Texas Tech virtual commencement ceremony spotlights CASNR students
By: Norman Martin
Despite not hosting graduating students and their families on campus for graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources still celebrated its summer 2020 graduates today (Aug.8). The celebration took place in the form of a virtual commencement ceremony.
CASNR students were recognized with a graduate slide that featured their name and academic degree and honors, as well as a photo and personalized message to their family, friends and professors. Families of graduates also submitted video messages to the university to show their love and support of their student. Saturday's full virtual ceremony also included comments by Ginger Kerric, deputy director of the Exploration Integration and Sciences Directorate at NASA.
Separately, Texas Tech officials recognized CASNR's highest-ranking graduate, Hagan Wright, a Natural Resources Management major from Idalou, Texas. Graduation undergraduate recipients from individual departments and majors are:
• Agricultural & Applied Economics, 12
• Agricultural Communications, 5
• Agricultural Education, 2
• Animal Science, 17
• Conservation Law Enforcement,
• Landscape Architecture, 1
• Natural Resources Management, 10
• Plant and Soil Science, 2
"We could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our graduating students, especially as they have overcome the special challenges of these recent months," Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president, noted earlier in the summer. "Thank you for your patience, perseverance, and continued commitment to what it means to be a part of the Texas Tech family."
Kerric, who also serves as a Texas Tech University System regent, served as speaker for the summer commencement ceremony. She served as NASA's first Russian Training Integration instructor in 1997, providing support to the first crew that would live aboard the ISS.
In 2001, Kerrick was selected as the first non-astronaut capsule communicator, the person in Mission Control who speaks to the in-orbit crew. In February 2005, she was selected as a flight director, making her the first female Hispanic flight director in NASA's history. In 2016, Kerrick was one of five women named to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame.
"The road to your future success is not always smooth," Kerrick said. "You must learn to adapt to the minor obstacles life throws your way and, for the big ones, have the courage to divert your course and go down a new path. Some of life's greatest gifts come from paths we didn't plan on taking."
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: A new online, video-orientated Red Raider Orientation is now available for our Fall 2020 incoming students. The microsite features a 'Meet the Deans' introduction, six CASNR department videos, three 'How To' videos, four 'Helpful Links' and a FAQ section.