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The second cohort in the master's program in global inclusion and social development graduated Thursday at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.
May 27, 2017

Meet the graduate students in UMass Boston’s Class of 2017


  • Boston

UMass Boston Today caught up with some graduating master's and doctoral students ahead of Thursday's graduate commencement at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

To say May 25, 2017 was a banner day for Dang Truong (above) would be an understatement. Not only did he earn a master's degree in molecular biology, but the Vietnam native got married in the morning. Hence, the double meaning of the message on his mortarboard, "Bye Bachelor's Life!"

This was the first year students graduated with a master's degree in transnational, cultural, and community studies from UMass Boston. The members of the first cohort of this interdisciplinary program within the College of Liberal Arts are Candida Baptista, Iria Ruibal, Kim Ty, and Nicole Young.

Sgt. Jorge Ortiz, who has worked for UMass Boston's Department of Public Safety for 13 years, earned a master's degree in human services. He said today represented a promise to his mother. She had wanted him to graduate before she passed away last year. The Mickey Mouse ears on his mortarboard represent his love for Disney World. And yes, a visit is planned to celebrate this milestone.

Swamini Shah, Danny Garcia, and Akilah Daniels graduated with MBAs on Thursday. Daniels had been an engineer at Johnson & Johnson, but because of her degree, she's now an associate product director. She started her new marketing gig two days ago. Garcia will continue to work in UMass Boston's procurement office after graduation. Shah also won't be going far; she's continuing the job she started last April, working for startup intelADAPT, based in UMass Boston's Venture Development Center.

Jacey Taft and Justin Rodriguez, who earned international relations master's degrees from the McCormack Graduate School, have been here before. Their undergraduate degrees are also from UMass Boston. Rodriguez has a degree in political science, and Taft has psychology and biology undergraduate degrees. 

As Taft indicates on her mortarboard below, she still has one more degree to go.