Meet DePaul University’s class of 2015

CHICAGO — Some 6,700 students will graduate from DePaul University this academic year and among them are Fulbright scholars, veterans, educators, lawyers, future army leaders, advertising executives and playwrights. They join a network of more than 167,000 DePaul alumni living around the world.

Their academic accomplishments will culminate at one of six commencement ceremonies planned for the weekend of June 13-14. A seventh was held in May for the College of Law. Details about the ceremonies, including information about commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients, are online at

Some of this year’s graduates are first generation scholars and others are children of immigrants, carrying on a 117-year DePaul tradition. Many returned to school after serving in the military, starting a family or transferring schools, while others are traditional students who entered college directly after high school.

DePaul’s colleges and schools have distinguished reputations for preparing graduates to work, succeed and contribute in the global community. Graduates of DePaul are urban educated giving them access to interact with people from all over the world and providing them with real world experiences.

Here are some of the stories from the class of 2015.

Val Gonzalo | B.S. Management and Finance
Driehaus College of Business

Val Gonzalo trained with Romanian paratroopers during an emersion program with DePaul ROTC to foster her language skills and teach them about American Culture. She says ROTC and her studies in business have taught her how to be a leader. More>​

Jenny Fuerte | B.S. Interactive and Social Media
College of Computing and Digital Media

A first generation college graduate in her family, Jenny Fuerte credits mentors for helping her discover the possibilities of pursuing higher education and the opportunities a degree would open. As a DePaul Innovation Award winner and Launch DePaul finalist, she looks forward to mentoring other young students. More>​​​

Jose Juarez | B.A. Public Relations and Advertising
College of Communication

San Francisco native Jose Juarez came to DePaul and fell in love with both advertising and the city of Chicago. Juarez explains how “advertising is essentially storytelling” and why he plans to stick around the Windy City. More>​

Benita Figueroa | B.A. Psychology
College of Science and Health

DePaul’s commitment to community sparked something in Benita Figueroa when she was touring universities. As a student mentor in the psychology department and a volunteer with Chicago Lights, she says her degree from DePaul “gives her the confidence” she needs to go out and be a role model in her community after graduation. More>​

Stephanie Berryhill | B.S. Elementary Education
College of Education

A graduate of Chicago Public Schools, Stephanie Berryhill majored in education so she could return to CPS and help students reach for the stars. Her compassion also extends outside the classroom, where she has volunteered with Chicago’s homeless and refugee populations. More>​

Kevin Cole | B.A. German and Spanish
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Inspired by his interests in foreign languages and travel, Kevin Cole is a multi-lingual scholar, earning bachelor’s degrees in German and Spanish. After graduation, he will travel to Turkey and Germany to continue his studies on a Fulbright scholarship. More>​

Amanda Moncada | J.D.
College of Law

Amanda Moncada blazed her own trail to the DePaul University College of Law, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to a prestigious position on the law school’s scholarly journal and a full-time job in business law. More>​

Larena Code | B.M. Music Education
School of Music

Larena Code says Norwegian children’s songs in kindergarten helped her adapt after a big move abroad. Now a pianist and music educator, Code uses music to bring students out of their comfort zones. More>​

Ulises Ivan Sanchez | B.A.
School for New Learning

Ulises Ivan Sanchez was serving as a U.S. Marine in Germany when he first enrolled in DePaul’s School for New Learning. His work with personnel in the military inspired him to pursue the field of human resources, and at DePaul he helped connect student veterans with volunteer and leadership opportunities. More>​

Jared Hecht | B.F.A. Playwriting
The Theatre School

Jared Hecht is an accomplished playwright, actor, short story author and theatre-maker — and that’s before he graduates. The Minnesota native plans to make Chicago home. After all, it’s a big theatre town and he’s already connected. More>​


Media Contact:
Wendy Zamaripa Smit​
312-362-7749 ​