California Southern University 2017 Commencement Recap
Sep 26, 2017
On August 5, 2017, CalSouthern University celebrated its 39th Annual Commencement Ceremony at Cheng Hall at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine, California. CalSouthern was honored to celebrate with hundreds of graduates, faculty, friends and family in attendance.
Total attendance in the hall was a record high with 720 with graduates flying in from all over the country and across the globe including Kenya, Japan, Canada, and more.
Dr. Heather Williams, who graduated from CalSouthern's School of Behavioral Sciences, was awarded this years CalSouthern Difference Award. The CalSouthern Difference Award is awarded to a graduate who has made a difference in his or her area of practice, field of study or local community through distinguished work or service. Heather served as Program Director with CSP Victim Assistance Programs and oversaw all special victim programs, which included: Homicide, Sexual Assault, Gangs, and Domestic Violence for over 14 years and was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 2014 as the Regional Peer Support Coordinator. In 2003, after responding to an active shooter event in Irvine, CA she established the CSP Crisis Response Team. She described that moment in 2003 as the first defining moment of her career. In her acceptance speech, she stated that one could either fall victim from those experiences, or you can grow and learn from them. You can hear Heather's acceptance speech
Dr. Sara Gilman, who graduated from CalSouthern's School from Behavioral, gave the Keynote Speech at this years Commencement ceremony. Sara is a nationally known Psychotherapist and speaker. She holds specialty certifications in Hypnosis, NLP, HeartMath, Critical Incident Stress Management, and EMDR. She was awarded Fellowship status with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and is Past-President of the EMDR International Association. After 25 years as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Sara Co-Founded COHERENCE ASSOCIATES, INC., (CAI) a counseling corporation in Encinitas, CA with her youngest son Seth, who is a Lieutenant in the U.S.Navy, Senior Resident, in the family medicine program at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital. Her oldest son, Jeremy, graduated along side her from CalSouthern. In her speech, Sara spoke about the drive that kept her going through her journey at CalSouthern. She stated that traits such as determination, passion, curiosity, and discipline can help carry one through life and help us remember our purpose in life. You can hear Sara's speech here.
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