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Climate advocate, screenwriter, immigrant turned civic leader: Meet DePaul University’s Class of 2022

Commencement ceremonies set for June 11-12 at Wintrust Arena

Mykhailo Bogdanov, Lenin Plazas and Ally Johnson
Mykhailo Bogdanov, Ally Johnson and Lenin Plazas (L-R) are set to graduate from DePaul University June 11-12 at Wintrust Arena. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — An award-winning documentary filmmaker focusing on environmental issues. A DACA recipient turned permanent resident with dreams of being an immigration lawyer and civic leader. A comedy writer sharing stories of radical Black joy. Mykhailo Bogdanov, Lenin Plazas and Ally Johnson are among the 6,300 DePaul University students set to graduate this weekend.

Six ceremonies will be held at Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s South Loop June 11-12. A seventh ceremony was held in May for the College of Law. Details about the ceremonies, including information about a livestreamed video of the events are online at

DePaul graduates leave campus with big dreams after taking advantage of the university’s educational and experiential opportunities during their college careers. These three exceptional students are among the many graduates who have already put their knowledge into practice through videography, writing and leading. Here are some stories from the Class of 2022:

Mykhailo Bogdanov | M.S. in Environmental Science | College of Science and Health
Growing up in Ukraine, Mykhailo Bogdanov took every chance to enjoy nature and art. After earning a B.A. in Film and Television from DePaul in 2020, he enrolled in the graduate environmental science program to learn more about conservation. Two years later, Bogdanov leaves DePaul as an award-winning filmmaker and as a finisher of the Chicago Marathon, which he ran to raise money for the Chicago Parks Foundation. Read more>>

Ally Johnson | MFA in Screenwriting | Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media
Ally Johnson started working toward her Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting at DePaul amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, and as millions demonstrated in outrage following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other people of color. She channeled her emotions and thoughts into the screenwriting program to share the stories of marginalized communities – particularly stories of radical Black joy. Now she’s a full-time employee on CBS’s Emmy award-winning daytime talk show “The Talk.” Read more>>

Lenin Plazas | B.A. in Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
At just 9 months old, Lenin Plazas' parents used medical visas to bring him from Ecuador to Chicago so he could be treated for a rare heart defect. The family never left. Now a permanent resident, Plazas plans to become an immigration lawyer and dreams of seeking political office to help people in their time of need, just as his family was helped in theirs. Read more>>

About DePaul University
DePaul University provides exceptional academics and real-world experiences to prepare students for a changing world. With nearly 22,000 students across more than 300 academic programs, DePaul has two campus locations in Chicago. Students richly benefit from the city’s many opportunities. In turn, DePaul is one of the forces that shapes Chicago’s future. The university was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul is among the nation’s top universities for diversity because of its long tradition of providing a high-quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds. Today, DePaul is the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest and the largest Catholic university in the nation. Visit to learn more.


Media Contact:
Russell Dorn