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International Studies Majors Hold Graduation Ceremonies

International Studies Majors Hold Graduation Ceremonies

BA and MA candidates from 9 international interdepartmental degree programs take part in June cap and gown event.

By German Esparza

Some 123 undergraduate and graduate student majors in the nine International Institute interdepartmental degree programs (IDPs) gathered in UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday, June 19, for formal graduation ceremonies. The event was open to all IDP students scheduled to graduate in the 2003-04 academic year, through the end of Summer session 2004. Some had already received their degrees at the end of the Fall or Winter quarters, while the largest group were waiting for their grades from the Spring 2004 quarter and some are planning to finish their degrees in the upcoming summer session. In total, 212 IDP degrees are expected to be awarded this year, of which 180 are BAs and 32 are MAs.

The festivities began with great music entertainment, organized by Latin American Studies MA graduate Beto Gonzalez. He led an ensemble of Brazilian musicians, including the well-known Brazilian vocalist Katia Moraes.

The assembly heard one student speaker, Franciso J. Garcia, who was graduating with honors in the Latin American Studies MA program. He gave an inspiring speech about the relevance of international area studies in today's current events. Garcia was also acknowledged for being the recipient of a $1,000 award from the Latin American Center in memory of Charles V. Johnson, a long-time volunteer for the center.

Degrees were expected to be awarded this year in African, East Asian, European, Southeast Asian, Near Eastern-North African, Islamic, and Latin American studies, as well as the largest contingent, which came from the International Development Studies BA program.

Geoffrey Garrett, vice provost of the International Institute, made special mention of an undergraduate student, Angela Mazer, who was the recipient of the distinguished Charles & Sue Young Achievement Award (see article).

Six IDPs were represented in the undergraduate ceremonies. Of the approximately 105 undergraduate students participating in the event, the largest group by far was from International Development Studies with about 40 students.

Faculty members representing each program attended the event, including presenters Andrew Apter, chair of African Studies; R. Bin Wong, the new director of the Asia Institute; Ann-Christina Knudsen, chair of the European Studies program; Michael Ross, chair of International Development Studies; Bonnie Taub, professor in Latin American Studies; and Geoffrey Robinson, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

Approximately 1200 guests attended the event and were later invited to a reception that spread out in the quad between Royce Hall and Powell Library and the fountain above Janss Steps.

Interdepartmental Degree Programs