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Meet DePaul University’s class of 2016

Profiles of 10 exemplary graduates

Meet the class of 2016
These exemplary students from DePaul University's class of 2016 will be among some 6,500 students celebrating commencement June 11-12. (Image by Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — Beneath the sea of mortarboards at DePaul University’s 118th commencement ceremonies, some 6,500 graduates will reflect on their futures. Among them will be animators, accountants, health communicators, teachers, psychologists, actors, musicians, religious scholars and data miners.

Ten of this year’s graduates spoke with the DePaul Newsroom about how their university studies expanded their worldview and honed their ambitions. They will join some 173,000 DePaul alumni worldwide who have succeeded in a learning environment that values both academic achievement and community responsibility.

Six commencement ceremonies are planned for the weekend of June 11-12. A seventh was held in May for the College of Law. Details about the ceremonies, including information about commencement speakers, honorary degree recipients and a live stream of the events, are online at

Here are some of the stories from the class of 2016.

Greg Kulasik | B.S. in Business; B.S. in Computer Science
Driehaus College of Business, College of Computing and Digital Media
Ambitious and focused, Greg Kulasik took on two very different degrees — accounting and computer science — to catapult himself into business with a local startup. Read more >>

Bella Mucino | B.A. in Psychology
College of Science and Health
A Chicago native from a bilingual home, Bella Mucino is working to take the stigma out of mental health. As an intern and researcher, she examined how to protect minority youth from bullying and trauma. Read more >>

Amar Patel | B.S. in Business Analytics
School for New Learning
From running an arcade to analyzing data at Cook County Jail, Amar Patel took a non-traditional path to his degree. He studied at night, after putting his children to bed. Read more >>

Jalen Gilbert | B.F.A. in Acting
The Theatre School at DePaul University
Onstage and as a resident advisor, Jalen Gilbert used his training as an actor to overcome his fear of conflict and to take on tough conversations about race. Read more >>

Oleksandra Babiy | B.A. in Communication Studies
College of Communication
Oleksandra Babiy came to DePaul to study at the English Language Academy. She continued on with her studies, exploring communications and working as a patient liaison at Northwestern Medicine. Read more >>

Donalisa Gomez | B.F.A. in Animation
College of Computing and Digital Media
Frame by frame, Donalisa Gomez animates characters who will make her audience feel less alone. Her love of Japanese animation drew her to DePaul and to a life-changing trip overseas. Read more >>

Erik Martinez | B.S. in Elementary Education
College of Education
Across a border and in two languages, Erik Martinez learned the value of education as a young child. He plans to shape the future of bilingual education. Read more >>

Griffin Hardy | B.A. in Catholic Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
As a Catholic studies major, Griffin Hardy connected with Sister Helen Prejean to work on behalf of death row inmates who seek mercy. Read more >>

Ben Rogers | B.M. in Music Performance for Cello
School of Music
Ben Rogers thrives when he is surrounded by strong musicians and he plays the cello to share the beauty of music with others. Read more >>

Sue Lee | J.D.
College of Law
Sue Lee felt a calling to become an attorney as a second career and discovered her niche at DePaul’s Center for Public Interest Law. Read more >>


Media Contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews