Graduating Greyhounds 2015

By Brigid Hamilton  |  Photo collage by Stephanie Weaver

More than 1,200 students will officially become the Class of 2015 at Loyola University Maryland’s 163rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 16, at the Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore.

Loyola magazine had the opportunity to speak to some of the undergraduate and graduate candidates about their plans for the future, what they are excited for, what they will miss, and how their experiences at Loyola will shape their next chapters.

Meet some of our graduating Greyhounds…

Mustafa Wahid

Inspired by Singularity University’s mission, “Change 1 billion lives within a decade,” Mustafa Wahid plans to merge biotechnology, design thinking, sociology, and entrepreneurship to do just that—with hopes of participating in an entrepreneurship fellows program at the University of Baltimore. Read Mustafa’s story.

Taryn VanThof

The record-setting senior led the women’s lacrosse team to the Patriot League Championship and the program’s fifth straight NCAA bid. After she earns her degree in business management and marketing from Loyola, Taryn VanThof will play midfield for the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse National Team in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup this summer. Read Taryn’s story.

Lauren Heery

Following graduation, Senior Lauren Heery will explore one of two opportunities—one in service and the other in research. She ultimately plans to apply to medical school for entry in fall 2016. Read Lauren’s story.

Kevin Zelaya

After taking the CPA this summer, Kevin Zelaya will be working as a Core Assurance Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the fall. Read Kevin’s story.

Juliana Restivo

Beginning in the fall, Juliana Restivo will attend Boston University to receive a Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in global health. Read Juliana’s story.

Joseph Cahalan

A two-time captain of the Greyhounds men’s soccer team and Sellinger Scholar, Joseph Cahalan will begin a career in the financial services industry in Baltimore after he graduates from Loyola. Read Joey’s story.

Mary Ellen Koontz

Mary Ellen Koontz is putting her degree in political science to work when she moves to Washington, D.C., in August for a position with Church World Service as the Policy and Advocacy Fellow for the Immigration and Refugee Program. Read Mary’s story.

Gabriel Carter

Gabriel Carter’s plans after graduation include working for a design agency in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia metro area and continuing to build his own graphic design business, which he started last year, before attending graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2016. Read Gabe’s story.

Samantha Thompson

Samantha Thompson can’t get enough of Loyola… which is why she’s sticking around for graduate school. She will pursue her Master of Science in Speech Pathology beginning in the fall. Read Samantha’s story.

Cory Hodson

The Student Body President is moving to New Haven, Conn., where he will attend the Yale Divinity School and pursue a Master of Arts in Religion with a concentration in ethics. Read Cory’s story.

Jerrod Ridgway

“I can’t even begin to speak about how much I have valued this education. I’ve learned so much in so many different areas academically,” Jerrod Ridgway said about leaving Loyola. He begins a career as a financial analyst at Wells Fargo shortly after graduation. Read Jerrod’s story.

Jaquelyn Zoine

Jacquelyn Zoine has been accepted to Emory University, where she will pursue her doctorate in Cancer Biology. Read Jacquelyn’s story.

Jordan Differding

After he receives his master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola, graduate student Jordan Differding will be working at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., focusing on swallowing, speech language, and cognitive disorders. Read Jordan’s story.

Felisa Velasco

Senior Felisa Velasco, who says her “love for art and biology has geared me toward the profession of dentistry,” is moving to Aurora, Colo., to attend the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. Read Felisa’s story.

Patricia Bryan

Two days after graduation, Patricia Bryan will leave for El Salvador to take part in a mission trip before returning to Baltimore to study for her LSATs, which she will take next year. Her summer plans include, among other things, work on several projects for the University in conjunction with WLOY and publishing a book of her poetry. Read Patricia’s story.

Dwayne Thomas II

“If we continue to strive to provide everyone with opportunity, the world will be a better place,” said Senior Dwayne Thomas, who begins a clinical research internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital with Dr. Christopher Wolfgang following graduation from Loyola. Read Dwayne’s story.

Laura Biesiadecki

Laura Biesiadecki will find herself on Rutgers University’s Newark campus for the next two years, pursuing a master’s degree in English. She ultimately plans to obtain a doctorate and teach Modern British and Irish Literature. Read Laura’s story.

Rachel Christian

Rachel Christian has already started her position working with Baltimore-based human services nonprofit organization GEDCO CARES Career Connection, where she puts her degree in writing and her passion for service to work assisting low-income clients struggling to navigate the job market in today’s computerized age. Read Rachel’s story.

Related Stories

8 Important Things I Learned at Loyola
Mom and dad’s letter to their daughter on her graduation
Graduating Greyhounds 2015: In Their Own Words

Bookmark and Share

No Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment