Eleven Metropolitan State students were named President’s Outstanding Student Award recipients for the fall 2021 semester.
The students were recognized at the President’s Outstanding Student Award Reception on Dec. 3, 2021. Each semester, two graduating students, an undergrad and graduate, from each Metro State school or college are selected for the President’s Outstanding Student Award. Recipients are nominated by their professors and advisers and selected based on their academic excellence, community service, academic innovation in the educational program and professional achievement.
The recipients were also recognized at the university's 190th Commencement exercises Dec. 10-11 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The graduating class totaled 1,290 new graduates of Metropolitan State University, bringing the number of Metropolitan State alumni to 50,287. Guest speakers included Sen. Amy Klobuchar (watch here https://youtu.be/iGnHTDIIYw8), Metropolitan State University Student Association Board Member Pierre Young (watch here https://youtu.be/33hZpvfBHSQ), Minnesota State Board of Trustees Chair Jay Cowles (watch here https://youtu.be/ZqzmPsvAJSo), Minnesota State Board of Trustees Dawn Erlandson (https://youtu.be/brsNo2kXbLI) Director of Alumni Relations Kristine Hansen (watch here https://youtu.be/St4cuB-7H1U), and Inter-Faculty Organization President Dr. Matt Filner (watch here https://youtu.be/erKnmiRd0zA).
The commencement programs can be viewed in entirety here:
- School of Urban Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Individualized Studies: https://youtu.be/YHIsDwwoIH0
- College of Management: https://youtu.be/3-rnuF-HmfI
- College of Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences: https://youtu.be/IiB40sV23Q4
- College of Community Studies and Public Affairs: https://youtu.be/B-VQQMz5zdQ
President’s Outstanding Student Award recipients are:
Irene Mineoi Amrani of Saint Paul graduated from the School of Urban Education with a master of science in Urban Education. Amrani works as a teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. She graduated in 2003 from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in music degree with a concentration in American Racial and Multicultural Studies (ARMS) and teaching certification in music and English as a Second Language.
Britney Samuels of Champlin graduated from the School of Urban Education with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
Kaysa Tommasi of Minneapolis graduated summa cum laude from the College of Liberal Arts with a bachelor’s in English and Gender Studies, minoring in Public Relations.
Angela Hary of Apple Valley graduated from the College of Sciences with a Master of Science in Cyber Operations. Hary also delivered the student address at commencement. Watch her speech here: https://youtu.be/H2AUZWEZwyA
Amy Bell of Saint Paul graduated summa cum laude from the College of Science with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.
Zhengzhou "John” Yang of Hopkins graduated from the College of Management with a Master of Business Administration, with concentration and certificate in Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM). “Metropolitan State University holds a special place in my heart,” Yang says. “Being an immigrant, I went through a lot of ups and downs, setbacks, frustration, and even I was in despair. Life was struggling. But I never gave up, I firmly believe education is the way to make a difference. I began to prepare for the way back to school… On the very first trip to Metro campus, I felt the calling from the deep of my heart. It was the school that I was searching for. I like the authenticity of the school, which is open and inclusive.”
Carlos Sosa Viscarra of Eagan graduated summa cum laude from the College of Management with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is a trooper for the Minnesota State Patrol in the Saint Paul area and is a member of the National Latino Peace Officer Association, Minnesota Chapter. He is a United States Marine, airport firefighter and rescue specialist. Viscarra transferred to Metro State from Inver Hills Community College where he earned an Associates of Science degree in 2015. Viscarra also delivered the student address at commencement. Watch his speech here: https://youtu.be/UA236_nPb9Y
Rachel Boegeman of Minnetonka graduated from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences with the Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing degree. Boegemen is a nursing assistant in an intensive care unit setting and will become a nurse there shortly after graduating. She also attended Minnesota State University Moorhead before transferring to the University of Minnesota to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in physiology in 2017.
Don Shelby of Excelsior graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Individualized Studies. Shelby was a journalist for 55 years, notably the anchor personality for WCCO-TV in Minnesota. He retired in 2010. Shelby also delivered the student address at commencement. Watch his speech here: https://youtu.be/2PFWYsvIoQ4
Beirut Abafogi of Oakdale graduated from the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs. with a Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership degree. She works as a casework assistant and constituent advocate in the Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar, and plans to establish a non-profit organization that focuses on helping and empowering immigrant women interested in serving in the public sector.
D’Andre Anthony Gordon of Saint Paul graduated summa cum laude from the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs. with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Gordon also delivered the student address at commencement. Watch his speech here: https://youtu.be/QLe3EUY2Y80