CHS Announces Honorific Roles for Spring 23 Commencement
Published May 10, 2023 By Darlene Muguiro UTEP College of Health Sciences
This weekend, four CHS students will serve in honorific roles at the spring 23 commencement ceremony at the Don Haskins Center. These students were selected for their positions based on academic achievement, extracurricular participation, and community and University service.
Nayla Bejarano Chacon, Graduate School Banner Bearer
Nayla left her hometown of Chihuahua eight years ago to chase her dreams of becoming a medical doctor in the United States. This May, she will graduate with a Master of Public Health degree and begin applying to medical school. Throughout her academic career, Nayla honed her natural leadership skills through service to the local community and campus, and became a well-known mental health advocate through her roles as an EDGE Leadership Ambassador and as the health and wellness chair for the Medical Professions Organization. An important legacy she will leave behind is the Humans of the College of Health Sciences series, which she created to provide a safe space for individuals to share their stories and network. After graduation, Nayla plans to work in public health and mentor pre-medical students while also preparing for her own applications to medical school. She hopes to return to CHS after becoming an endocrinologist to teach and to establish scholarships for future generations of Mexican students.
Katya Naida Compian, Graduate School Student Marshal
Katya Compian’s journey to becoming a licensed clinical social worker began with an encounter she had in high school with a social worker in her transitional living program. She says that from that moment, she knew she wanted to make a similar impact, giving hope to others whose futures may seem uncertain. Throughout her time at UTEP, Katya’s mentors and peers supported her in her development as a scholar and leader. While balancing her coursework and part-time employment, she also assumed the presidency of the Student Association of Social Work. Through her internships with the 65th District Court and Dismas Charities’ rapid rehousing program for individuals leaving the prison system, Katya was able to confirm her passion for working with adults in the area of sexual violence prevention. After graduation, Katya plans to obtain her LMSW and become a clinician. Ultimately, she hopes to return to school and earn a Doctor of Social Work degree to create intervention programs in the area of sexual violence prevention.
Kaycee Carmignani, College Banner Bearer
Kaycee’s path to higher education was filled with twists and turns. Prior to beginning the Bachelor of Social Work program, she was a young single mother who had escaped domestic violence. She began imagining a new life for herself and her boys, and ultimately found a new partner who supported her dreams. Kaycee says it was during a research methods class that she knew she had found her purpose in life – to address mental health stigma in the military. She hopes that her experience will help change the narrative on campus about nontraditional students, and will encourage others to believe that they can adapt and thrive at UTEP. After graduation, she will begin the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program and aims to become a licensed clinical social worker. In the future, she hopes to obtain a Doctor of Social Work degree so she can continue researching mental health among military service members.
Liliana Villa, Undergraduate Student Marshal of Students
This May, Liliana will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation sciences in three-and-a-half years – a record that holds a special meaning due to a promise she made to her aunt before she passed away. While managing a heavy class load, Liliana worked as a tutor in the El Paso Community College Writing Center, where she guided students through the writing process, from brainstorming and research up to the final drafts of essays. The experience brought her joy and personal fulfillment, and helped her develop her leadership skills. After graduation, Liliana plans to apply to the UTEP Physical Therapy program and become a practicing physical therapist. In honor of the two sisters she lost to systemic lupus erythematosus, she plans to concentrate on cardiovascular diseases and women’s health.