Record number of UCCS students to graduate Friday

Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, thutton@uccs.edu Joanna Bean, (719) 255-3732, jbean2@uccs.edu

COLORADO SPRINGS — A record number of University of Colorado Colorado Springs students will graduate in two spring 2017 commencement ceremonies May 12 at Broadmoor World Arena.

Nicole Chung, left, and Mykinthia Ebron will deliver UCCS commencement speeches.

The number of students expected to receive degrees this month is 1,532, with nearly 1,000 expected to participate in commencement ceremonies. Last May, 1,426 students graduated.

Doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate degree students from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will graduate at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony. Mykinthia Ebron, recipient of a 2017 UCCS Student Achievement Award, will give the morning commencement address. Ebron, a first-generation student, plans to attend law school.

Students of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Business, School of Public Affairs, College of Education and College of Engineering and Applied Science will graduate at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony. Nicole Chung, also a 2017 UCCS Student Achievement Award recipient, will speak at the afternoon ceremony. Chung, who enrolled in college as a single mother, plans to become a nurse, inspired after her mother was treated for breast cancer.

Attendees at the commencement ceremonies are expected to include University of Colorado Board of Regents members Kyle Hybl, Irene Griego, Glen Gallegos and Stephen Ludwig, as are UCCS leaders including newly selected Chancellor Venkat Reddy. Bruce Benson, University of Colorado president, is expected to attend the afternoon ceremony.

Live streaming on the day of commencement will be available at www.uccs.edu/commencement/

Profiles of selected students follow

Jakob Komrofske and his mother, Katy Hartshorn

Communication senior to graduate after four tries at college

It took Katy Hartshorn more than 20 years and four attempts to earn her bachelor’s degree, but she never doubted she would one day be a college graduate.

“I always wanted to finish,” she said. “I don’t start things and not finish, no matter how long they take.”

Hartshorn, 39, will graduate May 12 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. Watching her walk across the stage at Broadmoor World Arena will be her son, Jakob, 19, a sophomore at UCCS, along with her husband and stepchildren. Her stepdaughter, Lauren, 20, is a sophomore at the Boulder campus. (More)

Carol Collins

Grandmother to earn master’s degree; plans to continue education

Carol Collins has worn many hats during her 65 years. They include entrepreneur, environmentalist, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, cancer survivor and policy adviser to state government.

But it’s the funny looking four-cornered hat worn by graduates that the spirited senior citizen thinks is the most important. Collins will join about 1,000 other mortar-board-wearing graduates of UCCS at 2:30 p.m. May 12 at Broadmoor World Arena. Collins will earn a master’s degree in public administration, a goal she kept in sight even as she faced some of life’s most difficult challenges, including divorce, financial hardship, cancer and a heart attack.

“The mind is fine; the rest of me hurts,” Collins said. (More)

Nicole Chung, left, and Mykinthia Ebron will deliver UCCS commencement speeches.

First-generation student to chase law school dream

For Mykinthia Ebron, challenges only fuel her successes.

Some of her biggest challenges came early in life. Ebron’s mother died when she was 9. Ebron spent time in foster care and was raised by her aunt and uncle.

“My mother told me to never stop chasing my dreams, and I haven’t stopped since,” Ebron said.

Indeed. That dream-chasing will bear fruit on Friday, when Ebron becomes the first in her family to earn a degree. The pre-law senior will walk across the stage at the Broadmoor World Arena during UCCS commencement ceremonies, then move on to law school. She’s still deciding where to enroll in the fall. (More)

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest-growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 45 bachelor’s, 22 master’s and five doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls about 12,000 students on campus annually and another 3,300 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.