February 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

OPIE Celebrates Graduation of 210 Students

By Erica Coffelt & Tetyana Dovbnya

On Friday, Feb. 13, the Ohio Program of Intensive English held its second annual graduation ceremony to celebrate students’ successful completion of the OPIE program during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2014 terms. More than 210 students completed their English studies during the 2014 calendar year.

The event was organized by Kristina Guyton, OPIE Socio-cultural Activities Coordinator, with assistance from OPIE faculty volunteers. More than 300 attendees–current OPIE students, faculty, guests, and 68 recent graduates—attended the ceremony. The graduates were welcomed and greeted by Dr. Robert Frank, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Gerard Krzic, director of OPIE, and Dr. Chris Thompson, Chair of the Department of Linguistics. Before the official ceremony, students engaged in conversations with their OPIE teachers and former classmates, catching up on their recent news.

Current OPIE students had the opportunity to hear three graduates share and reflect on their OPIE experiences, a valuable perspective for those who are still engaged in language study. Mingran Ma, a photojournalism major from China, reflected on the many opportunities OPIE gives students to engage in campus life and “‘do all those nice things.” She spoke about how Athens has become her home, and how OPIE gave her confidence to continue her academic studies.

Elham Al Harrasi, a senior from Oman, majoring in finance studies, mentioned how tough OPIE was and reminded the current students never to give up and be proud of themselves even during challenging times because hardships ultimately lead to academic success.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.53.44 PMThe final speaker from Brazil, Elivaldo Sapucaia Da Silva, also encouraged students to enjoy what OPIE has to offer and thanked faculty for the help in overcoming homesickness, which allowed him to enjoy his time in Athens.

“I just want to share that I know how you feel when your teachers give you a lot of homework to do during the weekend, but you have to agree with me that learning a new language not is so easy. So I say to you that each assignment is a piece of a large puzzle called knowledge. In other words I want to say, that the more you practice the more you learn,” advised Da Silva.

The awarding of certificates of program completion and group photos concluded the ceremony.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.53.56 PMGuyton reflected on the evening: “It was a successful event; I appreciated the enthusiasm of the graduates. They inspire those who are still studying.”

OPIE faculty and staff look forward to congratulating another “class” of graduates in the future and wishes the new alumni success in their academic studies.

Upcoming Events

OPIE welcomes OHIO faculty, staff, and students to join OPIE events this week:

Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 3 to 4 p.m., first floor of Alden Library: International Student Book Club Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 2 to 2:55 p.m., Morton 201: OPIE Lecture Series

  • Speaker: Trevis Thompson, Academic Advancement Center
  • Topic: Academic Study Skills

Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m., Baker First Floor – Bobcat Student Lounge: International Game Night

Friday, Feb. 20, form 6 to 8:30 p.m., Bird Arena: OUCU Free Family Skate Night

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