Florida Poly celebrates hundreds of in-demand grads at 2022 commencement

Nicole Ely attends the 2022 Florida Polytechnic University commencement ceremony.

Nicole Ely, who earned her bachelor’s degree in data science from Florida Polytechnic University, attends the University’s 2022 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8, at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida.

More than 220 Florida Polytechnic University graduates celebrated the completion of their high-demand STEM degrees on Sunday, May 8, at the University’s 2022 commencement ceremony.

Students and their loved ones joined Florida Poly faculty and staff in the event at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

“Coming here to Florida Poly and meeting all my friends has honestly changed my life,” said Valentina Colorado, who received her bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity. “It’s been a lot of trial and error trying to find my spot and I’m grateful for the opportunity Florida Poly gave me.”

Colorado, who is originally from Bogotá, Colombia, and grew up in South Florida, plans to work for FedEx this summer before returning to the University to pursue her master’s degree in computer science. 

The ceremony marked the end of a strong year for the University, with many achievements including a rise in national rankings, the return of beloved student traditions, new industry partnerships, and great strides in research

“Graduates, you’ve worked hard to get where you are, and it’s been an honor to watch you succeed and grow as individuals – and as leaders,” said Dr. Randy Avent, Florida Poly’s president. “You have proven that you can get the job done and achieve even the most ambitious goals.”

The 2022 commencement speaker was The Honorable Zachary J. Lemnios, a renowned thought leader in electrical engineering, former assistant secretary of defense, and former vice president of IBM Research.

“Whether you pursue a career in high-tech industry, public service, or military service, you have a remarkable opportunity to leverage your experience at Florida Poly and your engineering insight to really make a difference,” Lemnios said. “The world you are entering is changing at warp speed. You have knowledge that companies need. You understand new technologies and are comfortable in a high-paced, unstructured, and diverse environment that earlier generations had only dreamed about.”

The ceremony also featured a speaker representing the class of 2022, Joshua Kim, who received his bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in game development and simulation. He was active in many student organizations and activities, including membership in the Mu Omega Chapter of the IEEE-HKN academic honor society, and roles as a founding member and leader of the Florida Poly Drumline and Florida Poly Band.

“Florida Poly may just be a small school, one that rivals the giants of the state of Florida, but our University is more than a place of learning; it’s an opportunity – an opportunity to be yourself. An opportunity to form friendships to last a lifetime. An opportunity to find your calling,” said Kim, from Pembroke Pines, Florida. “The world we live in is in desperate need of leaders like us – people who will drive the world and humanity as a whole to new heights. 

“I believe that Florida Polytechnic University’s class of 2022 is just the beginning. We are the beginning of a brighter future, and a better world.”


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications