We want to recognize our May 2020 graduates and congratulate them on their achievement. Please watch our video tribute and learn a bit more about our seniors in the following article.
“You have reached an incredible milestone, and it has been our honor to walk alongside you as you pursued this achievement. I know these last weeks have been an unusual way to finish your final year at Clemson, but know how proud we are of the way you have navigated this time with character and resilience.”
Rachel Mumau is a 2020 graduate from Millstone Township, New Jersey. Rachel’s favorite memory while at Clemson is the Louisville football game her freshman year. The energy at this particular game was immense and reminded her of her recruiting visit to Clemson when she attended the Notre Dame football game. Feeling the energy she felt that day in Death Valley only affirmed for her that she had made the correct choice when selecting to attend this university.
While at Clemson, Rachel’s favorite professor was Dr. Angela Pratt. Dr. Pratt is extremely caring and made an effort to relate to Rachel, making Rachel feel like a friend, not just another student in class. Their relationship inspired Rachel to make the most of all of Dr. Pratt’s classes and opened her up to expanding her knowledge base in the world of sport. Rachel built a strong relationship with Professor Pratt and continues to keep in contact with her on social media.
Rachel is disappointed that she had to finish her classes online and away from her friends. During her time at Clemson, Rachel was able to develop a broad network of friendships that became her family at Clemson. Considering that Rachel built a second family while at Clemson, the hardest part of leaving Clemson abruptly was missing out on the anticipated send-off from the people she values in her life.
Currently, Rachel is working with kids and spending her time tutoring, nannying, lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. In the future, she plans to work in a collegiate athletic department with student-athletes.
Brett Long, a native of Southern California, made the brave decision two years ago to travel across the country to the small town of Clemson, South Carolina to pursue his undergraduate studies. Brett believes this decision was the best one he has made thus far because living here and being a student at Clemson University has shaped him into a man that he is proud of. While at Clemson, Brett’s favorite memories include attending sporting events, especially football games. The memories that stand out most are the past two National Championship games, specifically when Clemson beat Alabama in San Jose, CA.
Brett enjoyed all of his coursework and his favorite professor was management professors, David Peyton. Professor Peyton is known by the Clemson student body as someone who cares deeply about his students and their success. Additionally, he is a great lecturer and is able to explain things to his students like no other professor.
During his time at Clemson Brett built strong friendships which made the postponement of graduation frustrating since he was unable to say goodbye to the people and places he cares about. Despite these changes, Brett expressed “it is what it is” and used this to make the most of the situation. He is planning to move back to California and work in the sports media industry. Since he is moving so far away, Brett is going to miss his friends on the East Coast more than anything. He will also miss all of the football and baseball game days, but Clemson will forever be in his heart.
Caitlin Anderson is a 2020 graduate of the from the Communication, Technology, and Society graduate program. During her time at Clemson, she notes that her favorite professor was her thesis advisor, Dr. James Gilmore. She was fortunate to take two classes with him and he brought to life complex topics in interesting and thought-provoking ways. Caitlin explained, “never did I think that I’d enjoy discussing complex theory so much! He is a kind and thoughtful individual as well, taking the time to work with students that both pushes them to think more critically while also emphasizing the positive qualities they possess. His feedback is a joy to receive!”
While at Clemson, her favorite memories involved the conversations with the members of her graduate cohort, which varied from silly debates to deep discussions. Specifically, she remembers the Communication department’s holiday party, the Fall party at Dr. Pratt’s home, football games, and birthday parties. Another highlight of her time in the master’s program was teaching. She loved getting to know her students as unique individuals through group activities and discussions in her lessons. Caitlin explained, “while I’ve taught nearly 300 students at Clemson, each one has left a permanent mark on me! Plus, I get to learn from my students as much as they can learn from me, which makes me a better teacher in the process”.
Caitlin will miss her cohort and professors the most, as she became very close to everyone in the Communication department. Luckily, she is returning to Clemson in the Fall to pursue her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences so she will be able to keep in touch with members of the Communication department. Additionally, Caitlin intends to keep teaching and researching with her GTA position in the College of Education. After earning her doctorate, Caitlin’s goal is to become a professor researching online learning, which she noted “is certainly relevant right now.”
When tasked with switching to online classes this semester, she struggled. Her courses are discussion-based seminars and she noted how the online synchronous style made it “difficult to get a ‘vibe’ for the flow of conversation.” Fortunately, she worked with fantastic colleagues and professors who were able to make it work and tackle deep concepts despite the distance. Caitlin also defended her thesis, virtually, which she described as “an unusual experience, but ultimately worked out!”
The best part about being a member of the Clemson family for Caitlin is the people. She explained that among “my professors, peers, and students, I’ve met some amazing folks that have added to my lived experiences in deep and meaningful ways.”
Although the ending to your journey here at Clemson was one that was not expected, we thank you for all the time, effort, and love you have put into your journey at Clemson University. Your achievements and ability to navigate these times make your class that much more phenomenal! Your hard work and perseverance is noted and we look forward to celebrating your graduation as a Clemson community as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Congratulations Class of 2020!!
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