> University Communications Home
> This Month's News Releases
Graduating Seniors Speak at Commencement
By Christine Duellman
UW-RF News Bureau
3, 2005--Two University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduating seniors have
been selected to give the commencement address during the spring graduation
ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education
and Recreation Center on May 14.
This is the 10th year UW-RF graduating seniors have been selected to deliver
the commencement address. Nicole Smith of Apple Valley, Minn., and Nicholas
Sirek of Birchwood, will address some 600 of their fellow graduates during
the two graduation ceremonies.
Interim Chancellor Virgil Nylander selected Smith and Sirek as speakers
on the recommendation of the External Relations Committee.
Smith's speech is titled "A Falcon's Eye View." She will discuss
the various buildings on campus and the role they have played in the lives
of students at UW-RF. Smith will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree
in marketing communications.
Smith has been an active leader on campus as a resident assistant and
residential hall manager. She has served on residential hall councils,
the Leadership in Training Committee and the Leadership Center Search
and Screen Committee. Smith also is the founder and co-chair of Extreme
Life Christian Organization.
The campus chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary committee recognized
Smith as "Student of the Year" in 2002, "Resident Assistant
of the Year" in 2003 and "Advisor of the Month" in 2004.
In recommending Smith, Michael Stifter, director of student life facilities,
said, "She is wise beyond her years, and it serves her very well.
In observing Nicole over the past four years, I have seen her uncanny
ability to engage students. Her enthusiasm is contagious as is her passion
for her fellow students."
With a minor in journalism, Smith worked at the UW-RF Student Voice as
an editor, business manager and reporter. This past summer, she worked
as a guest services coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs training camp
and as a summer registration facilitator.
"The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has benefited greatly from
having her here as a student these past four years," said Pat Hanson,
UW-RF communications instructor. "She has all the markings of a winner."
Sirek's speech is titled, "My Wishes." He will share five wishes
he has for his fellow graduates, which include: friendships, a place to
call home, self-confidence, the courage and willingness to change and
the opportunity to make a difference.
Sirek will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education.
His minor is in language arts and reading. This year, Sirek received the
2005 Chancellor's Award.
In recommending Sirek, UW-RF Professor Teri Crotty said, "Nick is
the type of student who demonstrates the personal and professional characteristics
essential for success."
Sirek has been active in residential hall councils, UW-RF Student Senate,
the Student Center Core Committee and Area Council, which represents nearly
1,100 students on campus. He also worked as a resident assistant, the
house manager for theater productions and volunteered as a campus tour
As a resident assistant, Sirek developed a program in Johnson Hall through
Big Brother, Big Sisters that got students excited about volunteering.
This has since grown to be a successful volunteer program on campus.
"All of these experiences just goes to show his dedication for this
University," said Stifter. "When he talks about this University
he gets tears in his eyes. He has a commitment to UW-RF. It's just a genuine
passion for this place."
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:23 Central Daylight Time