Jasmine E. Brown will represent nearly 330 members of the senior class on stage at spring 2017 commencement exercises May 26 when she delivers the student commentary.
Brown, a member of the Richard A. Henson Honors Program, was the top choice of a panel of five judges who auditioned candidates who applied for the honor.
The kinesiology major from Pocomoke City said she was shocked when contacted about her selection.
“I'm really excited about the opportunity, and a little nervous, too,” she said.
In her application, Brown wrote that she was hopeful of getting an opportunity to “express my gratitude towards the university for making an investment in me and to encourage (members of) the graduating class to invest in themselves.”
Her final semester as an undergraduate has been an eventful one; she traveled in January to the Dominican Republic with fellow Henson honors students on a service-learning excursion. It was her first trip overseas, an experience she called “amazing” and that had the support of her parents, who are military veterans.
In April, she was named the top student in UMES' Department of Kinesiology. And to fulfill an internship requirement, she has been working at the Lower Shore Immediate Care office in Princess Anne, which helped her decide a career path.
She's hopeful of being accepted into graduate school, where she wants to study to be a physician assistant.
The overseas trip “made me realize I want to work with medical clinics inside our country and outside our county so individuals can receive quality health care,” she said.
She is a member of the campus Praise Fellowship and Kinesiology Club as well as two honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Omicron Nu. Her 3.86 grade point average qualifies her to graduate with summa cum laude honors.
Before settling on kinesiology as her major, Brown was interested initially in the study of biology and worked as an undergraduate assistant under Dr. Salina Parveen and graduate student Salah Elbashir, where she assisted in research of the bacteria known as vibrio parahaemolyticus commonly found in shrimp.