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Meet the class of 2018

2018 grads
Graduates from DePaul University's Class of 2018 share their stories and plans for the future: Cassandra Murff, Esteban Perez, Alysa Bloodsworth, LaSheda Brooks and Gracie Straznickas. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion and Jamie Moncrief)
More than 6,700 DePaul University students are graduating this year and many will gather this weekend at five commencement ceremonies to reflect on their accomplishments. Among them will be a Marine veteran with a heart for mental health, an esports enthusiast with a vision for community service and a game designer who uses video games to boost empathy for those suffering from chronic disease.

Five of this year's graduates shared how their university experience has driven them from theory to action and what they plan to do next. They will join more than 182,000 DePaul alumni worldwide who have succeeded in a learning environment that values both academic achievement and community responsibility. Here are some of the stories from the Class of 2018:

Alysa Bloodsworth | B.S. in Neuroscience with a dual degree in Arabic Studies | College of Science and Health

After serving as a suicide prevention advocate in the Marines, Alysa Bloodsworth studied neuroscience to seek answers for veterans with PTSD. Read more>>

Cassandra Murff | B.A. in English | College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Living in the aftermath of homelessness, Cassandra Murff tapped into the power of mentorship to propel herself through undergraduate studies. Read more>>

Esteban Perez | B.S.B. in Accountancy | Driehaus College of Business

Entrepreneurship and a passion for gaming inspired Esteban Perez to pitch a business with a purpose - community centers that use esports to reach Chicago's underserved youth. Read more>>

Gracie Straznickas | B.S. in Computer Game Development with a minor in Animation | College of Computing and Digital Media

Game design goes deeper than entertainment for Gracie Staznickas, who creates video games that boost empathy, understanding and self-awareness of diseases and mental illness. Read more>>

LaSheda Brooks | J.D. | College of Law

In May, LaSheda Brooks graduated from DePaul University's College of Law with plans to serve in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps. Read more>>​

The June 9-10 ceremonies will be held at Wintrust Arena in Chicago's South Loop. A sixth ceremony was held in May for the College of Law. Find details about the ceremonies, including information about speakers and a live video stream of the events, at