Summer 2021 Graduates Head Out With New College of Sciences Degrees

UCF’S newest College of Sciences graduates crossed the stage Saturday at Summer 2021 Commencement. 

Among them was Nahla Turner, a psychology graduate who not only battled pandemic challenges in 2020, but a cancer diagnosis. A clean bill of health in October 2020 brought her to Saturday’s academic finish line and a new starting line pursuing a career as a professional soccer player. 

“My advice to students would be to have the best time of your life,”  said Turner, who played semi-pro soccer in her undergraduate years. “You have to make best out of your college experiences because it’ll be over before you know it.” 

Nearby sat Jesus Perez who graduated with a degree in biology. Perez’s first major as a Knight was engineering, but he quickly realized his calling was not “sitting in an office all day.” He plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. 

“I wanted a more hands-on experience,” Perez said. “I decided to pursue veterinary (medicine) because the more I got into it, the more I realized that this was something I truly cared about.” 

Many of the graduates were psychology majors as UCF’S Top 15 Degree Programs include psychology, nursing, and integrated business. 

Jullianna Stalbaum of Coral Springs, Florida chose the track of clinical psychology because of her passion for mental health and a drive to help people “get on the right track.” After graduation, Stalbaum plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in either clinical psychology or social work. 

“I would encourage future students to pursue a career they’re passionate about,” Stalbaum said. 


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