Nathaniel Thomas, Class of 2023

If there was a student-media event with an Edinboro logo, chances are Nathaniel Thomas was involved.

As the sports director of broadcast media for the campus radio and television teams, Thomas oversaw 130 live broadcasts, countless interviews and sports photography.

Thomas, who graduated Saturday with his bachelor’s degree alongside more than 600 Edinboro students, always found time to unwind despite his full calendar.

“Make sure you find time for yourself, because you can burn out,” he said. “This can help you enjoy your college experience. “

During two commencement ceremonies in McComb Fieldhouse, Acting President Dr. Lorraine Bernotsky conferred degrees for associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree students and certification recipients.

“As a first-generation college student from a working-class family in rural eastern Pennsylvania, I know your degree represents sacrifice, hard work and determination,” she said. “Be proud of all the accomplishments that brought you here today.”

Emily Muñiz, a Puerto Rican and Japanese first-generation student from Oxford, Pennsylvania, delivered the student address at the 10 a.m. ceremony. She double-majored in political science and psychology with a pre-law minor.

“Milestones, such as graduating from college, can make us compare ourselves to others that we believe are at the same point of their lives,” she said. “The truth is that we are all at completely different places in life, and we just so happen to be celebrating a similar achievement at the same time, which is beautiful for us to be able to do here together today.”

This year, Muñiz served as president of Model UN and Model NATO, president of Edinboro’s Phi Alpha Delta, and worked as both a student facilitator and a community outreach officer in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

She was also part of the President’s Leadership Academy, served on several integration committees, was a research assistant and tutored for the writing center. She previously served as president for Edinboro’s Student Government Association and was involved in several clubs.

Dr. Mary Paniccia Carden, interim dean, College of Arts and Humanities, served as master of ceremonies at Edinboro. Before assuming her current role, Carden was an English faculty member at Edinboro for 20 years, a department chairperson and a two-time Scholar of the Year.

“Graduates, you have committed to excellence in your chosen field, building on the foundation of a strong education,” she said to the Class of 2023. “You know how to reason, how to question and how to express your ideas. Never stop learning; remain open to new ideas, new technologies and new ways of thinking.”

Fairfield, Pennsylvania, native Page Karsteter addressed his fellow graduates at the afternoon ceremony. Karsteter is earning a degree in biochemistry and fermentation science with a minor in biology.

While at PennWest Edinboro, he served as the vice president of the Student Government Association, and he is a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha.

“During our time here in Edinboro, we have changed in more ways than we would have ever expected,” he said. “We have become more open minded, more willing to step outside of our comfort zone and matured from high schoolers to young adults that are ready to start our careers.”

Additional speakers included Kathy Pape ’75, chair of PennWest’s Council of Trustees, and Daniel Higham ’70, past president of the Edinboro Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Retired English faculty member Dr. Roger Solberg served as mace bearer. Solberg was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2017.