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New UTA alumni ready to make an impact

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 • Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations

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At The University of Texas at Arlington's commencement ceremonies on May 9-11 at College Park Center, degrees were awarded to more than 6,300 workforce-ready graduates who have joined the ranks of more than 230,000 UTA alumni around the globe.

While UTA's growing number of graduates continues to set records, the stories behind the graduates are equally compelling. They include:

  • Abby Dunkin, who is a kinesiology major and disabilities studies minor. She has been chosen for the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team. Dunkin, who is in her third consecutive year on the national team, was part of the 2016 Paralympics gold medal-winning team in Rio and a member of UTA’s 2016 national collegiate championship team.
  • Ahoura Zandiatashbar, who is a doctoral graduate in UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, has landed a job at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a geospatial data scientist and adjunct assistant professor. Ahoura’s passion is compiling the data that decision-makers need to lead a region in the right direction.
  • Jeremy Averyt, a Tarrant County College transfer success story who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Averyt, who transferred nearly all his TCC credits, is student vice president of UTA’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.
  • Clarissa Manirakiza, who is a biology major graduating in May with plans to pursue a medical degree. A student leader and Homecoming Queen who helped organize The Big Event volunteer activity, Manirakiza spent part of her childhood in a Zimbabwean refugee camp with 50 other families.
  • Najeebullah Aminyar, who is earning his bachelor’s degree in political science. He was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and went to high school under the challenging Taliban regime. He worked as an interpreter with the U.S. Army in 2010 and in 2014 was sent to the United States for safety reasons. He is planning to start law school in 2020.
  • Alexander Scott Minor, who is a finance major planning to get into financial markets through investment banking or managing a hedge fund. He studied abroad in Peru and Chile and is a finance intern at Pratt & Whitney. Alex graduated high school with 63 credit hours and chose UTA for the ease of transferring all of his credits.