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Columbus State’s 200th commencement ceremony to be held virtually

Campus News | Monday, December 14, 2020

In a year when large in-person celebrations are discouraged, Columbus State will hold a virtual ceremony for its 200th commencement for all 2020 graduates.

The event will honor 874 students who have petitioned to graduate this semester. In addition, it will honor the 1,290 spring graduates and the 638 summer graduates. That’s a total of 2,802 graduates receiving associate degrees in 2020. Among them this semester:

Khadija Artan first started at Columbus State as a College Credit Plus student while taking high school classes. The 20-year-old Somali native who grew up in Asia speaks four languages and has lived in the United States for six years. “Columbus State has been a dream for me,” says Artan. “It’s the best decision I made. Columbus State is such a diverse college. I felt at home.” 

Artan now works at Columbus State in our Global Diversity and Inclusion office as a diversity student coordinator. She is earning an associate degree in Social Work and Human Services and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University.

Kamerin Cerrato, 22, also has a connection to the College. Her mother, Lisa Cerrato, is a long-time faculty member. Kamerin initially began her education at an out-of-state university but decided to transfer her credits to Columbus State and earn an associate degree closer to home. 

Her original plan to study business also changed to communication. She says, “With all the racial injustice in the world, and experiencing this unprecedented time during a pandemic, it’s important to communicate.” 

Cerrato will continue her studies at The Ohio State University.

Some students, such as Ruzana Petrosiants, must overcome adversity and hurdles to achieve a degree. The 33-year-old immigrated to the United States from Ukraine five years ago with three children in tow. She was a single mother with no family in the country. 

With her associate degree in nursing this month, Petrosiants is the first in her family to earn a college degree. She will now begin working on a bachelor’s degree in nursing at The Ohio State University. 

Since taking her first English as a Second Language class, Petrosiants has earned a Nurse Aide Training Program Certificate and is also now a Licensed Practical Nurse in Ohio.  

Petrosiants says her motto is, “If you can dream it, you can do it, and good things come to those who work hard.” She adds, “It was very hard, sometimes unbearable, I cried my eyes out of physical and emotional fatigue, but I did it.”

The commencement speaker will be Kirt Walker, Chief Executive Officer at Nationwide. Walker served as a member of the Columbus State Board of Trustees from 2013-2019. 

The virtual commencement ceremony will stream on Sunday, December 20 at 3 p.m. at this link and remain available for replay on-demand at any time.


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