Dec. 7, 2021
From forensic science and psychology to business, nursing and fine arts, Virginia Commonwealth University’s December graduates are pursuing careers in a variety of fields. They also come from a wide range of places — both geographically and in terms of their life experiences.
An injury cut short Shae Gavit’s military career. Now she hopes to help veterans, active-duty military and military families struggling with substance and alcohol abuse. Matthew Hussmann has built a career as a real estate broker. Now armed with a degree in urban planning, he aims to focus on bringing positive change to neighborhoods. Andy Mensah was born in Italy and orphaned in the U.S. at age 11. When he graduates from the VCU School of Business this month, he will set his sights on a future in business and law and being “a voice for my community.”
Elijah Dawson, the first in his family to graduate from college, now aims to be the first “to have a ‘Dr.’ in front of my name.” Madisyn Elam wants to pursue a career in both medical practice and clinical research. Craft and material design student Madeleine Dugan is now looking into both making art and a future in museum work after she helped create a groundbreaking exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on the famed photographer Man Ray. And Khada Dulal’s journey from a refugee camp in Nepal to earning a doctoral degree from the VCU College of Health Professions will leave you cheering until the end.
As the fall semester concludes, these newest VCU graduates are preparing for the future. We interviewed them and some of their classmates in the weeks leading up to commencement. These are their stories: