With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2016:
Name: Gabi Mirand
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Major: Mirand graduated with a M.Ed. in Elementary Education, with a concentration on STEM, in December.
Post-graduation plans: Mirand accepted a position as special education teacher at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California.
How HPU helped you get there: “Taking the STEM concentrated masters program at HPU gave the confidence to integrate lessons that allow students to investigate and learn through inquiry-based learning. This approach gives students the courage to be in an uncomfortable learning environment or subject in order to make large strides in their development and learning processes. Being able to integrate STEM into the special education curriculum has allowed me to grow as an educator and make strides in educational views. But the most obvious aid HPU has provided me with is a diversity in skills and experiences to help me achieve my dream job.“
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “Dr. Shirley Disseler has a lot of qualities that I find in myself, such as drive and ambition. She is definitely a role model in my life. I hope I can achieve as much as she has with her gusto. Dr. Tess Hegedus is probably one of the most genuine and hard working professors I had ever met. Her passion for teaching exudes in her lessons, and I carry that with me every day. Jake Hong (the assistant volleyball coach), from day one, never stopped believing in me despite all my injuries and doubts. He is the one who introduced me to HPU and to an amazing volleyball program, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the experience.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “Even the smallest act of kindness can be the most giving event in a person’s memory. Mel Wagner, another HPU grad and now my best friend, took me under her wing and showed me what it was like to be a part of the awesome group of education majors. It all started with the statement, ‘Guys! Gabi is from California! She’s awesome!’ Apparently being from the west coast is an ‘awesome’ attribute! Regardless, this event is what I carry with me every day in the classroom – always share a smile or a compliment. They are highly contagious.”
Advice for underclassmen: “It’s all about developing experiences and a repertoire that can get you to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Travel as much as you can. Appreciate what people and this world have to offer. If it weren’t for my volleyball career turning a different direction than I had planned, I wouldn’t have found the open door to come to HPU. Some of my lifelong friends I’ve met within the past two years, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Keep learning, keep growing and keep chasing your dreams. Life isn’t as short as you think.“