contact for review of student artwork installations on campus. He works creatively with faculty and staff, even visiting classes to offer input on art proposals. He is adept at working with individuals and groups, managing to be simultaneously efficient, flexible and good-humored.

Peter Horak, Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Distinguished Research Award

A faculty member since 2003, Peter Horak’s research centers on discrete math and theoretical computer science. His most recent work deals with ciphers in the age of advanced computers, relating to a NATO-funded project. Horak has published nearly 90 scientific papers and has given invited talks in over 25 countries on six continents.

Michael Kula, Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Distinguished Community Engagement Award

Michael Kula launched the Tacoma Theater Project to create inclusive and relevant theater on campus, linking student aspirations to community energy. His fundamentally collaborative approach to institution-building epitomizes the role of UW Tacoma as an urban-serving university, developing long-term collaborations and a vibrant collective theater model.

Ellen Moore, Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Distinguished Teaching Award

Ellen Moore joined UW Tacoma in 2009 and teaches across the communication major. She introduces concepts of sustainability and community engagement into her coursework: for example, her UWT’s Biggest Loser carbon-footprint reduction project resulted in a UW Green Seed Fund grant to encourage other faculty to embrace her curriculum innovation.

Marcy Stein, Kathy Zapp & Diane Kinder, Education Program

Distinguished Community Engagement Award

The work of Marcy Stein, Diane Kinder and Kathy Zapp on two related projects is designed to have a direct and measureable impact on K-8 students, teachers and schools in the South Sound. The university/school partnerships are making long-term positive improvements in the lives of students in poverty.


News Tribune Advertisement

June 12, 2015 Tacoma News Tribune ad - Congratulations, Class of 2015!

Download a .pdf of the full-page Tacoma News Tribune ad that ran on June 12, 2015, featuring the names of all 1,651 members of the class of 2015.

Streaming Video (Limited Time)

Video stream of UW Tacoma 25th Annual Commencement - 2015

Watch a video stream of UW Tacoma's 25th Annual Commencement, held on June 12, 2015. (This stream will be available for approximately one week after the event date.)