COE Graduation-Related Student Speakers

The College of Education will be represented by five student speakers for commencement-related ceremonies held May 7 and 8, 2021. On May 7 the college hosts the virtual Pinning ceremony and on May 8 both the Hooding and Commencement virtual ceremonies will occur.  We are proud to have these five students representing the college. Read on to learn more about our student speakers. 

Laki Siciid Omar has been selected to serve as the student Commencement speaker, representing the College of Education for the May 8 ceremony.

A native of Chaska, Minnesota, Laki is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a with a STEM certificate. During her time at Minnesota State University, Mankato she served as the president of Educators for Equity and as an events coordinator for Teachers of Tomorrow. Laki conducted her student teaching with Eastern Carver County schools.

Laki wanted to become a teacher to make a positive impact on the lives of the students she interacts with. “Teachers can come from every walk of life and children should have the opportunity to learn from them.”

One of Laki’s Professors, Dr. David Kimori, describes Laki as an individual who will inspire students. “During her field experience and student teaching, Laki quickly created strong relationships with her students and mentor teachers. She immersed these experiences with passion.”

This coming fall Laki will begin her Master’s program with the Educational Leadership program.


View Laki's speech and the entire College of Education Commencement ceremony live on Saturday, May 8, by 8:00 AM via the link below. 

College of Education May 2021 Commencement Ceremony

Cal Evoniuk has been selected to serve as the Graduate student speaker for the College of Education Hooding ceremony on May 8. While being held virtually this semester, the Hooding ceremony serves as special recognition for our students completing their master’s, specialist, or doctorate degrees.

A native of Belfield, North Dakota, Cal is graduating with a Master of Science degree from Counseling and Student Personnel with an emphasis in College Student Affairs.

Cal began to consider this field while living in the residence halls during his undergraduate program. “I had a really positive experience living in the residence halls at my undergraduate institution and that helped me to thrive. Because of that, I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could support college students and help them find their place at college much like I was given the opportunity to.”

While pursuing his master’s degree, Cal was involved in the Graduate Student Association. Cal also worked within the residence halls and with Learning Communities as part of his academic program. Beyond the classroom, Cal appreciated spending time with friends he made during his program, enjoying movie and game nights.

As graduation approaches, Cal reflects on his experience at the University. “My time at Minnesota State University, Mankato has helped me combine my passion for my chosen career with practical experience and a depth of knowledge that I am excited to take into the next step of my life and career.”


Hooding students will receive an email from Dean Haar on Saturday, May 8, with a direct link to the Hooding ceremony. Additionally, all individuals will be able to access the Hooding ceremony after 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 8, by clicking the link below. 

May 2021 Hooding Ceremony

 

Kalley Kendall has been selected to serve as the Special Education student speaker for Pinning. While being held virtually this semester, the Pinning ceremony recognizes our undergraduate Bachelor of Science in teaching graduates and graduate-level initial licensure graduates.

A native of Waterville, Minnesota, Kalley is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. During her time at Minnesota State University, Mankato she participated in the MN Nice AAU Youth Basketball program.

Kalley began to consider the field of Special Education after working as a student success coach at Prairie Winds middle school. “We continuously had to problem solve and come up with creative ways to engage students in learning. These challenges motivated me, and I enjoyed providing all students with opportunities to learn.”

Kalley conducted her student teaching with the St. Peter School district. She recalls one of her favorite memories from student teaching. “I was giving a math lesson and was nervous, I made a mistake and apologized to the students. One fourth-grade student’s reply was ‘it’s okay, we all make mistakes sometimes.’ It made me so happy and I no longer was nervous for the lesson.”


Initial Teaching Licensure students will view their virtual Pinning ceremony as part of the World Cafe event held on May 7. Additionally, individuals may view the virtual Pinning ceremony starting at 2PM on May 7 by clicking the link below. 

May 2021 Pinning Ceremony 

Daniella Soto Arroyo has been selected to serve as the K-12 and Secondary Programs student speaker for Pinning. While being held virtually this semester, the Pinning ceremony recognizes our undergraduate Bachelor’s in teaching graduates and graduate-level initial licensure graduates.

A native of Perry, Iowa, Daniella is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and Literature. During her time here she was involved in many on-campus student organizations including CLASA, Latino Wellness, Latinx Affairs, and Sigma Tau Delta. One of her favorite memories is participating in the Lip Sync Battle with Latinx Affairs and performing at the Diversity Dinner.

Daniella wanted to become an educator after realizing the impact she could make on students of color. “I never had an educator who looked like me and showed me who I could become. The world of education is lacking in leaders who are a representation of all the students we serve. I want to be an example to students of color and show them we are here, we exist, and we deserve this space just as much as anyone else.”

Daniella conducted her student teaching with the New Prague School District, and she is appreciative of the encouragement and guidance she has received along the way. “I want to give a special shoutout to Dr. Avila in the English Department for encouraging me in my studies and showing me that I belong. Your presence means so much to me and many other students who are Hispanic/Latinx. Thank you.”


Initial Teaching Licensure students will view their virtual Pinning ceremony as part of the World Cafe event held on May 7. Additionally, individuals may view the virtual Pinning ceremony starting at 2PM on May 7 by clicking the link below. 

May 2021 Pinning Ceremony

Kristen Schmalzriedt has been selected to serve as the Elementary and Literacy Education student speaker for Pinning. While being held virtually this semester, the Pinning ceremony recognizes our undergraduate Bachelor of Science in teaching graduates and graduate-level initial licensure graduates.

A native of Plainview, Minnesota, Kristen is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. During her time at Minnesota State University, Mankato, she was involved with the Student Ambassadors organization and was the Aquatics Coordinator for the Mankato YMCA. Her favorite memory is being able to walk to school with her husband.

Kristen wanted to become an educator because of her passion for learning. “I always have enjoyed learning and liked sharing what I’ve learned with the people around me. I was also blessed to be a third-generation teacher, with many excellent role models of amazing teachers to live up to.”

Kristen conducted her student teaching at Mankato Area Public Schools – District 77. Along with student teaching, Kristen gets involved in other ways to enhance her skills and knowledge. “I direct for Summer Stars Children’s Theatre and Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Summer Theatre. That has shaped my teaching a lot as well.”


Initial Teaching Licensure students will view their virtual Pinning ceremony as part of the World Cafe event held on May 7. Additionally, individuals may view the virtual Pinning ceremony starting at 2PM on May 7 by clicking the link below.  

May 2021 Pinning Ceremony