May 19, 2016 at 10:15am
Dane Lisser

Millikin graduates look to the future

Millikin Graduation

Millikin University will honor the 2016 graduating class with ceremonies on May 21 and 22. Millikin's traditional commencement ceremony on May 22 will mark the graduation of approximately 400 students who will earn degrees from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Fine Arts, Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business.

We caught up with a few of our graduates as they approach graduation and asked them to reflect on their experiences at Millikin University. Graduating seniors Alex Tueth, Emily Love and Kayla Lovel shared their stories.

Following graduation, Alex Tueth, an accounting major from Decatur, Ill., will begin a position in the Systems Department at the State Farm Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill. Emily Love, a nursing major from Mattoon, Ill., will start her position as a registered nurse on the medical floor at HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Ill. Kayla Lovel, an art therapy major, plans to attend graduate school at the University of Louisville.

How do you think you've grown as a student at Millikin?

Lovel: "I've definitely grown from a self-motivational aspect. As a freshman, I saw myself trying to learn everything and as a senior I was on the ball with finding internships, applying for graduate schools and jobs."

Love: "At Millikin there is a big push for community involvement, especially for service learning scholars. On Millikin's campus, especially with the nursing program, we worked a lot with the hospitals. Being involved in the community was a big part of growing as a student."

Tueth: "The tools I learned at Millikin are beneficial for me from a growth standpoint and will help with any job that I decide to do."

Alex Tueth

Alex Tueth

Can you describe a project you're most proud of during your time at Millikin?

Tueth: "The homeless database development project with Dove Inc. was important because it says Performance Learning. The project will make an impact in the community today and 10 years from now. It's one of the proudest moments of my career at Millikin."

Love: "It was the little things. The semesters certainly went by fast and now as a senior I've looked back and realized how much I've done. Everything has come together and it's been very successful."

Lovel: "I recently had my BFA senior art exhibition which was the final achievement for my degree. During the four years prior, it was all about working towards that, building it, and collectively making a show that the community can be involved with. It was eye-opening for me that I could accomplish something that big just as a student."

Millikin Graduation

Emily Love

What advice would you give to future Millikin students?

Lovel: "Try everything and if there's an experience or opportunity in front of you, take it. Don't limit yourself to just academics, be involved with everything because you can learn something from everything your involved in."

Love: "One of the best pieces of advice I received was during my freshman year – what you do matters now. It's important to focus on yourself in the very beginning."

Tueth: "Focus on academics, but also remember that it's four years. Work hard and take advantage of the opportunities."

Millikin Graduation

Kayla Lovel

How would you describe the Millikin experience?

Love: "One of the reasons I attended Millikin was the small community. For me it was about feeling valued and when you feel valued you work hard which leads to success, and now we're going off to graduate school and jobs. I think value is one of the best things about Millikin."

Millikin's traditional ceremony for students on Sunday, May 22, will start at 2 p.m. at the Decatur Civic Center. Millikin will host a ceremony for graduates of its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree Program and Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree Program on Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at Albert Taylor Theatre inside Shilling Hall on Millikin's campus.