Local residents receive various degrees during University of Texas at Tyler Spring Commencement ceremonies

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The University of Texas at Tyler held its 2017 Spring Commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, with numerous local residents receiving various degrees.

A total of 1,134 degree candidates were recognized at the Commencement ceremonies, held inside the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Commencement speakers for the UT Tyler Spring Commencement ceremonies included Dawn Franks, The University of Texas at Tyler alumna and president of Your Philanthropy (Colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences and Arts and Sciences); and Bradley W. Brookshire, chairman of the board and CEO of Brookshire Grocery Co. (Colleges of Business and Technology, Education and Psychology and Engineering).

Franks serves as both president and Chief Executive Officer of Your Philanthropy, a coaching and consulting firm for the donor and non-profit community. She has 33 years of experience working with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations nationwide. Franks also oversees grant-making activities for five family foundations. Among accolades, she was named one of The University of Texas at Tyler's Distinguished Alumni in 2014. She has also been honored by Leadership Tyler as a 2009 Distinguished Alumni and by the Tyler Small Business Development Center as this year's "Emerging Woman Entrepreneur of the Year."

Brookshire is part of the third generation of the Brookshire family to lead the Brookshire Grocery Co. He has served in various leadership roles within BGC, including store director, director of distribution and executive vice president of corporate development. In addition, he has been actively involved as a board member for numerous professional and philanthropic organizations. Brookshire was instrumental in the development of Brookshire Hall, the home of the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, and Brookshire Grocery Co. was named the 2014 "Patriot of the Year" for their support of the university.

UT Tyler President Michael Tidwell also gave remarks and confer degrees at the Commencement ceremonies. Likewise, UT Tyler associate professor of nursing Dr. Melinda Hermanns, as well as Terrence Ates, Northeast Texas Public Health District community outreach director, gave alumni association presentations.

Local graduates receiving degrees from the UT Tyler College of Arts and Sciences included Charles Frank Parkes III, of Bullard, Master of Public Administration; Savannah Lorraine Balir and Haleigh Savanna Cecil, both of Bullard, Bachelor of Arts in English; Brandon Tucker, of Flint, Bachelor of Arts in history; Oscar Huerta Carbajal, of Flint, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish; Richard Dale Lewis, of Flint, Bachelor of Fine Arts; Weston A. Manuel, of Bullard, Bachelor of Science in chemistry; Rachel LeeAnn Faulkner, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in chemistry; Victoria Bryce Vorsas, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in mass communications; Samuel Book Rigdon Cook, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in social sciences; and Oscar Huerta Carbajal, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.

UT Tyler College of Business and Technology degrees were bestowed on several local residents, including Lauren Lynn Tyler, of Flint, human resource development; Ethan Patrick Haisten, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences; Carmen Diana Mora, of Bullard, Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting; Jess Daniel Wood, of Bullard, Bachelor of Business Administration in finance; Austin Neil Dark and Sydney Kathryn Kueck, both of Flint, Bachelor of Business Administration in management; Robert Michael Deven, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in computer information systems; and Alyssa Nicole Finley, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in human resource development.

Local graduates receiving degrees from the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology included Sarah Grace Barker, of Flint, Bachelor of Arts and Applied Sciences; Angelina Perez, of Bullard, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Caitlyn Danielle Carnes and Courtnie Leigh Willborn, both of Bullard, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies; and Caitlyn Thornton Bass and Laura Myrick, both of Flint, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.

The UT Tyler College of Engineering presented degrees at the Commencement ceremonies to local graduates, including Scott R. Lowrie, of Bullard, Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering; Jeffery Allen Alsobrook and David Adam Longar, Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering; and Joe S. Cotten, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.

Degrees from the UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences were presented to a number of local residents, including Colby Craddock, of Flint, Master of Science in kinesiology; Rachel J. Strode, of Flint, Master of Science in nursing; Taylor Michelle Allbritton, of Bullard, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology; Emily Shea Allen, of Flint, Bachelor of Science in health studies; Savannah Elaine Coats, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology; Regina Suzanne Brown, of Bullard, Bachelor of Science in nursing; and Jessica Ana Hill, Quitedria Monte Johnson, Jayla Kyann Johnston, and Vininder Kaur Mann, all of Flint, Bachelor of Science in nursing.

One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at The University of Texas at Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students.

The University of Texas at Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston. For more information, visit www.uttyler.edu.

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