2019 Fall Commencement Student Speaker Ellen Caminiti 12 14 2019

It is now my great
pleasure to introduce our student speaker
Ellen Caminiti Ellen studied
International Relations with an emphasis in
the environmental, health and
natural resources in the College of
Letters and Sciences, during her time here
as a transfer student. She also minored in global disease biology
and psychology. Ellen was active in
multiple organizations and founded the art and oceans club after being inspired by a marine
issues course. After graduation,
she hopes to be an investigative
journalist focusing on environmental and
human rights issues with an ultimate goal of working for the
National Geographic or the Washington Post. Ellen has enjoyed her
experience in UC Davis and like to pass on some of what she
has learned today. So please join me
in welcoming Ellen. [APPLAUSE] Hi UC Davis. First of all, I want to welcome
everyone here, Chancellor May, the extraordinary deans and faculty, our most wonderful family
and friends. Were would we be without you and I welcome
all of you. My fellow graduates, to all of you,
congratulations. You’re here, you
made it and with the help of your
family, friends, professors and advisors in just a few short moments, you will be getting
that diploma. You never thought
you would see the day, did you? Well, the day is here. So go ahead, turn to your neighbor and
congratulate each other. No really, give
each other a hug, a pat on the back,
a congratulations. Because only we know
what it is like to almost graduate from
UC Davis. Right here, right now in this moment. As I look across all
your beautiful faces, I see a glimpse
into your story. Your ups, your downs, your network, a people
who support you. I see a diverse group of soon to be UC Davis alumni, who are all connected by this marvelous
achievement of marine and
undergraduate degree. All degrees for all
of you double majors and those of you who
got a minor out there. Our stories and
our ambitions are different but right now we share in this moment. College for me as I am
sure it was for you, was more than
just learning, and lecture and
taking tests. I connected with
people in ways that my shy high-school
self would have never
imagined possible. I grew and I learn
from my mistakes. If there’s one thing
I learned through college it is that
every experience, good or bad and every
attempt had a goal. Whether you succeeded
or completely botched it, makes you, you. These things are
your experience it just help you in becoming the person you were meant to become. I have most
definitely have had my setbacks of my track
record of setbacks, failures and bad
experiences. For example, I
changed my major five or more times. I fail the course 1,2,3,4 times and eventually, I was academically
dismissed. Even though I
was completely disappointed in myself
for a little bit, this low point in
my story eventually led me to shift my
perspective on life. I began to have more
self respect and I started on my journey towards “finding myself”. Through this journey,
I learned that it’s important
to do the thing, to stop doing the things
that don’t make you happy and to use the things that do make you happy to change the
world in some way. For instance, I
love diseases. Well, I love learning
about diseases. So I minored in global
disease biology. I love traveling and
learning about culture. So finally decided on a major international
relations and I discovered my love for photography and digital media which I wouldn’t have
done if I didn’t have this academic detour. I plan to use these things that make me happy. These things that get me into a full low stay, in a career that
will allow me to travel and stand up for the environment with
my camera in hand. A flow state by the way, is the state of mind where you are absolutely
observed in doing the thing that
you’re passionate about and you are completely and utterly tireless
in its pursuit. I want to conclude
by saying that I know that each of you has it in you to go out and use your passion to make a
real difference with your degrees and
experiences because we, the almost alumni of UC
Davis are go-getters, change-makers and
problem solvers. Through the years, I
have discovered that these words are so fitting to the UC Davis community. I truly believe that
UC Davis students are unique in their ability
to use creativity, hard work and passion to make real
substantial impacts. We have so much potential to change the world. So I urge you to go
and do something, create something,
change something. So go out there aggies, take risks, go outside of your comfort
zone, dream big. The dreamers are the ones to change the
world after all. Thank you to everyone
who has supported us to get to this
point in our lives. You trained us well
and now it is go time. Aggies, we did it, we made it and good luck. I cannot wait to see the impacts that
each of you make. Congratulations
class of 2019. [APPLAUSE]

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