VMS senior, Kylie Artz, recently learned that she has been chosen to give the May commencement speech. Two students from each college are nominated for the honor. The nominees fill out an application and perform their speeches for a selection committee.
“I don’t usually get nervous, but when I went in for my interview, I was very excited and nervous,” Kylie says. “I feel flattered that there are thousands of students that will graduate in May, and I was chosen to speak on their behalf.”
And Kylie is certainly a deserving choice: president of Blue Key Honor Society; vice president of member education for Kappa Delta Sorority; Ag Ambassador; Bison Ambassador; alumni board representative for the ND Leadership Seminar. Kylie has also worked as an assistant in the Office of Admission for three years. She guides campus tours, answers prospective students’ questions, and relates her own personal experiences as a NDSU student. It was her role as tour guide that inspired the theme of Kylie’s commencement speech.
“I felt like I could relate my tour guide experience to the life skills that are needed in today's world,” Kylie explains. “I talk about the importance of a strong introduction, saying thank you, walking backwards, the importance of wearing the right shoes, and being personable. It was a fun speech to write!”
As a microbiology major and chemistry minor, Kylie has also worked as a stock culture assistant and a teaching assistant for a general microbiology lab. Her experiences in VMS have inspired Kylie to forgo her childhood dream of becoming one of the country’s leading weather women, and instead, pursue a career in public health. She plans to focus her graduate studies on infectious disease management and ultimately work for an agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or the North Dakota Department of Health.
But all of this comes later. For now, Kylie is focused on getting through finals and preparing for that one last speech as a NDSU student. “I know that this is a huge honor,” she says. “And I feel like it will be a great way to wrap up my undergraduate career here at NDSU.”