2020 Graduating Spotlights

Amanda Carrasco

she, her, hers

Honors Bachelor of Arts, Ethnic Studies; Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Amanda Carrasco (she, her, hers) is receiving an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Throughout her time at the U, Amanda was actively involved in campus organizations including Diversity Scholars, Somos Dreamers, Beacon Scholars, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), and ASUU where she served as chief of staff and assembly parliamentarian and representative for the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. Amanda will be continuing her educational career at UCLA and will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Organizational Change. Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Higher Education to become a researcher and faculty member who teaches through a critical race lens. “I hope to shift the culture of higher education to reflect more inclusive practice and bridge the gap between my community and academia by increasing access to institutional knowledge.”

“One of the biggest tools for success that I have found to be effective is finding a community on campus where you feel welcomed and valued. There are a lot of different student organizations and resource centers that cater to different student needs. Through my involvement on campus, I was able to surround myself with supportive mentors and peers that care about me as a person and have helped me navigate higher education. Finding my community and family on campus has tremendously enhanced my undergraduate career and I will carry this experience with me into my future work.”

Kadelyn Egan poses by a fence and potted plants.

Kadelyn Egan

she, her, hers

Bachelor of Arts, Ethnic Studies & Asian Studies; Music Minor

Kadelyn Egan (she, her, hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and Asian Studies with a minor in Music. She has been involved in multiple leadership roles in three student groups – Women of Tomorrow, Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), and Multiracial Student Organization (MSO) – and served as a student outreach ambassador. With her new degree, Kadelyn is planning on applying to and attending a naturopathic university to pursue her passion for medicine and hopes of becoming a practitioner.

“My advice to incoming and current students is ‘don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.’”

Maura Cheney

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Bachelor of Arts, Ethnic Studies & Gender Studies; Disability Studies Minor

Maura Cheney (she, her, hers) is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies with a Disability Studies Minor. She participated in multiple organizations on and off campus including the Transform Internship Program / American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, the Bennion Center / Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake, MUSE Project, Students United for Reproductive Freedom and Campus Contraceptive Initiative. Maura will be using her degrees to focus on prison abolition within the disability and racial justice movements by working in nonprofit and community organizing spaces. Additionally, she will be working with Womanly Magazine, an art and health publication by and for women of color and non-binary folks. 

“College is challenging in many ways and there may be times where you can’t give as much as you’d like to your work. But remember that you got yourself here, and that you’re more than capable of making it through. Remember the communities you come from and care about, the ways you want to transform the world, the issues that excite you, and all that you have to learn. These are what make even the hardest times worth the grind. Plus, school is just a form of institutionalized power so cut yourself some slack.”

Emily Nachtweih

she, her, hers

Bachelor of Science, Health, Society & Policy; Bachelor of Science, Political Science; Disability Studies Minor

Emily Nachtweih (she, her, hers) is receiving a Bachelor of Science in both Health, Society & Policy and Political Science with a minor in Disability Studies. Throughout her undergraduate career, Emily was a member of the Utah Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, BlockU freshmen learning community program, and ASUU. She will be continuing her education at the University of Utah’s Masters of Healthcare Administration Program and aspires to work in hospital administration and improve quality of care.

“What you put into your degree and your college experience is what you get out of it. The University of Utah provides so many opportunities to get involved in the campus community, take advantage of them! Some of the best connections I made at the U were through putting myself out there personally and professionally.”

Johnny Rodriguez

he, him, his

Bachelor of Science, Ethnic Studies & Gender Studies; Pre-Nursing Major

Johnny Rodriguez (he, him, his) is receiving two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies with a major in Pre-Nursing. Johnny is also a previous member of Diversity Scholars and plans on continuing his education at the University of Utah with the Master Program of Public Health in the fall. Johnny hopes to utilize his degrees by “analyzing how health disparities impact our minority and marginalized communities in the county and state.”

“Know that you belong. Getting into your own head can be very damaging and you will often find yourself feeling left out and alone. There is a place, person, field, or something for you on campus. You simply have to find it, and when you do, you’ll know that you’re home.”

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