Doctoral mathematics scholar Natalie Anderson, a veteran high school teacher, graduates from USU this spring. For her dissertation, the Salt Lake City native investigated measurements that influence evaluations of students’ mathematical achievements. Photo courtesy of Utah State University

LOGAN – This week during Utah State University’s 135th commencement ceremony when Natalie Anderson accepts her diploma, she could become the first person in the world born with profound hearing loss to earn a doctorate in mathematics.

Mathematics professor Jim Cangelosi has found some mathematics PhD recipients who are hearing-impaired, but he said none were deaf from birth.

Her parents discovered when she was almost three that she couldn’t hear. But by age five she entered a conventional kindergarten class, trying to minimize her disability and fit in.

“My parents were firm believers in keep trying your best and it’s not always going to be easy to figure out how to get through the tough challenges,” Anderson says. “I never thought I was unusual, until Jim told me I was unusual, and I didn’t know how to take that.”

She explains how she dealt with questions during a recent telephone interview.

“I currently have added blue-tooth to my hearing aids and I have them turned all the way up,” she explains. “And I don’t hear every sound perfectly but I can take it from context of what you’re saying, and I hope I’m right.

“It’s just a lot of practice, speech therapy when I was a kid. I still have siblings now, Emily in particular, who will stop and tell me I’m pronouncing something wrong, and practice with me to correct it.”

USU’s commencement ceremony in Logan begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 5th in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. College convocations and hooding ceremonies will begin Thursday afternoon and will run through Friday. Guests attending the Thursday morning commencement will not need tickets, but all college convocation events on the Logan campus will require complimentary tickets.

Commencement speaker will be Thomas J. Vilsack, U.S.Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack, along with philanthropist Lisa Ellen Eccles and former Utah legislator and USU alumnus Lyle  W. Hillyard, will receive honorary degrees.

This week USU will confer 7,047 degrees to 6,588 students during ceremonies which will be conducted in person for the first time in two years.

USU Commencement Statistics (Spring 2022) courtesy of Utah State University

Numbers of degrees:

  • Certificates: 281
  • Associate: 1,145
  • Bachelor’s: 4,411
  • Graduate certificate: 73
  • Non-degree program/master’s: 1
  • Master’s: 967
  • Education specialist’s: 2
  • Doctorate: 167

Geographic origin:

  • Foreign countries: 42 (Top 3: China, 311; India, 19; Saudi Arabia, 12)
  • U.S. states (not including Utah): 48

Race and ethnicity unique student demographics:

  • American Indian/Alaskan native: 146
  • Pacific Islander: 16
  • Asian: 445
  • Black, non-Hispanic: 65
  • White, non-Hispanic: 5,548
  • Multiple: 175
  • Not specified: 193
  • Hispanic or Latino: 394

Legal sex of graduates:

  • Female: 3,848
  • Male: 2,740

U.S. Air Force Commissions: 23

U.S. Army Commissions: 12

Most popular degrees (undergraduate):

  • Economics: 397
  • Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education: 337
  • Psychology: 183
  • Elementary Education: 153
  • Kinesiology: 148
  • Mechanical Engineering: 137
  • Integrated Studies: 136
  • Registered Nurse: 134
  • Biology: 116
  • Finance: 114
  • Accounting: 111

Departments graduating the most students with graduate certificates or degrees:

  • Marketing and Strategy
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences
  • Management

Number of degrees awarded to first-generation students:

  • Associate: 380
  • Bachelor’s: 789
  • Master’s: 50
  • Doctorate: 4

Graduates by USU campuses:

  • Logan/main: 4,174
  • USU Eastern 325
  • USU Blanding: 157
  • Salt Lake: 326
  • Brigham City: 127
  • Uintah Basin: 127
  • Kaysville: 231
  • Tooele: 74
  • Southwest: 84
  • Orem: 203
  • Moab: 31
  • International: 285
  • Out-of-state: 447

Valedictorians:

  • Caine College of the Arts: Olivia M. Brock
  • College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences: Madeline Amanda Peterson
  • College of Engineering: James Anthony Mullen
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Carina Michelle Linares
  • College of Science: Porter K. Ellis
  • Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services: Abigail L. Canaan
  • Jon M. Huntsman School of Business: Ian McKean Theler
  • S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources: Julianne Atencio

Wynne Thorne Career Research Award: Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

G. Peterson Extension Award: Margie Memmott, Extension

Faculty University Service Award: Vicki Allan, College of Science

Eldon J. Gardner Teaching Award: Jenifer Evers, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Distinguished Teaching Awards:

  • Caine College of the Arts: Susie Tibbitts
  • College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences: David Anderson
  • College of Engineering: Doug Hunsaker
  • College of Science: Erik Falor
  • Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services: Kaitlin Bundock
  • Jon M. Huntsman School of Business: Todd Griffith
  • J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources: Larissa Yocom

Statewide Campuses graduation ceremonies

  • USU Brigham City: Friday, April 15; 6 p.m., Box Elder High School, Brigham City
  • USU Southwest: Thursday, April 21; 6 p.m., Juab Junior High School, Nephi
  • USU Southwest: Friday, April 22; 6 p.m., Iron County Fair Building, Parowan
  • USU Tooele: Saturday, April 23; 11 a.m., Tooele High School, Tooele
  • USU Moab: Thursday, April 28; 6 p.m., Aarchway Inn, Moab
  • USU Blanding: Friday, April 29; 2 p.m., San Juan High School, Blanding
  • USU Eastern: Saturday, April 30; 10 a.m., Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center, Price
  • USU Uintah Basin: Saturday, April 30; 4 p.m., Uintah Conference Center, Vernal

More information can be found at usu.edu/commencement.







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