A. Ray Olpin University Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

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    Union Graduating Class 2020

    Despite a global pandemic, the class of 2020 continues to inspire us. Spring Semester classes were moved online and commencement was postponed, but that did not change the determination of these students in completing their degrees and reaching a remarkable milestone. These students have accomplished so much during their time at the University of Utah, please help us in celebrating and recognizing our own Union student graduates. Congratulations Class of 2020!

    Danielle Martinez

    Danielle Martinez is graduating with a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy. During her time as a graduate student, Martinez was involved with the Academic Advising Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee, Women’s Week Committee, Healthier Campus Committee, Chicano Scholarship Fund, College of Education Student Council, ASUU Senator for College of Education, and as a Graduate Assistant at the Union. Martinez’s favorite experience while being a Graduate Assistant at the Union has been the Union Scholarship Celebration. For Martinez, working on the celebration for two consecutive years, seeing the background processes, and how impactful scholarships are for students is very memorable. Martinez plans to work in a career focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, where she would like to open educational opportunities and access to underserved and impacted populations.

    Lisa Gray

    Lisa Gray is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition. Throughout her undergraduate career, Gray was extremely involved and held many leadership positions with her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and with the University of Utah’s Fraternity & Sorority Life Office. As if her leadership roles were not enough, Gray was a regular volunteer at the Feed U Pantry, and an intern at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Gray’s character is illustrated by her Union story. Gray started working at the Union’s Service Desk in February of 2017 and was promoted a year later to Assistant Events Coordinator. With her employment, leadership positions, and volunteer commitments all based in the Union, Gray jokingly says that she practically lived in the Union and should have paid rent. Gray will be attending the University of Utah’s College of Nursing this Fall in preparation to become a Registered Nurse. Through her educational foundation and passion for helping others, Gray hopes to make a positive impact on the healthcare field by providing quality patient-centered care and advocating for each of her patients no matter how difficult.

    Amanda Currie

    Amanda Currie is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Anthropology. While at the University of Utah, Currie spent her time researching in the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Anthropology, was involved in the Young Americans for Freedom student organization, and as a Building Manager at the Union. Her favorite memory while at the Union is seeing the building managers and Service Desk employees coming together all dressed up and having fun at the Union Scholarship Celebration. Currie felt most at home while at the Union, always having a friend at the Union, and being a Building Manager at the Union provided her a sense of belonging and accomplishment on campus. After graduation, Currie plans to keep exploring life as a wildlife biologist and advocate to conserve the world’s natural resources so future generations can continue to enjoy them.

    Bakir Mehinovic

    Bakir Mehinovic is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a minor in English. Mehinovic is a Building Manager and has worked at the Union for almost six years. Working at the Union, Mehinovic has been to plenty of Union Scholarship Celebrations and Crimson Nights, his favorite events at the Union. Mehinovic is the epitome of commitment and dedication, he was mostly involved with the Union and theatre during his whole undergraduate career. For him, the Union and the Performing Arts Building were his main homes on campus. Mehinovic would like to continue learning and finding contentment in life after graduating.

    Austin Matsuura

    Austin Matsuura is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Anyone who knows Matsuura knows his name is synonymous with the Union. Matsuura’s favorite memory in the Union was when he was first introduced to UPC during his orientation. Everyone was so friendly and inclusive, and Matsuura knew right away the Union and UPC were going to be his community. He was on the Freshman Ambassador Board, a former Director of the Freshman Ambassador Board, and is the outgoing Executive Director of UPC. Outside of his Union leadership experiences, he was the former Vice President of Recruitment for University Ambassadors, a Business Scholars student, a Teaching Assistant for Business & Professional Communication, an Innovative Intern and Associate Product Manager at Vivint.SmartHome, and a Lead Junior Golf Instructor at Mick Riley Golf Course. After graduation, Matsuura plans to work in product or project management. Later in life, he would like to open his own Jr. Golf teaching business.

    Nikhil Singh

    Nikhil Singh is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a minor in Naval Science. Singh has been a Union Recreation employee for the last two years. His favorite Union memories are the Union Scholarship Celebrations and Crimson Nights. Singh was part of the Navy ROTC program (Marine route) for all four of his undergraduate years. The program significantly developed his leadership skills and brought him closer to the people in his cohort. In a few months, Singh will leave for Virginia to train before entering the fleet. His ultimate career goal is to become a Ground Intelligence officer in the Marine Corps and to better the lives of the people around him.

    Suyog Shrestha

    Suyog Shrestha is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Operations and Supply Chain. Shrestha has been a Building Manager at the Union since September 2017. During his undergraduate experience, Shreshta was involved in various organizations, such as AASA, VASA, MEChA, SOMOS, Beacon Scholars, International Ambassadors, Business Scholars, and Opportunity Scholars. With all of his involvement and work at the Union, Shreshtha credits the Union as his home away from home. Shrestha’s favorite memories were the Union Scholarship Celebrations, his involvements, and studying at the Union. Shrestha plans to attend the Masters of Science in Information Systems after graduating.

    Bailey Johannsen

    Bailey Johannsen is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Her signature undergraduate experience was her involvements at the Union. Johannsen was an employee at the Union, a Union Student Leader Scholarship recipient, and a Director of Development for UPC, raising funds for UPC and Union Scholarships. These experiences and her friends at the Union are what she will miss the most. After graduation, Johannsen plans to work in the engineering field and also pursue medical school.

    Marshall Foster

    Marshall Foster is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Foster has been involved at the Union and employed as a Building Manager for the past two years. With all this much time at the Union, Foster considers the Union his campus community. His favorite Union memories are the fun student events that Union Programming Council organizes, like Crimson Nights. Foster was also a News Writer at The Daily Utah Chronicle writing stories around campus involvement and new happenings. After graduation, Foster plans to work in sports management and hopes to have a positive impact on the lives around him.

    Natalie Battad

    Natalie Battad is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Operations and Supply Chain. Battad has been highly involved with UPC over the past five years. She is the outgoing Director of Arts & Special Events. It is no secret to anyone that Battad calls the Union her home, and will miss UPC Board Retreats and her friends at the Union. Battad was also a Diversity Scholar, Resident Advisor, Vice President of Marketing for the Operations and Supply Chain Club, member of the Mortar Board Honor Society, and member of the Owl & Keys Honor Society. Battad plans to take on the world by utilizing her skills and talents in the workforce after graduating

    Omar Tsai

    Omar Tsai is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Strategic Communication. Over his undergraduate career, Tsai has held leadership positions in several organizations, such as the Union Programming Council, Lassonde Studios, Associated Students of the University of Utah, and Housing & Residential Education. He has been involved with UPC for over four years and is the outgoing Associate Director of Arts & Special Events. Tsai’s favorite memories are the first week of school events in the Union because there is so much going on and he enjoys seeing the excitement in everyone’s eyes. With so many memories at the Union, he says he will really miss his time and friends at the Union. After graduation, Tsai plans to work full time in a career that is fulfilling, which has a positive impact on the environment, and the people in his community.

    Sarah Cronin

    Sarah Cronin is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geoscience with an emphasis in Geology. During her time at the University of Utah, Cronin was heavily involved with UPC and is the outgoing Director of Crimson Nights. Her favorite memories at the Union are the late nights organizing Crimson Nights and attending UPC events. Outside of her UPC involvements, Cronin was an Orientation Leader, Orientation Team Leader, Swoop Camp Captain, volunteer at the Natural History Museum of Utah, and is currently an intern at the Paleontology Collections. After graduation, Cronin will be pursuing graduate school in Geology with a petroleum focus.

    Spencer Sawas

    Spencer Sawas is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Sawas has been a Building Manager at the Union for the past three years. Outside of the Union, Sawas played for Utah Rugby his Freshman year, held leadership roles in Phi Delta Theta, and was a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society. For Sawas, the Union, Marriott Library, and Salt Lake City were his home. His time with friends, colleagues, and mentors who helped make community with him was very fulfilling. Sawas plans to continue pursuing all things that make him happy after graduating.

    Written by: Hamza Yaqoobi

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