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CPS and GSPM graduates given three post-graduation assignments

Ali Eskandarian, the dean of CPS, addresses graduates at a commencement ceremony. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photograher
Ali Eskandarian, the dean of CPS, addresses graduates at a commencement ceremony. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photograher

This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Liz Provencher.

A group of graduates, who ranged from bachelor’s to master’s degree recipients, gathered Saturday to celebrate their accomplishments in the College of Professional Studies and the Graduate School of Political Management.

Speakers had words of wisdom and personal stories to share with the graduates. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Three assignments

Mark Kennedy, the outgoing director of GSPM and keynote speaker, gave graduates three assignments to complete following graduation.

In his first assignment, Kennedy told the graduates to keep moving forward and to not settle for going back to where they came from.

“In a quiet moment, write down the doors you want your diploma to open,” Kennedy said.

The second piece of advice Kennedy gave was to keep moving toward their goals. He said that when navigating the professional world, it is important to keep goals in mind and continually work toward them.

“Continue learning by keeping current with best practices in your profession,” he said.

Finally, Kennedy reminded the graduates of the support they have gotten from friends, family and others who have helped them along their journeys. Kennedy urged students to “keep them close and hold them dear.”

2. Focus on the ‘how,’ not the ‘why’

Student speaker Elise Schaengold, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in integrated information, science and technology, told fellow graduates the story of her long road to receiving her bachelor’s degree.

After originally not completing her degree, Schaengold said she was constantly dwelling on why she never finished school.

“The answers to why got me no where,” she said. “In fact, those self defeating ideas held me back.”

Schaengold said when she finally started focusing on the “how,” like how to achieve her goals and complete her degree, she was able to get her diploma at GW. She told the graduates to think about how to achieve their goals, not why they have faced hardships when facing challenges in their careers.

3. Influence politics and inspire civility

In the final speech of the evening, CPS Dean Ali Eskandarian gave a speech themed around this year’s presidential election and inspired graduates to use their knowledge to impact politics. He said whether or not the graduates are graduating with a degree in politics, they can use the skills they’ve gained in higher education to help change politics and inspire civility.

Eskandarian said graduates from GSPM have all of the tools necessary to become effective leaders and advocates for civility in politics, and graduates from CPS can utilize their independent thinking skills to positively influence politics.

“I urge you to do your best to uphold those commendable GW values no matter where you are,” Eskandarian said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at:

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