By Jasmine Maharisi, Editor-In-Chief
More than 960 students received degrees Dec. 17 during UNO’s winter commencement ceremony held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capital Ave.
The graduating class represented more than 16 states and 12 countries.
Kayla Childress, from Pierce, Neb., presented the student commencement address.
Childress graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a focus in library media.
She actively participates in a variety of extracurricular activities, including membership to the
Nebraska Educational Media Association and the American Library Association. She served for a year as vice president for the UNO chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
UNO Chancellor John Christensen delivered the commencement address.
“We’re honored to recognize the achievements of today’s graduating class, and on behalf of the faculty and staff whose privilege it has been to serve you, congratulations,” Christensen said.
Looking forward, recent college graduates have reason to be optimistic about job prospects. The Midwest job market is expected to grow 20.2 percent in 2011, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, second only to the western region of the United States
For some graduates, such as Tim Gaskin, completing a degree program is less about moving on to the job world and more about moving up the corporate ladder.
After graduation, Gaskin received a promotion to a senior-level position at Marriot and is using his public relations and advertising skills to work a higher-paying position.
Although it’s nearly been a month since he graduated, Gaskin said it still hasn’t fully hit him yet.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Gaskin said. “I realize that students go back Monday. For me, it’s strange not to worry about taking classes or paying for textbooks. At the same time, I’m going to miss some of that. So it’s bittersweet.”