Spring 2012 Commencement: Pomp, Circumstance and the 'End of the World'

University of Houston Graduates are Diverse in Interest, Experiences

The hundreds of students who will don the cap and gown for commencement bring varied experiences, struggles and interests to this important milestone.

For example, Carminia Martinez, who will graduate with a master’s degree in anthropology, will soon leave to pursue research on the Mayan calendar.  Specifically, the Fulbright Fellow will travel to the Yucatan peninsula to study the convergence of two cultures—Mayan and New Age—in relation to Mayan end date Dec. 21, 2012.  She will spend a year conducting ethnographic research among Mayan groups, gathering histories, oral traditions, preparations and expectations.

The subject matter is more than “pop interest” to her.  Her grandmother was Mayan.

“This research is very personal to me, a journey to learn more about my Mayan culture and traditions,” she said.  “My grandmother spoke Mayan fluently.  She inspired me to learn more about my heritage to be able to link it to present-day Mayan culture. I want to make my family proud.”

For information on Spring 2012 Commencement visit http://www.uh.edu/commencement/index.php

Read more about other UH graduates:

Emina Sadic:  The challenge of learning English was daunting, but not nearly as much as escaping the violence of her native Bosnia where her father was killed.  Sadic has channeled those emotions to propel her through high school and college to graduation day. “My memory of the living conditions of the refugee camp will never be obliterated from my mind, nor do I wish for that to occur; I use the memory of my violent past to reinforce my desire to provide aid for people in extreme poverty or in war zones.  I want to better myself in my future so I can take my skills, in addition to my refugee/war experience, to help those in similar situations.”  She’ll graduate with a double major in English and political science. 

Jameisha Brown: Diagnosed at age eight with stage three Burkitt's Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Brown was not expected to live beyond elementary school.  After surviving the struggles of treatment, she finished high school and felt nothing was too great a challenge.  In college, she connected with the Collegiate Cancer Council (of which she is now president) to educate and inform on health disparities, health policies and careers in cancer research. She’ll graduate with a bachelor’s in health promotion. 

Walter Hunt:  An area vice principal, Hunt will earn an Executive Education Doctorate from the college of education.  His research focused on the impact of having an African American male teacher in Title 1 schools, which serve low income students. 

Dylan Paul:  Art imitates life in film and on stage.  Dylan Paul tries to make sure it’s an accurate portrayal.  Paul, who will earn a master’s in theater, collects English dialects.  It’s more than a hobby, the actor also is heavily involved with the “International Dialects of English Archive,” the world’s largest, free online archive of primary source dialect and accent recordings.