They're fired up. They're focused. Now, they're part of the alumni family. Read about six outstanding new alumni who exemplify what it means to be a Central Michigan University Chippewa.
One simple connection helped Tyler Burns find his passion for helping students with special needs. The special education graduate watched one of his summer campers snap a pool cue over their knee after reaching their boiling point. The young man with autism had been getting picked on by other campers and reached his limit.
After a minute or two, Burns felt the camper put their head on his shoulder and an apology soon followed. It was in that moment that it clicked for Burns. He wanted to continue making a meaningful impact on others.
Read more in Burns' Grads on Fire profile.
Namita Chauhan came to the United States in 2018 to be with her husband, leaving New Delhi, India, where she grew up. She knew when she started her Master of Science in Administration degree with a concentration in project management that the job market would be competitive.
She was confident her undergraduate education in India prepared her academically. Her biggest concern was similar to any new student: making friends and connecting with others. The difference for Namita: English is her secondary language.
Read more in Chauhan's Grads on Fire profile.
Alexander Hawkins' background has a recurring theme: Make the most of everything he learns and use it to move toward his ultimate goal. For Hawkins, that includes earning his bachelor's degree while stationed in the Middle East.
Following a journey he started back in 2016 as an active-duty serviceman, he graduated May 8 with a degree in political science. He finished his program online while deployed with the Army National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq.
Read more in Hawkins' Grads on Fire profile.
S. Akbar Husain
The son of Pakistani immigrants, S. Akbar Husain has a special empathy for the challenges people face in difficult circumstances. Husain's father worked his way through medical school after being displaced from his homeland, moving to Canada and then Michigan.
Following his example, Husain graduated May 7 from CMU's College of Medicine. In June, he begins his three-year internal medical residency at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Read more in Husain's Grads on Fire profile.
Alex Petix feels there's always something to do at CMU. That willingness to try new things coupled with her drive and enthusiasm set her on a path through four years of exciting experiences, and very little sleep. She joined the Central Marketing Society and became a member of Pi Sigma Epsilon.
She also participated in sales competitions, honing her skills against national competitors and winning awards. She recently completed her final PSE sales competition. The payoff for her hard work? In addition to her marketing degree, she graduated with a job at Lexus.
Read more in Petix's Grads on Fire profile.
McKenna Wietecha believes what you consume matters. From the food you eat to the education of why you should eat certain things, she's always been interested in how food affects your health and well-being. After starting classes at CMU, Wietecha found her passion lies in educating people about how the foods you eat affect you.
Now with her degree in public health education in hand, she's interning with the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, teaching young kids how to create good eating habits and even grow food of their own.
Read more in Wietecha's Grads on Fire profile.