UNH Puts the Class of 2016 on Fast Track to Success

by Dave Cranshaw
UNH Today Editor

While balancing the responsibilities of being a student-athlete for the last four years, Ashley Dawson was taught an important lesson that will apply throughout her career.

“I learned that an insatiable work ethic and commitment to my trade translates to success,” said Dawson, a women’s soccer player. “My teammates and I support each other unconditionally, and this is something that I hope to find in my future career.”

A criminal justice major, Dawson will look to replicate the bonds she made while pursuing a career as a police officer. She was among the more than 1,200 students who accepted their undergraduate and graduate degrees during two Commencement ceremonies on Sunday.

Ashley Dawson '16 with her parents

Katie Seggerman, an electrical engineering major and a former president of the Society for Women Engineers and a teaching assistant, will begin her career as an electrical/computer engineer at IBM.

“I have not only gained knowledge here at UNH, but I also was pushed to excel outside the classroom through numerous clubs, research and internships,” she said. “I always felt right at home asking for help and advice in all of my endeavors.”

Patricia Oprea '16, a psychology major, spent three semesters abroad, studying in Spain, Italy and Thailand. She returned to campus in January after three consecutive semesters away to serve as a global ambassador for the study abroad office.

"If there's one thing traveling has taught me, it's that there is knowledge beyond the walls of a classroom, of a building, of an assignment," she said. "It's everywhere. We gain knowledge walking the streets of a foreign place and learning customs and habits of cultures you've only read about.

“Some people are scared of the ‘real world,’ but I live for the unknown and for learning from strangers and traveling across lands with my backpack and an open mind,” she said. “My goal is to find my own kind of happy.”

Natalie Venice, a business management major, participated in three internships, studied abroad and served as a student assistant in the Career Development Center, and she will begin her career at Liberty Mutual. She continued a proud tradition by becoming the fourth person in her family to graduate from UNH. 

“It is awesome to say that my family and I have walked the same halls and learned in the same classrooms,” she said.

Lena Bain ’16 M.A. is planning to move to Germany, and she hopes to become a program director at an organization that works for the health of both the environment and young people. During her time as a graduate student in community psychology, she conducted four program evaluations, wrote two mock grants and acted as a process consultant at her internship.

"I have truly learned by doing," she said.

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