Cal State L.A. Commencement to celebrate 5,000+ stories of student success

Twin teens; labor leader; first-generation college grads; first class of nursing doctorates and more in Cal State L.A.’s Class of 2014!

What:  A three-day festivity filled with pride and celebration, California State University, Los Angeles will confer more than 5,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at this year’s Commencement June 13 - 15. President William A. Covino will also be on hand to congratulate each graduate at his first Cal State L.A. Commencement.

When:  The following are among the thousands of stories of student success amid the Class of 2014 at each graduation ceremony:

Friday, June 13, 2014

8 a.m. - College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

  • 19-year-old twin sisters Alanna and Gennelle Dedek will be receiving their bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and heading to Stanford for graduate school this fall.
  • Cal State L.A.’s EcoCAR 2 team captain Chris Reid will receive his master’s degree in mechanical engineering this spring, but will be away during the ceremony to lead his team in the final EcoCAR 2 competition. He already has a job lined up at General Motors after graduation.

5 p.m. - College of Business and Economics

  • A demonstrated leader, Paul Quiros will be the first in his family to graduate from college. He is director of public relations for the Hispanic Business Society at Cal State L.A.
  • With expertise in the latest Big Data technology, Deeksha Lakshmi began working at Yahoo, Inc. last week and is receiving her bachelor’s degree in information systems.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

8 a.m. - College of Arts and Letters

  • Labor leader Maria Elena Durazo will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Cal State L.A. and the CSU Board of Trustees.
  • Communication studies major and tennis player Leora Hemmerich was named the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Division II West Region Senior Player of the Year.
  • Liberal studies major Nancy Aragon is not only a high-achieving honors student at Cal State L.A., she is also a campus and community leader who advocates for the rights and visibility of women, LGBT people, and immigrant workers.

2 p.m. - College of Health and Human Services: Graduate

  • Cal State L.A.’s social work major Monique Holguin received the Outstanding Graduate Student award from the Cal State L.A. Alumni Association and also garnered a coveted internship with the Office of the Director of the Department of Mental Health.
  • The inaugural class of eight nursing doctorates will be conferred their doctoral degrees, including Myriam Boutary who was selected as the Outstanding Doctor of Nursing Practice Student by the CSU Consortium.

6 p.m. - College of Health and Human Services: Undergraduate

  • With a spirit of resilience and grace, Telma Cea overcame extreme financial hardship and even a year of being homeless to achieve her goal of obtaining a bachelor's degree in child and family studies.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

8 a.m. - College of Natural and Social Sciences

  • Honors College student Aaron Chua, who is a double major in history and political science, was recently selected as an Executive Fellow to work in the State Capital after graduation.
  • 17-year-old biochemistry major Tatiana Vela is the youngest graduating senior in the Class of 2014.
  • At 68, Barbara Young is the most “senior” senior walking the platform to receive her college degree at this year’s Commencement.

5 p.m. - Charter College of Education

  • 10 doctorates candidates—six from the education leadership program and four from joint special education program—to be recognized during a formal hooding ceremony.
  • Committed to working with individuals with disabilities, Krystal Flores will receive a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling with honors.

Where:  Cal State L.A.’s University Athletic Stadium, at the southeast corner of the campus.  For a campus map or directions:

Info:  For more information, go to

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Working for California since 1947:  California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 230,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.