Ceremony Celebrates Summer and Fall 2023 Graduates
Bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree candidates participated in the University of Houston Commencement for College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) on the morning of December 16. The ceremony was held at Fertitta Center.
More than 660 NSM students completed degree requirements in summer and fall 2023. In all, 82 doctoral candidates earned degrees in atmospheric sciences, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, geophysics, mathematics, or physics. Sixty-five students were candidates for master’s degrees, and 517 students were candidates for bachelor’s degrees.
David Ibarra (’10), a computer science alumnus, delivered a message from the NSM Alumni Association. Ibarra is the secretary of the organization. He welcomed the graduates as UH alumni and encouraged them to become active alumni.
Outstanding Computer Science Students
Two graduates, Michael Moorman and Kevin Liu, graduated summa cum laude and with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Both earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science.
For their outstanding work at UH, they participated in the commencement professional as banner bearers. Moorman carried the College banner and Liu carried the Computer Science banner.
Commencement Student Speaker – Fatima Mirza
Fatima Mirza, receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science, spoke at the ceremony on behalf of all the students. She was selected through a speech-writing competition open to NSM’s summa cum laude graduates.
In her speech, she reminded the graduates, that like puzzle pieces, they all have a place where they fit. “There will be moments when we question our place in this world, but don’t ask whether you belong – ask where.” She encouraged her generation to connect with each other and take advantage of the strength found in unity.
While at UH, Mirza served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for computer science for three semesters, grading assignments and teaching labs associated with courses. She completed a 2023 summer internship at the consulting firm, Credera.
She credits the Fall 2022 Computer Science Career Fair with focusing her career plans.
“That was my first exposure to see how our degrees connect to post-graduate plans,” Mirza said. “It was helpful to connect with the recruiters, some who were UH alums. They had great advice about classes they took or clubs they participated in that helped them get a good internship or job.”
Mirza was an officer in the Cougarettes computer science student coding organization and a member of UH’s rugby club.
In summer 2024, she will begin a full-time position as a technology consultant with Credera. She plans to travel and participate in a learning abroad experience before starting her career.
- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics