734 students awarded at fall graduation 2021


Colin Stevenson

Sports and leisure graduate Anthony Tennison raises his arm in celebration of getting his degree, Dec. 11.

734 MSU Texas students take a step into the future as they graduate. Kay Yeager Coliseum was filled with family and friends celebrating the students receiving their degrees.

DATE | Dec. 11, 2021

LOCATION | Kay Yeager Coliseum

SPEAKER | Tedd L. Mitchell, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System

FACULTY AWARD RECIPIENT | Marcos Lopez, associate professor of mathematics


  • Master’s | 136
  • Bachelor’s | 598


  • Dillard College of Business Administration | 100
  • Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education | 188
  • Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts | 24
  • Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services | 316
  • Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences | 59
  • McCoy College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering | 47


  • Master of Business Administration | 7
  • Master of Arts | 23
  • Master of Education | 14
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice | 5
  • Master of Health Administration | 4
  • Master of Science in Exercise Physiology | 5
  • Master of Science in Nursing | 19
  • Master of Radiologic Sciences | 20
  • Master of Science | 11
  • Bachelor of Business Administration | 93
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences | 88
  • Bachelor of Arts | 54
  • Bachelor of Science | 53
  • Bachelor of Science in Education | 1
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies | 28
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts | 10
  • Bachelor of Music | 3
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice | 16
  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology | 13
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing | 125
  • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences | 46
  • Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology | 7
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care | 48
  • Bachelor of Social Work | 8
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering | 5

Source: Midwestern State University Commencement Program

Graduates proceed across the stage to receive their diplomas as others watch.
Graduates proceed across the stage to receive their diplomas as others watch, Dec. 11. (Colin Stevenson)


“I feel great, I feel awesome. It’s a bittersweet moment, but I’m happy it’s over.” | Leela Tonge, finance

“[I feel] excited, happy. I’m planning on getting a job as an education diagnostician. [My favorite memory was] the faculty, my professors, how helpful they were. They were very helpful, they helped me get through [my college career].” | Maria Olgui, education

“I am so blessed. I am so happy. I am so overwhelmed with joy, I don’t even know what to say. This is like a dream come true. I worked so hard, I was looking forward to this and I am super glad. I already passed my boards, I’m already board-certified so I hope to just put it to practice what I learned. Go out there and help people, help patients. I’m currently a nurse and I enjoy what I do and I’m looking forward to my next career goal, being a nurse practitioner,”| Bridget Shu, nursing

“I’m excited and thrilled and proud of myself just for slowly chipping away at this degree. It was a lot but I really am impressed with the university, very impressed. [I plan] to go back to teaching and I’ll take my diagnostician test and really would consider continuing education.” | Maree Longoria, education

“I feel good, I’m really proud of myself and everyone else that graduated. I think that everybody is going to go do great stuff. I plan to work at a radio station or something similar so we’ll see what happens.” | Alexis Martin, arts

“[I feel] relieved. I just want to get a job, get to working and hopefully do my Ph.D. sometime in the next three or five years. There are so many [memories] because I’ve been [at MSU] since 2012, I did my bachelors here as well. [My favorite memory] is the friends and family that I made along the way.” | Jamie Gardner, education

“[I feel] very excited to start the future and see what contributions I can bring to the community for mental health, really excited. I’m currently utilizing my degree working at a local school and from there just open the opportunities for school counseling and mental health.” | Carlos Rios, arts

“I’m very overwhelmed but I’m very excited and just looking forward to the next step of life.  The next step for me, is gonna be teaching fourth grade at an elementary school here in Wichita Falls” | Kenzie Box, education

“I feel free. I feel liberated. I’m super excited. I’m pumped. I’m thankful though for MSU and all that it’s done for me with academics and friendships and relationships, and connections. It’s been really rewarding and I’m thankful for this experience.” | Landon Parks, exercise physiology

“I just got a job at a hospital and I’ll be a clinical therapist for their outpatient unit… My classmates [and I] would have weekend dinners where we would study together. We have a lot of inside jokes that we make together. We still make them now, so that’s just my favorite thing. We’re pretty close.” | Monica Delao, clinical mental health counseling

“We’ve created strong bonds with our students and so I got a little teared up when they went across the stage…We’re really excited about this class. They’re all going to be clinical mental health counselors or school counselors and so we’re just ready for them to go out there and make a difference in people’s lives.” | Wendy Helmcamp, assistant professor of counseling, kinesiology and special education

“We are very proud. We had 10 clinical mental health students graduate today, 9 in person. We were so honored to be their professors. We can’t wait to see what they do. We’re so excited for them to venture off and share their knowledge with others and to go to their next steps… I felt like a parent. I was videoing all of them walking across the stage and yelling for each of them. It was really exciting… It’s always wonderful to celebrate accomplishments and I think that’s what graduation really is. In a time [where] we’re still in Covid but we’re coming out of Covid, it’s nice to celebrate when we can.” | Tara Fox, assistant professor of counseling, kinesiology and special education

“It’s a great day to come out. It’s been about two years since we’ve had this celebration. It’s good to see everyone here. I know our graduates have missed it. Families have missed it. Faculty have missed it as well, and so it’s great to be back and have all of these people [here] to celebrate our graduates and look at what they’ve been able to accomplish these last few years… I feel the joy that the students feel, the relief that they feel, the chapter of their lives coming to an end and a new one beginning. I understand that and I really remember back when I was that age too and how that can be a life-changing experience, the reality hitting you fast. There are a lot of memories.” | Michael Olson, associate professor and chair of the department of athletic training and exercise physiology

“It’s always a wonderful day. Graduation day is very exciting for my students, but also sad because they’re leaving. Some of them, like two of these graduate students that I have, they actually did their undergrad work with me, so I’ve been with them for five-plus years. So it’s a mixed bag of feelings right now… I’m glad that the pandemic is over. I’m glad we could be in person. This is the first graduation I’ve been to in about two years now.” | Frank Wyatt, professor of athletic training and exercise physiology

“[This is] my favorite day. Because it’s just a celebration of everything that they’ve gone through and all their hard work and dedication finally pays off in the end… It isn’t easy to get a college degree. If it were they’d be handing them out to everyone so it’s [about] that perseverance in the face of obstacles. That’s why the ones that make it here, they have grit.” | Leann Curry, interim dean of the West college of education

“It’s very exciting because the students have worked very hard to get here. Some did not think they would get here and then you see them walk the stage and it’s extremely rewarding… I have spent the last two days at different events saying, you know, depending on which study you believe, 25 to 35 percent of the adult population has a bachelor’s. It doesn’t seem like that when you’re surrounded by people pursuing that degree. It is a big deal.” | Jim Sernoe, interim dean of the Lamar D. Fain college of fine arts.