Graduation speaker to focus on pride, future

Kiara Juniel, a senior public relations major, was selected as the student speaker for the winter commencement ceremony.

Juniel

The ceremony is at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Kachel Fieldhouse.

Juniel said though she is somewhat nervous about delivering her speech, she views the opportunity as an honorable experience.

“I was excited but I was very humbled at the same time I was chosen,” Juniel said.

According to Juniel, her speech will focus mainly on having pride in accomplishments graduates have made and embracing the future.  She said she hopes to “jump start people,” and remind graduates how bright the future is.

“I want to remind people they should be proud of everything they’ve accomplished but they should be ready to face their futures,” Juniel said.  “You’ve come this far, you should be ready to embrace the future because it’s very bright.”

Juniel served as both president and vice president of Zeta Phi Zeta Sorority, Inc., co-coordinator for Sister-to-Sister, a UW-Whitewater mentoring program, publicity chair for the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and also as a Warhawk Ambassador.

She said being involved in these organizations, as well as others, helped to shape her memories of UW-Whitewater.

“I learned a lot and I enjoyed it,” Juniel said.  “My schedule was hectic a lot of the time but I really can’t imagine my college career any other way.

“I’ve met some great people and we’ve all worked very hard to do some great things and hopefully it made some difference.”

Juniel, who wants to work in either public relations, marketing or advertising in the entertainment industry, said among what she’ll remember from UW-Whitewater are the lessons, people and life changes.

“The people I’ve met first and foremost, the relationships I’ve formed from that,” Juniel said.  “The lessons I’ve learned, both personally and academically … I like to think about how I was when I first got to school and the difference in me now and how much I’ve changed and grown up.”

Juniel said she plans to work for a little bit after graduating though intends to pursue a master’s degree in the sports and entertainment program at the University of Dallas.

According to Juniel, from all of her experiences at UW-Whitewater, the best advice she can give to the freshman class is to keep on going.

“Persevere and keep going because college gets so hard,” Juniel said.  “You have to just keep going, it’s not going to last always.  You’ll get over that hump.”

According to Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin, doors to the fieldhouse will open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and all guests must be seated by 9:45 a.m., when the doors will be closed.

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