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Commencement 2020

A Word with Wente: Celebrating our 2020 graduates

May. 1, 2020—Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente kicks off the celebration of Vanderbilt’s 2020 graduates in a new video message. The university will honor the Class of 2020 through stories, video, social media and more over the next week, culminating with a special address from Wente to graduates at 9 a.m. CST on Friday, May 8.

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‘It’s a lateral game, not a ladder game’: Brittany Hunter, MBA’20

Apr. 30, 2020—Brittany Hunter didn’t follow a traditional path to Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. But one thing she can list on her résumé is: “excels at taking a new perspective.”

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A Passion for Increasing College Access for the Underserved: Andrew Brodsky, BS’18, MED’20

Apr. 30, 2020—In high school Andrew Brodsky wanted to become a middle school or high school science teacher. He chose Vanderbilt because of Peabody College’s top rankings, and enrolled as a secondary education and chemistry double major. But sometimes plans change.

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Helping Native Americans battle COVID-19: Tamee Livermont, MPH’20

Apr. 30, 2020—Tamee Livermont was eager to begin working as a public health liaison with the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board even before completing her studies at Vanderbilt. But just a week after starting her new position, instead of shaping policy, she was directly involved with the fight against COVID-19.

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Seeking Challenge and Service in the Law: Hannah Miller, JD’20

Apr. 30, 2020—Hannah Miller welcomes a challenge—whether it’s leading route reconnaissance and convoy security missions, participating in multinational military training exercises, or preparing to serve in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps.

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Conversations to Empower and Build Community: Tommy Oswalt, BA’20

Apr. 30, 2020—Psychology and communications studies double-major Tommy Oswalt came to Vanderbilt as a first-generation college student with a dream of finding a creative and supportive community like the large Cuban family he left in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

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A Philosophy of Care for Women: Vernicia Winford, MSN’20

Apr. 30, 2020—The first baby Vernicia Winford helped deliver into the world as a certified nurse-midwife was her own niece, born just a few days after the nursing graduate student passed her American Midwifery Certification Board exam last December.

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Improving Care for Individuals with Physical Disabilities: Jonathan Dallas, MD’20

Apr. 30, 2020—Jonathan Dallas is many things: a graduating medical student, a promising neurosurgeon, a researcher, an advocate. He’s also an amputee.

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Fostering Human Connections: Vineet Desai, BS’20

Apr. 30, 2020—During his first year at Vanderbilt, Vineet Desai was majoring in biomedical engineering. However, an Alternative Spring Break trip to Nicaragua, where he volunteered at a rural elementary school, changed the course of his college experience.

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Praise for Camaraderie and a Welcoming Vanderbilt Vibe: Nnamdi Okabuonye, BS’20

Apr. 30, 2020—One weekend program convinced Nnamdi Okabuonye that Vanderbilt was where he wanted to be. A second initiative validated his choice early during his first year as an engineering student.

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Qualities Applicable to Music and Medicine: Rachel Miles, BMUS’20

Apr. 30, 2020—When applying to colleges, Rachel Miles wanted to keep her options open. Vanderbilt proved to be the perfect fit for the Brunswick, Ohio, native, who majored in oboe performance through the Blair School and minored in chemistry and biological sciences through the College of Arts and Science.

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Exploring the Intersection of Art and Medicine: Eve Moll, BA’20

Apr. 30, 2020—In seventh grade Eve Moll was an active dancer, but then a diagnosis of adolescent scoliosis in her spine threw her for a curve—literally.

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