IRVINE, Calif., June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At a recent graduation ceremony, the University of California, Irvine Extension conferred 2,042 Certificates and Specialized Studies Awards to 1,874 students for completion of continuing education programs during the 2013-2014 academic year. The certificates granted in more than 65 program categories encompass a wide spectrum of disciplines including business, management, finance, education, engineering, information technology and law.
"Our students pursue continuing education for many reasons. Whether it is a personal passion or preparation for career change or advancement, the skills and knowledge gained at UC Irvine will undoubtedly position them on a positive path toward a better future," said Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D., Dean of Continuing Education, Summer Session and Distance Learning at UC Irvine. "Graduation is the start of a new journey for each student, and we are excited to see what impact each individual will have in their fields locally, nationally and internationally."
In addition to the certificate awards, three special awards were presented at the ceremony. A Partnership Award was presented to Mercury Insurance for its ongoing partnership with the school. The award was given because of the company's close collaboration with UC Irvine Extension to develop a customized Organizational Leadership and Communication program exclusively for a select group of Mercury Insurance supervisors and management. Over the years, the program has been refined and led to the development of a specialized program for Mercury Insurance project managers. During the course of this two-year partnership, nearly 60 employees have graduated from these programs, with 30 more expected to complete their programs by fall.
The award for Alumni Achievement was given to three former students, each for demonstrating how the education and skills gained from a UC Irvine Extension certificate program have been applied in a distinctive and notable way. Award recipients included:
- Jonathan Banner is an alumnus of the ECE Global Management and Manufacturing Custom Program. After graduating last summer, Banner returned to his native France and launched a start-up company called Flash-Card, which makes an individual's digital and social media profile quickly available through a single barcode. Following its success in Europe, Flash-Card has now launched in California.
- Sara Soriano graduated from the Accelerated Certificate Program in International Business Operations and Management. Soriano was hired as an associate industrial engineer at Westridge Laboratories, where she made suggestions that increased efficiencies by 40 percent. She was promoted to production manager in under a month and now supervises a team of 30.
- Rosemary Wagner is a graduate of the Business Analyst Certificate Program. With more than 20 years of business experience under her belt, which included working as a product manager and leading a software development team for the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, she is now a business analyst for the non-profit CFA Institute, where she leads a team implementing a learning management system to serve their external customers.
The final award category, Student Achievement Award, was presented to Rochelle Uhlenkott for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to completing a program of study.
- Rochelle Uhlenkott earned both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Physics and most recently, an Optical Engineering certificate, and works as a senior engineer for the Newport Corporation, a manufacturer of optical testing and vibration isolation equipment. Based on her performance, accomplishments and recommendations from her instructors, she has accepted a position to be a UCI Extension instructor.
A recording of the UC Irvine Extension 2013-2014 Certificate Awards Ceremony is available on the organization's YouTube channel found here: http://youtu.be/MJiZDsbTQZQ.
About UC Irvine Extension: University of California, Irvine Extension is the continuing education arm of UC Irvine, serving nearly 40,000 students globally and offering more than 3,200 classes annually on the UC Irvine campus, online and at employer sites throughout California and worldwide. Since 1962, UC Irvine Extension has served Orange County with programs and classes to help adult learners reach their career advancement and personal enrichment goals, and remains dedicated to providing broad access to the resources of the University for the benefit of the public, both through University Extension certificate and specialized studies programs and a broad range of free and open educational resources. Learn more at http://extension.uci.edu, or join us on YouTube or Facebook.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit today.uci.edu.
Vivian Chan-Slater, 714-573-0899 ext. 235
SOURCE UC Irvine Extension