Summer graduation serves as stepping stone for new alumni

Aug 20, 2009 | General News

Louisiana Tech’s summer graduation was a bittersweet day for graduate AJ King.

King, who graduated with three majors – English, journalism and Spanish, said it’s difficult for her to imagine the transition from student to employee.

“It’s hard for me to think about graduation,” King, of Shreveport, said. “Moving on is a big adjustment. It’s a huge adjustment.”

King graduated from high school in May 2005 and spent four years as an undergraduate at Tech and decided to major in three subjects convinced she could do it.

“I had the time and inclination, and I had a scholarship,” King said. “I decided to use that time and scholarship (to get three majors) instead of graduating early. I took a few summer school sessions, extended hours and study abroad classes.”

She just finished up a study abroad session in Costa Rica this summer and went to London in 2007, which greatly influenced her decision to also major in English.

“London was amazing,” King said. “I can’t even begin to describe how much it influenced me. It exposed me to so many things and was probably the best money my parents spent on me.”

King is one of 274 graduates who received diplomas Aug. 20 from Louisiana Tech’s summer commencement, where Dr. William Green, professor and resident veterinarian, served as keynote speaker.

Green gave the graduates advice to take with them on their journey of life, including always seeking wisdom, loving their job, being humble, and making a difference.

“Love your job,” Green said. “There are some people who hate their job. They love the paycheck but hate the job. If you hate your job, you’re going to take it home with you to your family. I don’t love every part of my job, but the good things override the bad. I had a passion for my job.”

Green also encouraged the graduates to join a civic organization or a church to make a difference in someone else’s life.

“You’re exiting from one part of your life and entering another,” he said. “There are going to be hard roads, easy roads, and bumpy roads. There’s so much hate in this world. We need to love kindness. Do acts of kindness. Ask yourself each day, ‘Have I done an act of kindness?'”

Dustin Whitlock, of Ruston, received his master’s degree today in counseling and guidance, and said he is thankful to have a job.

“I’m working at the Center for Children and Families in Monroe as a family therapist,” Whitlock said. “I’m just glad to achieve a full-time position where I’m using the skills I learned.”

Whitlock received his bachelor’s from Tech in psychology but wanted to continue on with his master’s at Tech because of the program and the faculty.

“The program is known around the state as a good program,” he said. “I already knew the teachers, and I knew they provided a good atmosphere for my learning experience as an undergrad.”

Green added to the graduates that not only should they seek out a mentor, but they should always seek education.

“Never stop seeking wisdom,” he said. “Pick a good mentor. Pick his or her brain. Never stop learning.”

Written by Judith Roberts