December 10, 2010
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Lt. Gov.-elect Garcia to address grads
Joe Garcia, lieutenant governor-elect of Colorado, is the College's fall 2010 commencement speaker.
More than 1,100 expected graduates and their families attending the Metropolitan State College of Denvercommencement on Sunday, Dec. 19 will be addressed by Joe Garcia, a leader in higher education in Colorado and the lieutenant governor-elect. When Garcia assumes the position of lieutenant governor in January 2011, he will be the first Latino to hold the position.
During the ceremony, to be held at the Colorado Convention Center at 2 p.m., Garcia will address the largest fall graduating class yet, with 1,144 expected to graduate, a 15.5 percent increase over the number of fall 2009 graduates.
Students of color represent 24.6 percent of the candidates, a 39.8 percent increase over last year’s class. The age span of candidates ranges from 20 to 63. Transfer students make up 69.9 percent of the candidates, 20.5 percent more than last fall. The top majors are management, behavioral science, accounting, biology and psychology.
Lt. Gov.-elect Garcia’s career has spanned the areas of law, higher education, and housing as well as state and federal government. He has served as president of Colorado State University-Pueblo and of Pikes Peak Community College. He was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as Rocky Mountain States representative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1999. Prior to that, he served in Gov. Roy Romer’s cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for six years.
He has served on numerous boards and commissions,including as chair of the board of directors of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, co-chair of Gov. Bill Ritter’s P20 Education Coordinating Council and vice chair of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. Garcia obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School and his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has named Garcia to co-chair his transition team, Partners for Colorado.
Outstanding Fall Graduate Award
As the 2010 Outstanding Fall Graduate, Christine Becker will address fellow students at Dec. 19 commencement.
Also addressing graduates is the College’s 2010 Outstanding Fall Graduate, 23-year-old management graduate Christine Becker.
Becker, who is graduating magna cum laude with a 4.0 GPA in her degree area, is set to start her new job on Dec. 21 at the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a Human Resources Specialist. She began an internship with SSA in May 2010, while continuing a full load of courses and working as an assistant manager at a movie theatre, which she says paid her tuition. "I have no loans. It (the movie theatre) was a great job to have through school,” said Becker, who worked there for more than five years.
Looking back on all of her classes, she says her favorite course was Strategic Management, taught by Management Professor Johannes Snyman. Working through the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Snyman’s students “staff” the organization’s Student Consulting Program, providing select small companies with strategic analyses of their businesses.
Becker says the experience provided a 360-degree view of running a business. “We had to put into action all (the theoretical knowledge from our) classes, and we met with the owner several times. In the end we made recommendations,” she says. “The owner really appreciated getting outside perspective.”
After managing a balancing act of school, work and internship, Becker is looking forward to focusing primarily on one thing, her new job, and getting back to a favorite hobby, photography. For now she is content with graduating. “I did it,” she says.