Graduates plan for their futures and reflect on their time at UAA

Graduation is right around the corner at UAA. The commencement ceremony will include the chancellor’s address, the student speaker, the ceremonial presentation of degrees and students receiving their diplomas on stage.

Throughout their time at UAA, nearly every student faced challenges at some point on their academic journey. Some changed majors, others faced financial strains. 

Senior Gina Hays, journalism and public communications major, plans to complete her graduate studies out of state, then return to Alaska to find a career. Photo by Christina Swayney.

Gina Hays is graduating with a degree in journalism and public communications, and said her UAA experience surprised her in many ways.

“I have met some of the greatest people and some of the greatest professors at the university. I have learned so much about Alaska and it has given so much respect for where I live, and it has inspired me to stay in my state,” Hays said. 

Hays hopes to return to Alaska after continuing her studies out of state.

“I really want to go into political communications in graduate school. It’s something I really look forward to doing,” Hays said.

Senior Veronica Hoxie, a journalism and public communications major, is looking forward to exploring communications roles and careers with local companies after graduation. Photo courtesy of Veronica Hoxie.

Veronica Hoxie, also a journalism major, is excited to graduate as well. She said her overall college experience was great, but wishes that there were more options in class schedules for students who are also working and/or parents.

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“[Class schedule times are] not extremely accommodating for working parents. It would be great if there were more class options for working parents, especially since it is one of the only university options in the state. That would be great so that they can work, be a parent and pursue an education at the same time,” Hoxie said. 

Hoxie plans to move into a communications role with a local company after graduating.

Senior Tammalivis Salanoa, a digital arts major, plans to continue her work as a volunteer in the Anchorage community after graduation through completing an internship at the Anchorage Museum. Photo courtesy of Tammalivis Salanoa.

Tammalivis Salanoa, a digital art major, is the public relations director for the Union of Students at UAA, or USUAA. Salanoa is very active in the UAA and Anchorage communities and is looking forward to staying present in the state.

“My plans for after college are to stay active in the local community through volunteerism. I also am currently working at the Anchorage Museum as an intern in their education department. I plan to build up my art portfolio and refine my style as an artist,” Salanoa said.

The 2019 fall commencement will take place on Dec. 15 from 1-3 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center. Tickets are not required for the ceremony, although each graduating student is allotted five tickets.

For more information about tickets or the ceremony, visit the UAA Commencement webpage.