Degrees mark major milestones for new grads
4:45 p.m., Jan. 6, 2007--Comments from a small sample of those who graduated at UD's Winter Commencement on Jan. 6 underscore the special meanings the degrees hold for each new grad.
Laura McWhorter Cummings, of Hockessin, recently finished work on her bachelor's degree in anthropology 30 years after she left UD to raise a family.“I started working on [my degree] when I was about 20, and I stopped because I had children,” Cummings said. “I worked in corporate America for 30 years, and when I retired I said, 'I'm going to go get that degree.'”
Her determination to get her degree crystallized, Cummings said, when she saw her son, Matt Terranova, graduate from UD with a degree in criminal justice in 2002. “At his graduation I thought, 'You know, I really want that. I'm going to get it,'” Cummings said, noting that her husband, Bill Cummings got a bachelor's degree from UD in 1968.
Three siblings also came to Newark to help Cummings celebrate her graduation. One sister, Diane McWhorter, came from Oregon, and another sister, Karen Wilhelm, BE '70, came from Detroit to Newark for the occasion. Their brother, John McWhorter, AG '86, came all the way from China, where he teaches yoga, for the family reunion.
“It's the first time we've all been together in 10 years,” Cummings said.Laura Henriquez, of Newark, who graduated with a degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management, said she plans to study Spanish intensively for a month before relocating to southern Florida.
“I'm taking four weeks off, and I'm going to Panama. I'll be taking a Spanish class while I'm there,” Henriquez said. “My dad is from Panama, so I have family down there. And then, after that, I hope to get a job in a hotel in the Miami area.”
Bryan Youse, who got a bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences in just 3 1/2 years, said he plans to do graduate work at UD.
“I was offered a research assistanceship here, so I'm continuing in the Ph.D. program in my department,” Youse said. “I'll be working with the head of the department, Dr. [B. David] Saunders, on some research he's doing.”
Lenea J. DeShields, of Dover, who majored in criminal justice, said she plans to return to UD next fall to begin work on a master's degree in business administration.“I currently work at Bank of America in Newark, so I plan on getting my master's in business and hope to have the company help pay for it,” DeShields said. “But first, I'm going to give myself six months off. I need a little relaxation.”
Graduates at Winter Commencement also included the first two students to get bachelor's degrees from UD's new College of Marine and Earth Studies---Jennifer Vine, an Earth sciences education major from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Jennifer Elizabeth Anné, a geology major with a concentration in paleobiology from North Greenbush, N.Y.
“I'm planning on substitute teaching for awhile in Waterford, N.Y., near where I live, and then getting a job, I think in Delaware, probably near where I student taught, which was at Springer Middle School,” Vine said.
Anné said she plans to start grad school in the fall. “I've applied to Johns Hopkins, Drexel University and the University of Alberta to get a Ph.D. in paleontology,” Anné said. “Right now, I'm looking for a job until I start grad school in the fall. One of the jobs I'm considering is being a lab manager for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.”Article by Larry Elveru
Photos by Duane Perry and Kathy F. Atkinson