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Meet the Class of 2016

Congratulations to our Class of 2016. Who are they? What brought them to University of the Pacific? And what follows for them after they walk across the commencement stage and enter the next phase of their lives as members of the Pacific community?

Meet just a few of the 2,000 members of Class of 2016 who will graduate in four commencement ceremonies starting May 14. We are proud to introduce you to them. Read more >>

Know a graduate story you think should be shared? Share your successes with us on Facebook or Twitter with #UOPacific16 or at communications@pacific.edu. Check back as we tell more stories of our successful graduates.

Aroosa Ahmed

 

Aroosa Ahmed

Psychology and sociology
What's next: University of Michigan

Annela Flores

Annela Flores

Music Therapy
What's next: Music Worx internship
Julio Hernandez

 

  Julio Hernandez

Bachelor's and Master's in Engineering
What's next: Purdue University

Ryan Dong

Ryan Dong

Business Administration, with a concentration in entrepreneurship and human resources
What's next: Northgate Commercial Real Estate

Tiffany Riley

Tiffany A. Riley

Pharmacy Practice
What's next: VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Christine Viney

Christine Viney

Bachelor's in English, minor in biology;
a Pacific Legal Scholar
What's next: St. Joseph's Medical Center

Annela FloresAnnela Flores
Music Therapy
Conservatory of Music

Future plans: Flores has been selected for a music therapy internship at Music Worx in San Diego. With only eight positions open each year, the internship is one of the most prestigious of its kind in the country. She is the second Pacific student in the past two years to be selected for the six-month internship and will be working with a range of patients throughout San Diego.

About her Pacific Experience: Beyond her accomplishments as a music therapy major, Flores became the executive producer, composer, arranger and featured solo performer on a new album Roots. "After taking the Beyond Talent class, I was inspired by Professor Hatschek and Professor Henderson to take initiative in my career and creative projects. I'm so grateful for everyone who helped me with this album. Robert Bassett helped me with the sound engineering in the Owen Recording studio, and countless musicians volunteered their time to make my music come to life. The Conservatory has provided me with so many resources, connections, and friendships that I will take with me beyond graduation.

"Dr. Waldon, my academic advisor, has provided such wonderful support and instruction throughout my time at Pacific. He is not just a great teacher, he has been a kind and helpful mentor. In every class that I had with him, I was so excited and motivated to learn. He is passionate about helping his students become skilled music therapists. "

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Christine Viney Christine Viney
Bachelor's in English, minor in biology; a Pacific Legal Scholar
College of the Pacific

Future plans: Starting this summer, Christine will work as a medical scribe at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton. After she completes 1,000 hours of patient care, she plans to apply to Pacific's new Physician Assistant program in Sacramento.

About her Pacific Experience: "The best mentorship I've had came from the English faculty. They really took the time to understand my goals. Professor Xiaojing Zhou taught me so much about diversity and how to be sensitive to other cultures, which is something I will bring into my medical career," she said.  "I'm thankful for supportive faculty that let me jump around between majors until I found something that fit for me. I've always had a huge desire to help people and I knew Pacific would allow me to do that."

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Aroosa Ahmed

Aroosa Ahmed
Psychology and sociology
College of the Pacific

Future plans: Aroosa will be pursuing her master's degree in social work at the University of Michigan, the No.1 ranked program in the country by U.S. News & World Report

About her Pacific Experience: "Pacific is known for its small classroom sizes and as a place where professors know your name. However, over my years as a student, I have come to appreciate that it is so much more than this. I found a diverse and inclusive community at Pacific with rich learning experiences both in and outside of the classroom," she said. "Pacific faculty from the Psychology and Sociology departments have played an instrumental role in not only my success as a student, but also in my professional and civic endeavors. Their mentorship and guidance paved the way to achieve my dreams."

In addition to her academic studies, Aroosa was involved in the SUCCESS TRiO Program, a retention services program for first-generation and low-income students, and took advantage of support and career services the university offers.

"My mentors and counselors from the Career Resource Center, Student Academic Support Services, and the SUCCESS TRiO Program have empowered me to succeed in in my personal, academic, and social development. The services each of these departments and programs provide showed me that anything is possible." 

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Ryan Dong Ryan Dong
Business Administration, with a concentration in entrepreneurship and human resources
Eberhardt School of Business

Future plans: Dong has accepted a full-time position with Northgate Commercial Real Estate in Stockton, which focuses on investment sales, retail leasing and property management.

About his Pacific Experience: While a student in the Eberhardt School of Business, Dong had the opportunity to do an internship with Northgate Commercial Real Estate. He gained real life experience during his internship like learning how to draft letters of intent, create marketing brochures, and review legal documents related to commercial real estate transactions. He frequently had the opportunity to work with the firm's president and vice president. He also spent a few weeks working closely with the property management, which gave him a different view of real estate from a management perspective.

"The opportunity to work closely with the firm's senior leadership really accelerated my understanding of the industry in such a short period of time," Dong said. "I quickly realized that the professional world is not so far away, and this experience helped me grow by contributing to a real business in a professional work setting."

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Tiffany Riley

Tiffany A. Riley
Pharmacy Practice
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Future plans: Riley has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One pharmacy practice residency at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California.

"I'm deeply humbled with the opportunity to serve our nation's veterans," said Riley. "Growing up, both of my grandfathers were veterans, and I remember being in awe of their stories of bravery and sacrifice. I look forward to serving this unique and truly inspiring patient population."

About her Pacific Experience: From the time she began at Pacific as a pre-pharmacy major, all the way through her doctor of pharmacy program in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Riley says her advisor James Uchizono has been an important mentor. He and a number of other professors along the way, were always welcoming and ready to share advice and encouragement.

"I know that as I progress on in my career as a clinical pharmacist I will still be in contact with them," Riley said. "The professors at Pacific are more than just teachers, they are life-long mentors who truly value their students' professional and personal development."

Riley had the opportunity to conduct a research project as a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership (CAPSLEAD) team and attend the annual CAPSLEAD conference. She says working alongside her professors and team members sparked a deeper interest in leadership development. The numerous opportunities for hands-on experience through clinical rotations integral to Pacific's pharmacy program was also a key factor.

"The first-hand experience I gained through clinical rotations working with highly skilled practitioners in various institutions in the Palo Alto region opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could do after graduation."

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Jose Hernandez puts hood on son Julio

Julio Hernandez
Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering and Computer Science

Future Plans: Received a full scholarship to pursue a PhD program in engineering with Purdue University.

"I would like to thank my mentors for supporting my dreams to follow in my father's footsteps to become an astronaut, and for preparing my to pursue a Ph.D. at Purdue University in the fall." 

About his Pacific experience: Julio was a proud member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He founded the Pacific Robotics Team, served as ASUOP Senator for the School of Engineering and Computer Science and received the Outstanding Graduate Award in Mechanical Engineering.  He completed a co-op at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. During the School of Engineering and Computer Science diploma and hooding ceremony on May 14, it was his father, former NASA astronaut and Pacific Regent, Jose Hernandez '85 who hooded Julio and presented him with his diploma. 

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More news of next adventures for Class of 2016 grads:

Kirk Kappelhoff, business administration, will intern at Bloomberg in London this summer.

Ricardo (Ricky) Estrada, applied math, is the first in his family to earn a college degree. He entered Pacific with the University's most prestigious academic award, the Powell Scholarship. As a senior he earned membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Ricky took part in an internship in operations at Target, which led to the full time position in operations management he will soon start. He eventually intends to pursue an MBA.  

Tiffany Vo, business administration, joins local Stockton firm SGLA Accountancy. Ulysses Aguilar, business administration, will continue his business studies in the Pacific MBA program. 

Xiaoshan Bao, biological sciences major with a minor in gender studies. Xiaoshan was named outstanding graduating senior in gender studies and received the award for Outstanding Research Paper on Diversity at the Pacific Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference 2014 for "Carrie Mae Weems: The Afican American Female Nude is 'Not Manet's Type'." This Fall 2016 she will be starting at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry. 

Alejandra Alvarez, business administration, joins Rise Medical Staffing in Sacramento as a healthcare recruiter.

Supreet Mann, master of arts in communications has will begin a PhD program in communication at University of California, Davis. 

Sarah Yung, film studies, is a Humanities Scholar will be studying at the New School in New York City for for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.

Benjamin Mann, master of arts in communication, will begin a PhD program at the University of Utah.

Renée C. Fini, doctor of physical therapy, has accepted a position as a physical therapist at Fritter, Schulz & Zollinger Physical and Occupational Therapy, a private outpatient clinic in Gilroy, California.

Megan McVey, film studies, will begin a graduate program USC in film production.

Mostafa Aniss, master of arts in communication, will begin a PhD program at Wayne State University.

Karen Solto, master of science in speech-language pathology, is a clinical fellow at Shoreline Speech and Language Center, a private speech-language pathology clinic in Hermosa Beach, California. 

Juan Maciel, master of accounting, will begin a full-time position with RINA Accountancy Corp., a regional full service accounting and tax consulting firm.