Students blowing bubbles during Commencement
Commencement at UC Irvine is at once solemn and celebratory. Ceremonies for graduate students and medical students already have been held. Remaining ceremonies will run June 12-14. Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

As UC Irvine readies for its 44th commencement June 12-14, half a dozen graduates from the class of 2009 pause to reflect on their time here – what they enjoyed, how they grew, and lessons they learned inside and outside the classroom.

In this video, you’ll meet four commencement speakers, a member of the nursing science program’s charter class and a student singing the national anthem at two of the ceremonies. They are:

  • Katie Breining, member of nursing science program’s charter class: After graduating, she’ll work in the neonatal intensive care unit at UC Irvine Medical Center.
  • James Costanzo, double major in mechanical engineering and materials science engineering. Commencement speaker for The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences: After “rigorous job searching,” he hopes to launch a career in energy or sustainability.
  • Kyle Holmes, English major. Commencement speaker for the School of Humanities: Depending on the results of his foreign service officer exam, Holmes plans to either work for the State Department or go to law school.
  • Eileen Kwan, film & media studies major, Asian American studies minor. National anthem singer, social ecology/nursing science commencement and humanities honors convocation: After graduation, Kwan will pursue a master’s in strategic public relations at the University of Southern California.
  • Carla Rodriguez Gonzalez, sociology major. Commencement speaker for the School of Social Sciences 1: She hopes to enter UCI’s demographic and social analysis master’s program, then pursue her doctorate and become a professor.
  • Christina Tajalli, psychology major. Commencement speaker for the School of Social Sciences 1: She’s headed for Washington, D.C., to work at a humanitarian organization called InterAction and for the American Bar Association through the UCDC Internship Program. Tajalli is also applying to law school, where she hopes to specialize in human rights and international law.