Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Posted on July 20, 2023

Biology Graduation Celebration Address
by Dr. David Remington

So I’m curious about something . . . How many of you worked 20 hours or more per week at any time while you were going to school here?  If you did, stand up.

If you have been a family caregiver – raising children, caring for younger siblings, elderly relatives – stand up and join them.

If you have had to commute more than a half hour each direction to attend classes, please stand up and join them.

If English is only your second or third language, stand up and join them. You’ve faced a special challenge in learning all this complex stuff in something other than your native tongue.

If COVID was a major disruption in your life during your time in school, stand up and join them.

If you’ve had to deal with the loss of a loved one while you’ve been in school, stand up and join them.

Everyone else, please stand up and join your classmates!


Please take a good look around at each other!  Everyone else, take a good look at these graduates!  YOU are what North Carolina really looks like!  Ladies and gentlemen, this is not an Ivory Tower.  This has NOT been an academic echo chamber!  You come from all backgrounds – city and rural, different walks of life, different cultural traditions.  And while you’ve been here learning, you’ve faced all the kinds of challenges other people face.  And you’ve gotten to this momentous day in spite of all that, and because of all that!  Congratulations!!  (You can all sit down now – thank you!)

You all have incredible assets that have gotten you here.  Supportive families and social structures.  And, most of all, incredible hard work and perseverance.  With those assets, you are abundantly equipped to go from here and do great things.

However, I’d like to suggest that your greatest asset may be the fact that you’ve all been here together.  You’ve gotten to know one another, to be lab partners and work on class presentations with students you perhaps had little in common with before.  You’ve gotten to see and hear what life looks like through the eyes of all these different classmates.  I’d like to think you’ve gained a sense of empathy here that you might not have gained otherwise.

So as you graduate, I think my biggest wish, and my biggest hope, for you is that you will be compassionate people.  . . . that you will continue to see life from other people’s perspectives, and then use that to make a stronger society for everyone.  I think most of the ugliness and cruelty we seem to see so much of when we look around is at its core a lack of compassion.  There’s a lot of fear and a lot of resentment against “otherness” in people, in whatever form that takes.  I’ve seen so many cases where YOU have learned to think and act beyond that.  I have a strong hope you will keep doing that as you go from here.

As Biology graduates, you have gained a unique understanding of what “otherness” really is.  You have learned the information that population genetics has given us about the genetic nature of human beings.  You’ve come to understand that the genetic variants that help make us unique as individuals are largely shared among people the world over.  You’ve learned there really are no essential, biological differences between groups of people that are black, white, or brown.  Whatever you do with your lives going forward, you’re uniquely equipped to help change entrenched things in society – things that are built on the assumption that people who are different from “us” are somehow less human, less deserving of a voice, of opportunities to succeed.

I hope you’ll remember that compassion is a public virtue, not just a private one.  Please stay on top of what’s happening around you in society, in the Legislature, in Congress.  I hope you’ll register and then vote if you can, to be sure.  But do more . . . get involved in your communities, your schools, and beyond, to help leave them better places than you found them!  And that goes for your Alma Mater too.  As UNCG alumni, I hope you’ll hold UNCG accountable to keep being a place of quality education for all the real people of North Carolina.  In fact, hold her accountable to do a better job of that than what she’s done for you.

I have one other wish and hope for you . . . I wish for you happiness and joy – to find the things and people in your life to celebrate!


This past week, you may have heard the Surgeon General issued a report warning about the negative health impacts of our national epidemic of loneliness.  And I know a lot of you – a lot of us – have experienced that in these years of COVID.  At the same time, you have all these new social connections you’ve forged in your time at UNCG.  I hope you’ll keep some of these connections for a lifetime – and then take the plunge to make new social connections going forward . . . and then enjoy your times with one another.  And I hope you’ll recognize the times of joy in life as they happen.

The summer when I first graduated from college with a Forestry degree, I had a job on a forest inventory crew.  We went around establishing permanent forest growth measurement plots at random locations throughout the mountains of Southwestern Montana.  It was hard work – often hiking many miles in rough terrain and all kinds of weather.  But I got to see so much wild and beautiful country that summer, which was hidden from everyone else.  In looking back on that summer, I often think that if I’d realized how good a time I was having, I’d have enjoyed myself a lot more!  As you go forward from here, I hope you’ll learn to see and celebrate the moments of joy in new things and new people you meet.

And today is one of those moments to celebrate!!  Rejoice that you’ve made it here.  Give a lot of hugs to one another and your families.  Keep those pictures and selfies that you’ll be taking.  Print them and put them up on your walls so you’ll see and remember them even when you’re away from your electronic devices!

And whatever you do, wherever you go, wherever you end up . . . I wish you all the best of success and happiness in life.  And please stay in touch.  I want to hear from you!!

December 2022, May, and August 2023 Graduating Class

Kristina Morales PHD
Megan Elizabeth Damico PHD
Morgan Dyan Trimas Frost PHD
Reuben Akwei Garshong PHD
Sourav Chakraborty PHD
Gaurav Phuyal MS
Seraiah Tate Coe MS
Urooj Amin MS
Abdalkader Samer Salaimah BS
Amber Rechille Davis BS
America Valeria Revelo Jiron BS
Amy May Colson BS
Angel Ramirez BS
Angel Zheng BS
Anisha Chanel McFadden BS
Anthony George Fodera BS
Anthony P Congdon BS
Ashli Janae Shell BS
Asia Re’al Wylie BS
Asjah D Savage BS
Austin Coleman Johns BS
Ava L Heffernan BS
Avery McGinn BS
Beh Reh BS
Branna LaTrice Raybon BS
Breanna M Fulton BS
Caroline Elizabeth Beers BS
Carter Austin Tacosik BS
Cassandra Irene Gilbert BS
Catlin Torres-Alvarez BS
Charlotte Dorothy Shore BS
Chelsea Nicole McDonald BS
Chenhao Tang BS
Chiziteife Chinenye Okoli BS
Christian A Espinoza-Barrios BS
Christina Elizabeth Mills BS
Cindy Elena Cortes  BS
Colt Wayne Morgan-Russell BS
Cristian E Velez BS
Daniel Euisoo Lee BS
Daphka Joseph BS
Demetrice Delois Quick BS
Diana Ivetl Fajardo Nolasco BS
Diana Marleny Moreno BS
Donajah J Cherry BS
Eileen Taylor Davis BS
Elena Rose Daniel BS
Emyna Amy Hussein Ajaj BS
Eric B Daly BS
Erika Reyna Padron BS
Estefania Landeros BS
Ethan Philip Lewis BS
Eve Nicole Salzwedel BS
Fatema Shahid BS
Frankie Manglona Angel BS
Giselle V Hernandez-Soria BS
Haley Paige Elsey BS
Hayden Smith BS
Isaac A Cha BS
Jackson Kody Lee  BS
Jalen Miles Love BS
Janell R Meade BS
Jayda A Gresham BS
Jayla Crawford BS
Jaylah Renee Durham BS
Jennifer Montalvo BS
Jordaine Andrew Lawson BS
Jordyn Evanna Brown BS
Joseph B Mangun BS
Joshua L Clark BS
Jovanna Nicole Perez BS
Katherine Brianne Craib BS
Kaysa S Vaarre-Lamoureux BS
Keandria Lisette Sussman BS
Kellyn Cortez-Munoz BS
Kirsten Marie Mitchell BS
Krista Noelle Causey BS
Kyra Monay Charles BS
Lisa Ariel Zawolo BS
Logan J Somero BS
Mackenzie Elizabeth Johnson BS
Maguette Seye BS
Maisha Tanjil Waafa BS
Maite Jasmine Canar BS
Maria Del Cielo Neri-Otero BS
Mary Katherine Martin BS
Megan P Saunders BS
Michelle Tung BS
Millie Ortiz BS
Mohammad Mohsin Iqbal BS
Momodou Sankareh BS
Montserrat Robledo Ruvalcaba BS
Naa Adei Titi Sanniez BS
Nadia J Maji BS
Nawal Haitham Hussein BS
Nicholas A Swaim BS
Nicholas David Sai Wolff BS
Nicolas Mizero Sibo BS
Nicole Marie Hanley BS
Nicole Paige Maier BS
Phuan Genetter Aziza DeShazo BS
Rachel Marie Vinson BS
Rachel Noel Weaver BS
Richtina Wellikerma Kpangbai BS
Ricky Manoj Roopnarine BS
Samantha C Vickers BS
Santiago Mendoza Guerrero BS
Sarah Kaylyn Bishop BS
Scarlett Humes BS
Sereana Keara Ny BS
Shafaq Ahmed BS
Shana R Dalton BS
Shateanu’ Saraye Bryant BS
Stephanie Mota BS
Stephanie Quintero BS
Tiara Patricia Campbell BS
Trinity Ann Garrett BS
Ty-Kala Monae’ Allen BS
Tyler Jordan Sexton BS
Uday Shailesh Patel BS
Wudeh S Saidykhan BS
Yaritza Valera BS
Yasmin Hereuse Lormejuste BS
Zainab Mohammed BS
Zaria Michelle Bop BS
Zion Maeleah Glass BS
Zoe Paige Libramento BS
Abner S Herrera BA
Aimee Sara­ Velazquez-Cruz BA
Alana Brown BA
Alayna E Basaldu BA
Anicka M Johnson BA
Brenda Bernabe BA
Brenna Danielle Williams BA
Brianna Maisie Church BA
Caroline Diaz BA
Carrie Johnson BA
Cathy Nguyen BA
Daniel Toluwalope Ogunwo BA
Daniyah Jenese Smith BA
Desiree Ja’lesa Tillman BA
Destiny Imani Dula BA
Emily Madison Strahl BA
Fatuma Jean Tuider BA
Gabrielle Mae von der Lippe BA
Imani Nadje’ Stewart BA
Isaiah Tyree Brown BA
Isis Yasmine Zagada-Toledo BA
Jacqueline L’anette Perry BA
Jaeda Green BA
Jaime Rashan Richardson BA
Jasmin Kayla Israel BA
Jasmine M Lassiter BA
Johnathan Everett Allred BA
Juliana Reye Kite BA
Katherine Ann Tirrell BA
Kayla R Simpson BA
Kristien Renee Teel BA
Lydia Gabrielle McDonald BA
Michael Paul Tanner Addison BA
Monte X Willis BA
Nabeeha Khan BA
Najayah Latrell Harris BA
Na’Kiah D Dillard BA
Nya Rieves BA
Rachel Beverly LaClair BA
Richard Levi Walker III BA
Robert Lee Busick BA
Rovina M Mansour BA
Ryan Allen Fletcher BA
Seth Andrew Smith BA
Shakeena Campbell BA
Sierra A Hubbard BA
Tanya Meneses BA
Taylor Denise Privette BA
Taylor Rene McMahon BA
Trontaye J Black BA
Tyler D Forney BA
Vanessa Luna BA