On Friday, Feb. 19, the Ohio Program of Intensive English held its third annual graduation ceremony to celebrate students’ successful completion of the OPIE program during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2015 terms. In total, 165 people gathered to celebrate the students’ accomplishments!
Congratulatory remarks were make by Oumarou Abdoulaye Balarabe, an OPIE Student Union representative, as well as Dr. Krzic, OPIE Director, Dr. Bob Frank, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Mr. Craig Cornell, Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, and Dr. Chris Thompson, Chair of the Linguistics Department.
Dr. Chris Thompson, Chair of the Department of Linguistics, congratulates OPIE graduates.
A highlight of the ceremony is the speeches that are given by OPIE alumni, who share their experiences and encourage current students and graduates to continue in their English and academic studies at Ohio University. This year, OPIE alumni Deli Xu, Hajir Ali, and Lovely Xu all inspired the audience with their stories of courage and persistence and reflections on their learning. ”I loved the interaction with my peers and practicing English with them without being shy,” Ali recollected. ”I am thankful for the resources that OPIE provided which helped to improve my writing skills.”
Deli Xu, an undergraduate student majoring in Integrated Media, offers words of encouragement to the 2015 graduates.
Shortly after the ceremony, Brazilian graduate Bruno Paparella reflected on his OPIE experience and how grateful he is to have been able to meet new people from different parts of the world. Likewise, Vinicius Zanchini, also from Brazil, remarked, “Since the time we arrived here we found a staff who really wanted to help us from beginning to end (also extremely friendly). It was an awesome experience to take English classes and talk with foreign students–a kind of experience I’ve never had.”