Commencement 2022 Speakers

Authored By: dies0044 04/22/2022

More than 116 will receive their degrees at the University of Minnesota Rochester’s (UMR) commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14. The following were selected to speak at the ceremony. 


Cassidy TerrellCassidy Terrell, PhD, a biochemistry professor with UMR’s Center for Learning Innovation will provide the faculty perspective for the ceremony. Dr. Cassidy Terrell earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2007. Her interest in drug design and medicinal chemistry led her to the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the University of Texas, Austin, where she earned her Biochemistry PhD. She spent two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at St. Olaf College, where she discovered her love of working with undergraduate students in the classroom and in research environments. She started at UMR in 2014 and is currently a tenured Associate Professor, primarily teaching Biochemistry courses. Dr. Terrell’s research focuses on developing and assessing visual literacy-related curricula. Currently, she and her undergraduate research team are developing tools to characterize how students organize and store knowledge related to molecular life science visual literacy skills.

Words for the graduating class of 2022:

“Reserve the right to change your mind about whatever path you are on, you do not owe anyone an explanation and you will be surprised by how much others will support you.”



Anya VangAnya Vang of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Health Professions. After careful consideration of various health care careers, Anya found Sonography to be the most intriguing because it is not only an innovative and noninvasive form of diagnostic imaging, but a hands-on patient care career. 

Post-graduation Vang will begin working in the Sonography department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Advice to current UMR students:

“Continue to reflect on your progress as you advance in your college career and know that it is not how you start off on this journey that determines your success, but how you finish it instead. Apply this idea during any times of hardship as a motivation to push forward, and you will soon find yourself as a college senior preparing to graduate!”




Rachael OjeikhodionRachael Ojeikhodion of Rochester, Minn. will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree. She aspires to be a nurse practitioner working in women’s health and medical law. Rachael developed a passion for community engagement and teamwork through participation in UMR’s Pre Professionals Club, reproductive health research and Rochester’s community-wide, community-owned Cradle to Career initiative. 

Advice to current UMR students:

"My advice to everyone is not to take yourself, your decisions, your outcomes or even your mistakes so seriously; there’s nowhere special to get to and no special accomplishment to check off the list. We are living in the moment. It is only right to enjoy the time we have in front of us; the moment is now; the place is here; the person is you. Make choices that make you feel alive and proud of yourself."