The College of Creative Studies (CCS) kicked off Commencement season Sunday, June 11, as students of the “graduate school for undergraduates” took the stage at Campbell Hall to receive their degrees.
“As you remarkable young people commence to the next chapter in your individual stories, it’s my hope that UCSB and CCS in particular have provided you with the tools and experiences to keep wonder alive,” said CCS Interim Dean Kathy Foltz.
Indeed, much of the graduation ceremony was about retaining wonder, as speakers including alumnus Norman Badler, ’70, and students Qicheng Zhang (physics), Jiajie Luo (mathematics) and Corinne Sophie Lee Guichard (literature) reflected on their experiences and on striving to overcome fear, follow their fascinations, persevere to reach their goals and keep asking questions.
“Thank you, CCS, our home, for always giving us more questions than answers,” said Guichard.
In addition to the 92 students finishing their undergraduate years with bachelor degrees in the fields of literature, biology, mathematics, physics, computing, chemistry/biochemistry, music and art, several students also received awards for their excellent performance. Daniel Spokoyny (computer science) received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his work in natural language processing and machine learning. Meanwhile, Dean Foltz presented students Morgan Brubaker (physics), Sammy Guo (computer science), Amy Fukumoto Peterson (biology) and Qicheng Zhang (physics) each with a CCS Faculty Executive Committee Commendation of Excellence Award. Gabriella Najm (biology) was recognized for her enthusiasm and hard work for the college with a CCS Student Service Award.
Guided by faculty mentors who encouraged them to create original works of art and research, most, if not all CCS students will follow academic paths leading them to graduate schools and doctoral programs at prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Yale, Carnegie Mellon and Columbia universities, as well as UCSB.