Utah State University Moab is proud to have celebrated its class of 2022 on Thursday, April 28. The class of 2022 had 31 individuals who completed the requirements for a degree and/or certificate. This year’s class earned one graduate and nine undergraduate certificates, 18 associate, six bachelor’s and one master’s degree.
“There are many factors that contribute to the quality of USU Moab,” said Lianna Etchberger, associate vice president of USU Moab. “Most important is the quality of our students who exemplify perseverance, commitment and the ability to engage in self-directed learning.”
USU Moab celebrated the graduates with a ceremony in the Aarchway Inn in Moab. Etchberger welcomed the graduates then Professor Steve Hawks introduced the student speaker, Andrea Carvajal.
Carvajal, a non-traditional student who had to balance a job and raising two boys while completing schoolwork, received her Bachelor of Science in Registered Nursing. During the speech, Carvajal reflected on her journey through college, and the growth that happened in herself and her classmates.
“I am not the same person as I was when I started, and all of you will probably notice the same about yourselves,” Carvajal said. “I’ve learned to face each challenge head on because I was motivated and determined to get my degree. I encourage each of you to enjoy the journey. Embrace the good times and lean in and push through hard times because it’s worth it.”
Etchberger then introduced the keynote speaker, Jill Tatton, principal of Helen M. Knight Elementary School. Tatton graduated from USU Moab in 2009 with a degree in elementary education, then went on to earn a master’s degree in education and administration. Tatton shared her story of entering college at age 38 with three children, one who had just entered college and the challenges of balancing course work with family. She also spoke on her upbringing and how she became a first-generation college graduate. She then shared with the graduates how she defines success.
“For me, success is being happy in what I do each day,” Tatton said. “Seeing students each day and having them say hello or ask me about my day; that is success. Covering a duty or cleaning in the cafeteria so that someone else who doesn’t have the time or has too much on their plate; that is a success. Easing another person’s load because teaching over the past couple of years has been challenging; that is a success. Success for myself is helping others succeed. The small successes daily make for larger successes over time.”
Tatton went on to speak on how success is something one should strive for each day. Some days, people come up short of that success, or they forget what success really means. But she encouraged the graduates to chase success every day, and to learn what success means to them.
“There is no end to what you can accomplish,” Tatton said. “What you do from this point on is up to you. Your success can only be measured by you. Each of you has been successful because you have pushed through the challenges and obstacles of school, and you made it. If you can get through hard things in the past, you know that you can do complex things again in the future.”
Following Tatton’s address, USU Provost and Executive Vice President Francis Galey conferred the degrees to the graduates. Following Galey, the celebration concluded with a welcome address from Steven L. Palmer, president of the USU Alumni Association.
Located in the outdoor recreation paradise of Moab and boasting one of the greenest buildings on any USU campus, Utah State University Moab offers students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university. With programs such as Nursing, Elementary Education, Recreation Resource Management and Social Work, technical education in Health Professions, Automotive and Business, and degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, USU Moab offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at moab.usu.edu.
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