Students set to lead Cameron’s 2013 Convocation

Four Cameron University students have been selected to speak on behalf of Cameron’s student body during 2013 Convocation, a celebration of Cameron’s dedication to academic excellence. Rebecca Espinosa, Hailey Harris, Colten Kennedy and Florencia Tornero will share personal stories of accomplishment and inspiration during the annual event. Convocation, a Cameron tradition highlighted by musical performances and colorful pageantry, will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, October 4, in the Fine Arts Courtyard and is open to the public.                                         

"During Convocation, we are pleased to celebrate the academic achievements of Cameron students," says Dr. Ronna Vanderslice, Vice President for Academic Affairs. "In addition to hearing from students representing each of Cameron’s four schools, we will recognize additional students for their academic performance and will salute our outstanding faculty during a colorful processional." 

CU’s student body is the focal point of Convocation. Honor students are selected to carry banners for each academic department. Faculty and staff members attired in academic regalia complete the processional. During the ceremony, honors and scholarship students receive special recognition for their academic achievements.

About the speakers

A native of Dallas, Texas, senior Rebecca Espinosa came to Cameron after her uncle deployed in the military and her aunt, who had relocated to Lawton, encouraged her to come to southwest Oklahoma and enroll at CU. Four years later, she has become the Battery Commander of Cameron’s Army ROTC unit, having received the ROTC Scholarship the past three years. In addition, Espinosa is the vice president of the health and physical education club and was named to Who’s Who Among College Students last spring. She will be commissioned into the U.S. Army in May 2014 and will also receive her Bachelor of Science in Sport/Fitness Management. Espinosa plans to pursue a master’s degree in sports rehabilitation counseling.

Born in Indiana, Hailey Harris spent much of her early childhood in Anchorage, Alaska. She and her family moved to Chattanooga when she was in 8th grade. Harris is a member the Aggie Ambassadors, a student group that plays a vital role in welcoming new and prospective students to campus. She has served as the group’s president the last two years.  She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and vice president of the Cameron Art Guild. Harris has a strong personal fascination with insects and will have a solo art show displayed in the Sciences Complex during the spring semester focusing on that very subject. She is a past recipient of the McMahon Art Scholarship and this year received the Leslie Powell Foundation Scholarship.  She will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in May 2014. Harris plans to pursue a master’s degree in printmaking.

Born in Scotts Bluff, Neb., Colten Kennedy grew up on a dairy farm in Elgin, where he and his six brothers and sisters helped run the family business. When the time came to select a college, Cameron was his choice so he could continue to commute and help out at home while pursuing higher education.  He has taken numerous honors classes while at CU and will be going on the Study Abroad trip to England this spring. Kennedy has served four years in the Student Government Association, including being elected president for the 2012-2013 academic year. He is president of the History Club, a member of the Math Club, and belongs to five honor societies. A member of Cameron’s Army ROTC unit, Kennedy will be commissioned in May 2014, graduating with a double major in mathematics and history.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, senior Florencia Tornero came to Cameron to play tennis for the Aggies in Fall 2010.  She has earned 45 singles wins and 32 doubles wins over her career. Last season, she earned honorable mention All-Lone Star Conference honors in doubles. Tornero’s transition to life in America was a challenge as she struggled to speak and understand English fluently. But she utilized CU’s many tutorial labs to improve her communication and study skills and read as many books in her spare time as she could. Her hard work has paid off, as she has excelled academically. She was an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete last year and is currently employed as a tutor in the School of Business.

She will receive her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in May 2014. After graduation, she plans to remain in the United States and eventually pursue an MBA.

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September 25, 2013

PR#13-152