Congressman Joe Garcia addresses the Miami graduates of Keiser

The faculty and staff of the Miami campus welcome family and friends to the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2013 on Saturday, June 8. The graduation will take place at the Bank United Center located at 1245 Dauer Drive in Coral Gables at 10:00 a.m. The 300 graduates will be given their keynote address by Congressman Joe Garcia.

The Class of 2013 will receive their keynote address from Congressman Joe Garcia, who represents Florida’s 26th congressional district. The Congressman earned his undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Miami before beginning a lengthy career in public service. In November of 2012, after having served in the Obama administration at the Department of Energy, he was elected to Congress.

“Many of this year’s graduates entered the University while they and their families were being impacted by the changing economy and housing markets. They never looked back or made excuses. Instead, they looked towards a brighter future and wanted to be a part of the solution and to make a positive impact on their community,” said Gary Markowitz, Ed.D, Campus President. “This group of graduates will be part of the American dream and we are lucky to have new members of the alumni who know the best is yet to come.”

Francis Garcia, who has earned his Bachelor of Arts degree for Accounting, has been named the Valedictorian for this graduating class. In order to have the ability to pursue his multiple professional goals, he has re-enrolled with Keiser University (KU) to earn his Master of Accountancy. While earning his BA degree, he worked with the campus to create a partnership with the IRS so the Miami campus of KU could serve as a host site for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). When asked about the partnership with the IRS he shared, “The VITA project was like starting a business from scratch, so it was an incredible experience, which I learned a great deal from.” The salutatorian for this graduating class is Beatriz Bernal, who has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Services Administration.

During the launch of the Keiser Mills Family Foundation in 2011, three students from the KU Miami campus received scholarships and will be graduating on Friday. Fidel Castillo, received the “Today’s Heroes” scholarship, is graduating with his Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and has already begun his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. This father of two has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for nine years and looks forward to a career in law enforcement when he retires after 20 years of service. On top of working and being a full-time student he has found time to be active in Phi Theta Kappa and the Leadership Distinction program. The recipient of the “Founders” scholarship, Jacqueline Pittman, has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and is working in her field as an accounting manager. Marilyn Gonzalez, a single mother of a special needs child, earned her Associate of Science degree from KU in Radiologic Technology and will be walking to receive her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree this weekend. Gonzalez, who has already re-enrolled to get her Master of Science in Education, Allied Health, Teaching and Leadership received the “Rising to New Heights” scholarship back in 2011. She also participated in the Leadership Distinction program and has earned three separate licenses for Radiology, CT and Mammography.

About: Keiser University (KU) is a private, not-for-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students pursuing doctoral through associate degrees on 15 campuses and online and employing nearly 3,500 staff and faculty.

Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.

Keiser University’s educational reach extends globally through its international programs, including the Latin Division, a cooperative agreement in the Eastern European nation of Moldova, and an off-site campus in Shanghai, China.

By Kimberly Dale

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