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Fall 2022 Commencement

UNC's Fall 2022 Commencement Ceremonies, Dec. 9-10

The University of Northern Colorado is hosting its fall commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10. Approximately 927 students will graduate this fall with around 526 earning bachelor’s degrees and around 401 earning a master’s specialist or doctoral degree.

profiles of UNC graduates

Fall 2022 graduates shared their story with us about their time at UNC.

Meet the graduates

The University of Northern Colorado is hosting its fall 2022 commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10. Approximately 927 students will graduate this semester with around 526 earning bachelor’s degrees and around 401 earning a master’s, specialist or doctoral degree. 

Events this year include a doctoral hooding ceremony on Friday followed by three separate ceremonies on Saturday to celebrate our bachelor's, master's and specialist candidates. Continue reading for ceremony details and meet our featured student speakers.

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

The Graduate School is hosting a ceremony for doctoral candidates on Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., in the Campus Commons Performance Hall.  

Daniel Edi

Doctoral Student Speaker
Daniel Edi
Doctor of Philosophy
Applied Statistics and Research Methods 

Prior to enrolling at UNC, Daniel Edi earned a bachelor’s in Petroleum Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s in Statistics from the University of New Mexico. While completing his doctoral program in Applied Statistics and Research Methods, Edi served as a statistical and research consultant at the university's Research Consulting Lab, an instructor for introduction to statistical analysis, a proposal reviewer for the McNair Scholars Program and the Graduate Student Association’s Faculty Research and Publications Board representative. Following graduation, Edi will be joining an edtech company as a research scientist. In the next five to seven years, he plans to start a research-based organization in his home country, Ivory Coast, that will focus on academic assessments for K-12 students. Edi and his wife have a son who will be one year old on Jan. 30, 2023. 

Leighann Brock

Doctoral Student Speaker
Leighann Brock
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Nursing: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Leighann Brock dedicated herself to the nursing profession in 2010, working her way up from a certified nurse's aide to a candidate for the doctoral degree she will receive this fall. Brock worked at the bedside as a registered nurse in critical care for 10 years. In 2020, she earned her master’s in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from UNC, while also working as a graduate teaching assistant/instructor in the School of Nursing. Brock is now working as an internal medicine nurse practitioner specializing in geriatrics, which she will tell you is the greatest generation of all time. During her studies, Brock felt called to improve patient outcomes by translating research into practice. She looks forward to furthering her doctoral research on burnout prevention in critical care nursing and assisting in the advocacy for mental health support and wellness for healthcare workers. A Colorado native who grew up in Arvada, Brock resides in northern Colorado with her college sweetheart, their 10-year-old daughter and their dog.  

Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialists Ceremonies 

There are three ceremonies for bachelor’s, master’s and specialist’s candidates on Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Bank of Colorado Arena at the following times: 

  • 9 a.m. — College of Education and Behavioral Sciences 
  • 12:30 p.m. — College of Natural and Health Sciences and College of Performing and Visual Arts 
  • 3 p.m. — College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business 

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences 

Angela Walker

Graduate Student Speaker
Angela Walker
Education Specialist
Educational Leadership  

Angela Walker has been in the education field for 25 years. She has had tremendous success as a band director, ESL instructor, general music teacher (elementary and middle grades), choir teacher, strings instructor, assistant principal, dean of students and student success coordinator both in Georgia and in Colorado’s Douglas, Denver Public Schools and Adams 14 school districts. Walker earned her principal’s license and Master of Educational Leadership from Colorado State University in 2012, a Master of Music Education through VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois and a Bachelor of Fine Arts through Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. Walker enjoys golfing, hiking, biking, fishing and kayaking in her spare time and is the proud parent of the most talked-about dog in town, a black Pomeranian named Fifi.

Sarah Shaia

Undergraduate Student Speaker
Sarah Shaia
Bachelor of Arts

Sarah Shaia is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in History. She moved to Colorado in 2020 with her husband after having lived in several different states throughout her life. A first-generation college student, Shaia’s academic path started later than most but has enriched her life in ways she never expected. During her undergraduate career at UNC, Shaia participated in several clubs, including Psi Chi and the International Honor Society in Psychology, where she served as the fall 2022 president. Shaia also worked at UNC as an intern for the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Academic Advising Office and as an orientation leader for New Student Orientation and New Student Days. After graduation, Shaia plans to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs with the hopes of helping students like herself navigate college life.  

Colleges of Natural and Health Sciences and Performing and Visual Arts 

Kaci Molnar

Undergraduate student speaker
Kaci Molnar
Bachelor of Arts
K-12 Art Education

Kaci Molnar grew up in Colorado with a love and passion for music, theatre and art. She is graduating this fall with a Bachelor of Arts in K-12 Art Education, with a minor in Psychology to pursue her love of education, instilling passion for the arts in children and studying human behavior. Throughout her time at UNC, Molnar has had the pleasure of working with many incredible people and participating in a unique and caring community. She was a finalist for the Southard Award exhibition and had the pleasure of displaying her work in many of the UNC galleries.  

College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business 

Barton "Brooks" Talkington

Graduate student speaker
Barton Talkington
Master of Business Administration
Business Administration

Barton “Brooks” Talkington is from Flower Mound, Texas but has called Greeley home since 2017. He is graduating this fall from the Monfort College of Business with an MBA in Business Administration after earning a bachelor’s in Business Marketing. During his time here, Talkington has competed for the UNC Bears football team playing defensive end and serving as team captain for the 2022 season. He plans on returning to Texas after graduation, in pursuit of a career following his interests in financial consulting and marketing.  

Karina Marquez Gardara

Undergraduate student speaker
Karina Marquez Gandara
Bachelor of Arts
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Science
Business Administration

Karina Marquez Gandara is from Denver, more specifically the Westwood neighborhood. She is earning two bachelor's degrees this fall, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and a Human Resources Certification with a minor in Psychology. Marquez Gandara is a first-generation Latina student and daughter of two Mexican immigrants. She has a passion for helping and empowering her community. During her time at UNC, Marquez Gandara held various leadership roles with Greek life and the Center for Human Enrichment (CHE) program. Following graduation, she plans to enter the workforce and travel.  

UNC’s Fall 2022 Graduating Class 

  • No. of students graduating: 927 
  • No. of students earning a bachelor's degree: 526
    • No. who are first generation: 249 (47%)
  • No. of students earning graduate degrees: 401 (334 master's, 13 specialists, 54 doctorates)  
  • No. of graduating veterans
    • Undergraduate: 17
    • Graduate: 8 
  • Age range
    • Undergraduate: 19-59
    • Graduate: 23-68
  • Average GPA
    • Undergraduate: 3.31
    • Graduate: 3.84 
  •  Most popular majors (by degree awarded): 
    • Undergraduate: Psychology, Business Administration, Nursing, Elementary Education, Sport and Exercise Science  
    • Graduate: Special Education, Business Administration, Educational Psychology, Sport and Exercise Science, Educational Leadership 
  • International countries represented: 13 (Bolivia, Canada, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Jordan, Libia Jamahiriya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom) 

  • States represented: 46 (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming) 

  • Colorado counties represented: 39 (Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Boulder, Broomfield, Cheyenne, Conejos, Custer, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Elbert, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson, Kit Carson, La Plata, Larimer, Logan, Mesa, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Park, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, Summit, Teller, Weld and Yuma) 

Data regarding UNC's fall 2022 graduating class is tentative as of Nov. 18, 2022. Degrees are conferred in January 2023.

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