Nearly 1,900 students to graduate at Wright State’s fall commencement ceremony

Wright State University’s 2017 fall commencement ceremony takes place Saturday, Dec. 16, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Wright State Nutter Center.

Nearly 1,900 students are expected to graduate during Wright State University’s 2017 fall commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 16.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the Wright State Nutter Center. Tickets are not required.

The class includes summer and fall graduates with 1,083 bachelor’s degrees and 681 master’s as well those awarded associate degrees and post-master’s certificates.

The class features graduates from 58 Ohio counties, including 1,171 from the 16 counties anchored by Wright State’s Dayton and Lake campuses. Graduates hail from 34 total states.

The class also includes 365 international students from 30 different nations. India boasts the largest number of foreign graduates with 187.

The graduating students from the class range in age from 19 to 72.

Graduates by college:

  • College of Education and Human Services: 308
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science: 440
  • College of Liberal Arts: 323
  • College of Nursing and Health: 113
  • College of Science and Mathematics: 228
  • Raj Soin College of Business: 353
  • Lake Campus: 40

The ceremony will be broadcast live on WSU-TV on Time Warner Cable channel 21.105 in the university dorms and Fairborn and regionally on AT&T Uverse channel 99 in the Dayton tab.

The ceremony can also be seen online at

Notable graduates

Vicky Lindsey will graduate from Wright State with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies.

Declaration of independence

She has been in and out of foster homes since she was just a baby and began living alone at 16, struggling to keep food in the fridge and get herself to work and high school.

Today, Vicky Lindsey will graduate from Wright State with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies.

She plans to pursue master’s degree in public administration at Cleveland State University, where she hopes to champion foster students like herself.

“To be passionate enough to continue my voice in helping foster youth is something I want to do,” she said. “I want to be a face for foster youth who may be discouraged.”

A major reason for Lindsey choosing Wright State was the university’s Independent Scholars Network, an innovative program that nurtures, educates and graduates emancipated foster students.

“It helped a lot,” Lindsey said of the program. “Just having these people in my life, constantly pushing me to be better, to do better; it’s just like a third family, honestly. If you need something, they’re there. They’re there to talk and help you.”

During her time at Wright State, Lindsey has been actively involved in the Black Student Union and was named an WSU Emerging Leader and WSU Established Leader in 2015 and 2016, respectively. As part of the Independent Scholars Network, she was honored with the ISN Most Volunteered Hours 2014-2015, the ISN Jet Setter Award 2014-2015 and the ISN Academic Excellence Award 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.


Graduate student Ryan Rakoczy researches treatments for prematurely born infants, like his son.

It was kind of interesting — how breathing is controlled by tiny carotid body organs that detect oxygen in the blood. For Wright State University graduate student Ryan Rakoczy, it was a curiosity that became the focus of his master’s thesis.

But then it suddenly became much, much more.

On March 9, Rakoczy’s son, Lennon, was born extremely prematurely — nearly three months early — and his underdeveloped lungs were gasping for the air needed to keep the 2-pound, 7-ounce infant alive. In fact, Lennon was immediately put on a ventilator and for the next 50 days would live in a hospital intensive care unit.

Rakoczy’s world suddenly tilted on its axis, and his research took on a whole new intensity.

“At home I’m living respiratory physiology, and at Wright State I’m working on the stuff my son’s experiencing. It’s really crazy,” he said. “I became completely obsessed with respiratory physiology.”

Rakoczy wants to continue his research and is now in Wright State’s biomedical sciences Ph.D. program. The research not only holds promise for developing better treatments for prematurely born infants, but also for prevention of sudden infant death syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep.

Tasha Fox graduated from Wright State in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in French and at fall commencement will receive her MBA in international business from the Raj Soin College of Business.

Going places

Sleeping in the Sahara Desert, teaching in China and witnessing political violence in Jerusalem were just stops along the way for Tasha Fox, a Wright State University MBA student who turned her undergraduate career into a priceless lesson in world geography and culture.

And this of a student who nearly cut short her first trip overseas after being overwhelmed by the language challenges and trying to fit in.

“I got to travel the world while getting my degree,” said Fox. “It challenges you to look at the world in a different way. It challenges you to look at yourself in a different light. I think I’ve learned more about myself traveling than anything.”

Fox graduated from Wright State in 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in French and at fall commencement will receive her MBA in international business from the Raj Soin College of Business, where she worked as a graduate assistant.

Fox’ 84-year-old grandfather, Attley Bundy, is also expected to walk at Fall Commencement. One class shy of graduating, Bundy is poised to receive his bachelor’s degree in finance in the spring.

In her final semester of grad school, Fox studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. She is not sure about her career path.

“I’m really interested in peaceful conflict resolution after going to Israel,” she said. “International law is really appealing to me. Working with refugees or immigrants in the United States would be amazing.”

In the meantime, Fox will work in Madrid, Spain, as an au pair for six months or so to improve her Spanish before heading to China to look for work with a nongovernmental organization and to learn Mandarin.

Fox credits Wright State with giving her the chance to see the world and learn about other peoples and cultures.

“I’ve been blown away by the number of opportunities that they have had for me to study abroad and the scholarships they offer,” she said. “Everything is there; you just have to go for it.”

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