During Kennesaw State University’s final graduation ceremony for the spring semester, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens encouraged students to continue to take educated risks after college.
“Too often, people are scared to take chances. But if you don’t take chances, you won’t succeed,” he said. “If you don’t take chances, you won’t have opportunities ahead of you that maybe you never thought would come.”
Olens also reminded the graduates to never lower their expectations in the future.
“If you work hard everything’s possible,” he said. “It’s all about raising your expectations, not lowering your expectations, in a job market, in a spouse, with a family, everything is all about seeking to go further than you think is imaginable.”
The attorney general was one of four speakers who addressed more than 2,000 graduates over two days of ceremonies at the third largest university in Georgia.
One KSU graduate who continued to take risks as — suggested by Olens — and didn’t lower her expectations, even after suffering from a traumatic brain injury two years ago, is 26-year-old Tuce Girit.
“I am so excited to walk and to be able to tell myself that I did it,” Girit said. “It was kind of hard, especially my first semester back because it was very frustrating, but I did it.”
She fell on her head while getting out of her car March 23, 2011, and doesn’t remember anything from the accident, but regains a little bit of her memory every day.
Girit’s boyfriend was there when she fell. She’s alive today because he performed CPR on her and called for medical help. She had to take a year off from school to heal.
The native of Turkey, who participated in Thursday afternoon’s ceremony, has been attending KSU since 2010 and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations with a minor in film studies.
She is graduating with a 3.46 GPA.
“I grew up in a family where everyone is a doctor or dentist but I wanted to do something different and I wanted to be with people, face to face, and as I looked deeper and deeper into it, I thought public relations would be great,” she said.
She was joined by 10 of her family members at the ceremony and sported the Turkish flag over her shoulders.
“It was given to me by the international global village at KSU,” she said.
Following graduation, Girit will be searching for a job.
She recently was granted her work permit and is hoping to have a job by mid-July at the latest.
“I’ve started sending my resume to difference places,” she said. “I’m excited about that!”
Another excited KSU graduate is 48-year-old Becky LeFebvre. The Woodstock resident is receiving the university’s first doctorate degree. Her doctorate is in international conflict management.
“It is quite an honor,” she said. “I’m very anxious to see KSU’s doctorate programs continue to grow, and I’m very happy to be at the leading edge of that phase of their growth.”
International conflict management became KSU’s first Ph.D program in 2010 and has grown to enroll 34 doctoral students from 19 different countries. The university recently added doctoral programs in education, nursing and business.
LeFebvre said her area of study is a branch of international affairs that focuses primarily on global conflicts. She said she studies how peacekeepers train and make decisions on their missions.
Following graduation, she will be a full-time faculty member at Southern Polytechnic State University teaching science, technology and society in the school’s Department of Social and International Studies.