UGA Griffin celebrates the Class of 2022

Written by
Ashley Biles
Posted on
Monday, June 6, 2022

The University of Georgia Griffin campus held its Spring Graduation Celebration and Brick Ceremony for 29 members of the Class of 2022 on May 12, representing all five colleges that offer degrees at UGA Griffin.  

Each student graduating from UGA Griffin is honored with a lasting mark on campus, a brick featuring their name and class year is installed in the walkways around the Student Learning Center. In previous years, graduates’ bricks were placed at the Naomi Chapman Woodroof Pavilion.

David Buntin, Interim Assistant Provost and Campus Director for UGA Griffin, told the graduates that the bricks will mark their time at UGA for generations to come, expressing hope that the bricks of future graduates will cover the walkways of the campus in the future.

Terry College of Business graduate Lindsey Decker was selected by faculty as the student speaker for the graduation event , speaking to her classmates about what her time on the Griffin campus has meant means to her.

“Dr. (Marianne) Fortuna taught me that although good things don’t come easy, with hard work, integrity, and passion, they will show up at your door,” said Decker. “For my psychology students, Dr. Buff (Perry Buffington) would say that success is calling. And that the question is, will you answer? This drive and dedication, a never-ending strive for success and honor, without fear, is what it means to a Dawg.”

Nick Place, dean and director of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, gave the keynote address, congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments and contributions during their time at the university.

“You should be proud of the work that you’ve done during your college career,” said Place, “and you should be confident in what is coming after today — opportunities to use the knowledge you’ve gained and the skills you’ve learned to make a meaningful and significant impact in the world.”

Place emphasized the importance of taking risks and doing things that scare you, because they often open your eyes to a new direction that you might not have considered before, challenging graduates to see their graduation as an opportunity to be not only a dreamer, but also a doer.

“You, as graduates of UGA, are uniquely equipped to answer the difficult questions the world is asking today,” said Place. “…You are clearly dreamers with big goals, but you are also doers with the kind of drive it takes to achieve those goals. But here is the great part about being both a dreamer and a doer who also happens to have answers to the complicated questions the world is asking — you have the opportunity to shape what that looks like for you and in your life.”

In closing, Place assured graduates that they ready for this next chapter in life.

“My hope is that each of you actively seek opportunities to make the world a better place, no matter what that looks like in your own life and career,” said Place. “All of us at the University of Georgia are honored to have been part of your college career and to have had a role in shaping you as future leaders.”

Following the ceremony, students and their families attended a reception in their honor.

Chrystal McDowell, assistant director of student affairs for UGA Griffin, wished the graduates well and congratulated them on their accomplishments.

“You made it. Job very well done,” said McDowell. “Congratulations from all of us and as always, go Dawgs!”

Following is a list of 2022 UGA Griffin graduates and their degrees:

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Darian Adams, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Samuel Cody Adams, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Desirae Dixon, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Sukhir Kaur, Master of Science

Emma Moore, Master of Science

Rawane Radd, Master of Science

Taija Stoner-Harris, Master of Science

Somerville Rowe, Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management

Bikash Ghimire, Doctor of Philosophy

Yaye Wang, Doctor of Philosophy.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Laura Geiger, Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Sarah Smoak, Bachelor of Arts.

Mary Frances Early College of Education

Kimberly Brady Gilkey, Bachelor of Education

Ashleigh Post Rivera, Bachelor of Science in Education

Amanda Hollar, Master of Arts in Teaching

Imani Akpuchukwu, Master of Education

Jennifer Griffin, Master of Education

Mariah Hedman, Master of Education

Anja Swinson, Master of Education

Callie Cole, Doctor of Education

Donald Coleman, Doctor of Education

Amber Lesicko, Doctor of Education

Heather McIntosh, Doctor of Education

Alicia Myrick, Doctor of Education

Marian Ashby Sadowski, Master of Education

Des’mon Taylor, Doctor of Education

Laci Weeden, Doctor of Education.

Terry College of Business

Lindsey Decker, Bachelor of Business Administration

Payton Trickel, Bachelor of Business Administration.