A&M-San Antonio graduating seniors prepare for their next journey

By University Communications

Monday, 12 06 2021

First on-campus commencement ceremonies take place December 18 and 19; 
Mother and son, aspiring PR professional, and finance major starting with JP
Morgan 
among those set to graduate

SAN ANTONIO – For the first time in its 12-year history, Texas A&M University-San Antonio will host three separate commencement ceremonies on campus in response to an increased number of graduates. Students like Georgina Peña and her son Isaac Peña, Michele Stockton, and Brelle Goree are among the many excited to continue their journeys beyond the classroom into the professions that they have been working toward for so long.

More than 650 Texas A&M University-San Antonio students are expected to graduate at the conclusion of the fall 2021 semester, and over 430 students are registered to walk the stage during commencement on December 18 (College of Education and Human Development and College of Business) and December 19 (College of Arts and Sciences).

Changing paths

Brelle Goree, like many college students, switched career paths after realizing that her passion was different than what she had initially thought. Brelle was always interested in the work of veterinarians, but after she realized that biology was not for her, Brelle decided to pursue working on the business side of a vet clinic. Then, after becoming a general business major she realized that she was more interested specifically in finance. She changed her major midway through her sophomore year and has been happy ever since. “The reason for this career change was that general business seemed too broad and I wanted to narrow it down. Ever since I was young, I’ve had a special talent for math and even studied the stock market.”

Changing her major to finance also opened a lot of opportunities for her. To gain experience as a financial analyst, she sought resources available through the University’s Mays Center and spoke with A&M-San Antonio alumni about internships that could help her get started. Brelle found a great summer internship with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a financial analyst in the company’s Global Finance and Business Management program. After the internship was over, Brelle was offered a full-time position at their Plano, Texas, location where she plans to start working after graduation.

While her education journey had its challenges along the way, it has turned out to be a very rewarding experience, says Brelle. Her advice to other students who are still deciding what they would like to do: “Get your degree and look toward the future you want to have. Most things are rewarding when you work hard for them.”

Something that kept Brelle inspired throughout her academic career is a quote from Michelle Obama: “The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualification and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at the table—all of that starts with education.”

Accomplishing a dream

Michele Stockton, a transfer student from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in Kinesiology. Michele’s dream has been to graduate with the skills needed to handle her husband’s professional football public relations with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes. Michele began her journey in 2018 with A&M-San Antonio and wrote for The Mesquite and reported for the University’s Enlace news team.

“What I enjoyed most about being at A&M-SA was the small class ratio and the representation I saw in my professors. I thoroughly appreciated how each professor worked with any situation that arose in my personal life,” says Michele.

“To every young mother like me, I say strive, envision yourself crossing not only the stage but into the career you are called to,” says Michele. “Even when I held my weeping head in my hands, crying out, wondering if the sacrifices made along the way were worth the effort, I could look into the three mouths we have to feed, look up to the Heavens, and know that every single paper written, and every assignment I had to edit since 2014 was worth this moment.”

Mother and son graduate together

Transfer students Georgina Peña and her son Isaac Peña will watch each other walk the stage to receive their bachelor’s degrees this fall. “We did not plan for both of us to attend TAMUSA and graduate together. Luckily, it happened that way,” explains Isaac, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Georgina—who will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology—fell in love with the University from the get-go. “The campus is beautiful, and it just felt like I belonged. I quickly developed a strong bond with my Kinesiology classmates. We laughed together, studied together, were stressed out together, but most importantly we pushed each other. I know I’ve made friends and colleagues for life!” Many students like Georgina and Isaac say they have enjoyed their time getting to know their professors because they always encourage students to thrive. 

To those taking this journey with a family member or a friend, Georgina and Isaac say this: “Treasure it, push each other, be there when times are good, and take a break when times are tough. You are each other’s motivation!”

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About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in south San Antonio, the University offers 33 undergraduate degrees and 16 graduate degrees to nearly 7,000 students. A&M-San Antonio is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. The University holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation and is one of only 24 higher education institutions in the U.S. to have received the Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education for its support of Latino student success. More than 75 percent of A&M-SA students identify as Hispanic, and 73 percent are the first in their family to attend college. A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution; in 2020, Military Times ranked the University No. 35 in the nation for Best for Vets: Colleges.” Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission 

For the media

In-person commencement ceremony times held by each College:

College:

Date:

Start time:

College of Education and Human Development

Saturday, December 18

10 a.m.

College of Business

Saturday, December 18

2 p.m.

College of Arts and Sciences

Sunday, December 19

2 p.m.

 

All commencement ceremonies for students will be held in the Main Auditorium at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Guests will be directed to various locations throughout campus to watch the livestream ceremony. Each graduate is allowed a guest maximum of 10 people. Anyone over the age of five will be included in the 10-count maximum. All members of a group are required to check in together. Social distancing will be practiced at all times.

Media may park in Lots 1 or 2.

To request special accommodations for commencement ceremonies, contact the Disability Support Services Office at (210) 784-1335 or DSS@tamusa.edu no later than December 10, 2021, to arrange services.