Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Iowa cap and gown

In recognition of the countless achievements of our international undergraduate and graduate students, and their accomplishments in reaching graduation, the 2nd Annual International Student Affinity Graduation ceremony will be held in person for the first time on Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Graduating international students and their families are invited to attend in person while community members and those unable to travel to Iowa City are encouraged to attend virtually through Zoom.

The ceremony will recognize all graduating international students with the conferral of affinity cords and awards will be given to outstanding graduating international students in the following categories: civic engagement, leadership, academic and scholarly achievement, and international community advocacy. A keynote will be given by Cynthia Chou, professor of anthropology, C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family Chair of Asian Studies, and director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. Additionally, two graduating international students will speak: Redwan Bin Abdul Baten, who is graduating with a PhD in health management and policy, as well as Ayushi Sood, who is graduating with a BS in microbiology with a creative writing certificate.

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Cynthia Chou, Redwan Bin Abdul Baten, and Ayushi Sood will speak at this year's International Student Graduation Ceremony

This graduation ceremony will be a great opportunity to recognize international students with their achievements and resiliency despite all the challenges that they have been through,” said Shuhui Lin, organizer of the International Student Graduation ceremony and coordinator for international student support and engagement at the University of Iowa. “Being an international student means that they need to go through cultural adjustment, establish their support network in a completely new environment, potentially adjusting to a different style of learning and teaching, on top of the transition that every other student will go through entering graduate school or starting college. This graduating group has been through an uncertain time of immigration regulation changes and has dealt with a great deal of stress during that time. They have also seen, and been through, the pandemic since the beginning, wondering whether they should go home or stay here in the U.S. Despite all the changes, I hope that international students can feel that they are seen at this graduation ceremony.”

The International Student Graduation Ceremony is hosted in part by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, UI International Programs, UI International Student Support and Engagement, UI Graduate and Professional Student Government, UI Undergraduate Student Government, UI International Student Advisory Board, UI Carver College of Medicine, UI College of Engineering, UI College of Law, UI College of Pharmacy, UI Graduate College, UI Tippie College of Business, and the UI Libraries.