180 Graduate Students Earn Master’s Degrees at Stetson
Lucianna Chixaro Ramos arrived at Stetson University as a confused undergraduate and found the only English 101 class that she could fit into her schedule was a night class in Lyric Poetry.
“That’s where I met Dr. Terri Witek,” said Ramos, who received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stetson in 2014. “As a commuting student, the last thing I wanted to do was to take a three-hour class about lyric poetry until nine o’clock at night. But I didn’t know then that meeting her, and being a part of the supportive English Department at Stetson, would forever change my life.
“It was there in that classroom and at the writing workshops I took thereafter, that a mentor took the time to see the value in my work, and that I began to see that value in myself,” she said.
Ramos recalled the story as a Student Speaker on Thursday evening, May 10, as Stetson University conferred master’s degrees on her and 179 other graduate students.
The graduates, along with family members, friends, faculty and staff, filled the Edmunds Center for Graduate Commencement as degrees were awarded in six fields – Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Executive Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy.
Ramos, who was born in Brazil and raised in Orlando, received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, poetry in the expanded field, and plans to advocate for women and children through the literary community in Central Florida.
She was one of two graduates selected as Student Speakers for the ceremony, along with Rachael Faircloth, who earned an Executive Master of Business Administration. While in the program, Faircloth was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society with a 4.0 GPA.
“We all have struggled with the bullies in our lives, whether it was kids in school or our own inner voice of self-doubt,” Faircloth told the crowd. “…[R]emember that you own the power to define yourself, you own the power to persevere in the face of adversity and you own the power to truly dream big with the confidence that, with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”
On Saturday, May 12, Stetson will honor 648 students at Undergraduate Commencement from 8 am. to 10 a.m. in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, 260 E. Euclid Ave. in DeLand.
Doors open for guests at 6:45 a.m. Receptions for students, family and friends will be held on the DeLand campus immediately following the ceremony. Visit the Commencement website for times and locations.