Commencement speaker to talk about overcoming challenges
Published December 15, 2015
Jackie Wrage, who is about to graduate, surprised herself with all she accomplished during her time at NDSU.
"When I arrived here as a freshman, I didn't think I could accomplish anything spectacular. Throughout the years, however, NDSU has helped me gain confidence in myself," she said. "I have met many people who have impacted my life.”
And she has accomplished spectacular things, including earning a prestigious Fulbright grant to conduct research in South America.
Wrage was selected to deliver a message to the graduates at NDSU’s winter commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 18, in Festival Concert Hall. Wrage, who grew up in Gwinner, North Dakota, will address her fellow students during the noon and 4 p.m. events.
The theme of her address is overcoming challenges, specifically gender inequality. "In the past, women haven't been provided equal opportunity for education. Fast forward to 2015 and the challenge is to provide equal opportunity to women in developing countries," said Wrage, who will receive her Bachelor of Science in geology.
Senior Jackie Wrage was one of two students chosen to deliver a message to her classmates on graduation day. The theme of her commencement address is overcoming challenges.
Wrage is an outstanding student and researcher. She earned the Allan C. Ashworth Scholarship, which recognizes the NDSU geology senior with the highest academic standing. She also earned a Fulbright grant to study at the University of Chile in Santiago. She will help with geothermal energy research focusing on areas around two volcanoes in southern South America. She'll leave for Chile in March for an eight-month stay.
During her time at NDSU, Wrage also worked with the NDSU Wet Ecosystem Research Group and conducted her own research project on nanoparticle-treated wheat plants.
"I enjoyed being a part of the NDSU geology department. The faculty members are very approachable and helped me realize my potential. My adviser, associate professor Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat, was especially helpful and inspiring during my time here," Wrage said. "The department is very close-knit, and I've made many close friends. Going through classes with people you know and trust makes it much more manageable and fun; having supportive people who are passionate about the same thing is very rewarding."
Wrage was active in several organizations, including the College of Science and Mathematics Ambassadors, Geology Club and Chemistry Club.
She plans to pursue a graduate degree in geochemistry and mineralogy.