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In May 2021, the annual BUILD PODER Senior Showcase at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) celebrated scholars who completed the program by highlighting their accomplishments as scientists, honoring their mentors, and congratulating them on their acceptances into graduate programs.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning continues, the showcase was held virtually via Zoom on May 14. The event opened with keynote speaker, Daniel Solórzano, Ph.D., professor of education at University of California, Los Angeles. CSUN psychology professor Claudia Toledo-Coral, Ph.D., was honored as the BUILD PODER Mentor of the Year by the students. Each graduating student was recognized during a slideshow through a special message from their mentors.
As they did last year, the BUILD PODER staff and faculty put together graduation goodie bags for each student. The bags contained the student’s cap and gown, a BUILD PODER stole, a CSUN pennant, chocolates, a book called “Just Medicine” by Dayna Matthew, party poppers, hand sanitizer, lawn signs, BUILD PODER swag, and more. Students picked up their goodie bags at a local park, where the community could interact in person after a year of lockdown.
Ready with their caps and gowns, students took photos and posted them on social media.
Although they were disappointed that graduation was not in person, the excitement of having their caps and gowns was evident, and BUILD PODER faculty were hopeful that it brought the students joy.
Check out the BUILD PODER YouTube channel for the full ceremony and slideshow.