More than 2,500 graduates, including Yuetong Hao of China, became the newest class of UT Dallas alumni during fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 14-16.  She personalized her mortarboard with characters representing her birth during the Year of the Monkey and with Texas-themed decorations. She earned a master's degree in finance. Erin and Matthew Flack and their sons, Carter, 2, (left) and Jack, 3, had twice as much to celebrate during graduation week. Matthew earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the Naveen Jindal School of Management on Friday. And on Saturday, Erin received her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. Aditi Mutatkar, with Temoc, earned a master's degree in public affairs from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. The degree launched a new career for Mutatkar, who played professional badminton in India. She plans to work at a Mumbai nonprofit that works to improve physical education in India's public schools. Daniel Desautels (left) and Daniel Eilbott, who earned bachelor's degrees in physics from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, prepped for their commencement ceremony. Eilbott, a Green Fellow who finished his degree in the summer, has begun a PhD program in physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Elonda Johnson adjusts the hood of Jennifer O'Hare before their commencement ceremony begins Friday. Both earned master's degrees in management science with concentrations in organizational behavior and executive coaching. Chinwe Nwachukwu made sure his cap was perfect before walking the stage at commencement. He earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. Nwachukwu's coursework focused on business. Before the ceremony, Matthew J. Gonzales (foreground), who graduated with a master's degree in accounting, lined up with other graduate students. These computer science graduates don't seem to mind the early start to their Saturday morning as they await the beginning of their commencement ceremony. These Jindal School graduate students needed little prompting to demonstrate their happiness about graduating and beginning the next phase of their professional lives. David Dowdle received his undergraduate from UT Dallas in 2015 and earned his master's degree in accounting on Friday. Dowdle works as a senior associate in financial advisory services for Montgomery Coscia Greilich accounting firm in Plano. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science filled the Activity Center for the Saturday morning commencement ceremony. It was one of seven formal ceremonies recognizing the academic accomplishments of UT Dallas students. Dr. Jessica C. Murphy, dean of undergraduate education, presided over fall commencement for the first time since her appointment in September. She is shown here addressing the assembled candidates in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. President Richard C. Benson congratulates fall graduates from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Dr. Jumanne Donahue is hooded by Dr. Marjorie Zielke, director of UT Dallas' Center for Modeling and Simulation and director of the Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab, and Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies, after receiving his PhD in arts, technology, and emerging communication. Dr. Yuan Tian accepts his doctoral hood for his PhD in computer science from Dr. B. Prabhakaran, computer science professor, and Dr. Marion Underwood. Tian affixed a GoPro to his academic robe to film a firsthand experience of the ceremony for his parents in China. Dr. Ryan Freling kisses his wife, Dr. Traci Freling, a professor of marketing at UT Arlington, after she helped hood him with Dr. Brian Ratchford, Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair in Marketing. Freling, who received his PhD in management science in the summer, is an assistant professor of marketing analysis at Louisiana Tech. Nisha Domalapalli celebrates after earning her master's degree in business administration from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Eric Alejandro Sanchez completed requirements for a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering during the summer. He returned to take part in the fall commencement ceremony Saturday. Vanessa Latrice Webb, who earned a bachelor's degree in computer science, transferred to UT Dallas from Texas Tech. As a student here, she was a member of the belly dance club. The family of Justin Shaw celebrated during the commencement ceremony for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. They look forward to returning in a few more years when Justin's younger brother Martin graduates. Justin earned a bachelor's degree in computer engineering. Among the family members surrounding Dr. Mariam Kavakci, a PhD in communication disorders, are several UT Dallas alumni who are now Turkish politicians. Dr. Ravza Kavakci BS'93 (far left) is a member of the parliament in Turkey. Elif Kavakci BA'97 (third from left) is a PhD student at UT Dallas. Dr. Alisha Kim, a PhD in public affairs, is congratulated by her husband, Jin Kim (right), and her brother-in-law, Navy Commander Kwang Kim. She will be teaching at UT Dallas next semester. Christian De Lara (right) grinned with pride after earning a bachelor's degree in marketing from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. He has landed a job in sales at IBM. Three commencement ceremonies accommodated the more than 1,100 students expected to earn degrees from the school this fall. Tiffany Champion (right) hugged Dr. Carie King, clinical professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Champion, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in emerging media and communication, took numerous classes with King and said she'll always remember how she was there for her to provide a fresh perspective. Sani LeClear and her husband, Johnathon LeClear, both earned master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. But they’re not quite done yet. Both plan to complete doctoral degrees at UT Dallas as well. The LeClears will also welcome a baby in March. Victor Ron (left), who graduated with a bachelor's degree in healthcare studies from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Joshua Manning, who earned a bachelor's s degree in neuroscience from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, held up mini-Whooshes after their commencement ceremonies. They became friends through their fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. Asia Ashley (right) and Alena Wagner celebrated by the Spirit Rocks after both graduated with bachelor's degrees in arts and technology. Sammy Lutes (right) celebrates his graduation with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience with Simran Malhotra BS'16. Marketing graduate Chiara Zamboni donned a headpiece with special meaning in her home country of Italy. The crown made of bay leaves and berries represents victory and success. Along with his cap and gown, Frank Adarkwa Yiadom sported a green, orange and red stole made in his home country of Ghana. Called "kente," this academic adornment represents ethnic pride. Yiadom received a bachelor's degree in information technology and systems. Sofia Sanchez celebrated with her 15-month-old son, Mack Warren, by the Spirit Rocks after earning her bachelor's degree in literary studies from the School of Arts and Humanities. Trang Pham, who earned a bachelor's degree in neuroscience, completed the U-T-D. He plans to apply to pharmacy school. After earning their degrees and participating in commencement exercises, new UT Dallas alumni walked toward the campus mall to celebrate their graduation with family and friends.

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