LAKELAND, Fla. - Florida Polytechnic University celebrated the graduation of its classes of 2020 and 2021 on Sunday, May 2, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The long-awaited in-person commencement ceremony marked the culmination of four years of hard work for more than 325 graduates who earned high-demand STEM degrees.
Jace Cooper '21 set his sights on an early college degree while he was still a student at Palmetto High School in Palmetto, Florida. With discipline, determination, and hard work, Cooper racked up college credits while still in high school and pressed forward with the same enthusiasm toward his mechanical engineering degree from Florida Polytechnic University, earning the bachelor's degree more quickly than his peers.
When Isabela Rangel '21 receives her bachelor's degree in computer science this May, she will be ready to charge toward the next chapter of her life, pursuing a career in project management. The graduate of West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida, has been active on campus during her time at Florida Polytechnic University participating in organizations such as InterVarsity, Baptist College Ministry, and the Art Club. Rangel, who was born in Brazil, now hopes to find new ways to use automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to benefit society.
Beginning his freshman year, Phelippe Souza-Herod '21 networked across campus, expanding his skills inside and outside the classroom. The Sarasota Military Academy graduate followed his passion for math and engaged with his professors as mentors. He also invested himself in clubs, programs, and organizations that helped him learn from others and become a better communicator and leader. The computer engineering graduate was an SGA justice and senator, as well as a Presidential Ambassador. And as a member of IEEE, he led workshops to help other students improve their programming skills.
Cindy Nguyen '21 joined Florida Polytechnic University as a brilliant, but timid student who was only interested in learning in class. She quickly realized that stepping out of her comfort zone would give her a more fun, well-rounded college experience. The graduate of Seacoast Collegiate High School in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, became an Admissions Ambassador and discovered a new passion by joining the Archery Club. And as she earns her bachelor's degree in data science with a concentration in big data analytics, she is excited to make her family proud.
Charisma Clarke '21 graduates with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering this May. Originally from Nassau, Bahamas, Clarke has stepped up to leadership positions at Florida Polytechnic University, including serving as vice president for the University's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He also has been active in Baptist College Ministries (BCM) and looks forward to fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming an engineer.
Jaimie Davis '21 embraced every opportunity that came his way at Florida Polytechnic University. The electrical engineering major is a graduate of Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School in Fort Myers, Florida. He is the founding president of the Mu Omega Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) academic honor society and the Florida Poly chapter of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
When Jacinto Diego '21 joined Florida Polytechnic University four years ago, he became the first in his family to go to college. This summer, he will earn his business analytics degree with a concentration in logistics and supply chain management, fulfilling a longtime dream. Diego had an active campus life as a member of the Astro Club and LASA. This Immokalee, Florida, native also enjoyed meeting and helping others as a student worker at the gym in the Student Development Center (SDC), planting the seed for a potential business of his own in the future.