Multicultural Graduation is an annual student-centered ceremony that celebrates the diversity in the graduating class. As we have supported our students during their time at NC State, we also want them to feel supported and uplifted as they go out into the world with their degrees. At NC State, this tradition allows community members to pause, reflect and be inspired. While we aim to make this an inclusive space, this event centers the journey of graduating undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students from diverse backgrounds.
Part of the tradition of Multicultural Graduation is connecting to our heritage and roots; this is typically done by sharing experiences from alumni, honoring graduates with Kente stoles and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge through narratives.
2021 Multicultural Graduation Theme
Liberation in Spite of…
This past year we have all navigated multiple pandemics from health, human injustice and economics. As a result of these experiences, we and the world are forever changed. We know navigating these pandemics impacted people differently and disproportionately and so at this moment, we want to choose joy. This year’s theme is focused on elevating the personal growth, learning, innovation and community unification that has come during these times.
Passing the Torch - 2021 Graduation Speakers
Stacie NC Grant
Stacie NC Grant, Ph.D, often quotes this message from Ghandi “The best way to find yourself,is to lose yourself in the service of others.” This is how she has built a global platform of service. Stacie has spent countless hours quietly volunteering her time and service in the community through her civic engagement and youth mentorship. From working closely with local elected officials to support community outreach, to volunteering her time speaking with students in her local schools, to serving on PTA Boards, Stacie gets the greatest joy from serving others.
She has received numerous awards from the NYS Senate, NYS Assembly, NYC City Council, Office of the Governor of NY, national and local organizations including her most recent recognition as a Woman of Distinction by the Continental Societies, Inc. Her body of work is punctuated by receiving the 2016 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service from our 44th President Barack Obama, an appointment in 2017 as a Fellow of the Most Excellent Order of International Experts (FOIE) and a recipient of the 2019 I CHANGE NATIONS (ICN) World Civility Ambassador Award.
Publicly, as an award-winning international speaker, master facilitator, best-selling author, influencer, producer and celebrity emcee, Stacie N.C. Grant is living her divine calling to LEAD, TEACH and INSPIRE! Described as “God’s Designer Original”, she ignites her audiences with her captivating smile, intoxicating humor and boundless energy.
Our 2021 alumni graduation speakers brought messages centered around themes of elevating personal growth, learning, innovation and community. Our speakers for 2021 were Carmen Palacios-Aguirre, Andrea Duhon, Ph.D, and Timothy Humphrey.
A Message from Carmen Palacios-Aguirre
Throughout her time at NC State, Carmen was president of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc and program assistant of the Read to L.E.A.D. Program. She was also involved in other organizations and volunteer opportunities.
More recently, as a Masters of Social Work student, Carmen was Graduate Assistant for the Multicultural Student Affairs Office and a member of the Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society. After graduating, Carmen hopes to pursue a career in diversity and inclusion at a higher education institution.
Carmen is from Greensboro, NC although her family hails from Mexico.
A Message from Andrea Duhon, Ph.D.
Andrea Duhon, Ph.D. is a native of Bogota, Colombia. She is a 2005 graduate of North Carolina State University where she obtained Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education. While at NC State Dr. Duhon was an active member of the community co-founding the first organizations geared towards Latinx Student such as Mi Familia, La Raza de Mil Colores (NC State’s First Latin Dance Team), The Rho Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad, Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. and now the Latinx Alumni Network which she co-founded in 2017. She was the First Latina and First Sophomore to win Leader of the Pack as well as the first Latina in the College of Physician and Mathematical Sciences to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduating from NC State Andrea was awarded the Math for America Newton Fellowship to attend New York University where she obtained a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education in 2006. While at NYU she begun her research interest in Mathematics language acquisition among Latino Students. She continued her studies at Columbia University where she earned a Master of Philosophy and then a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. After working for several years in secondary education, as a mathematics teacher and then an At-Risk Programs Director, she turned to Collegiate Academics. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
As a professor, Andrea utilizes her passion for Mathematics to transform the collegiate classroom. Often looking for ways to make mathematics connections and enable students to see beyond what is in front of them. She is the lead for elementary and secondary teaching training and spends her summers engaging students in mathematics through different camps such as Imhotep STEM Summer Camp, Duke TIP and Math Field Day. She is invested in demonstrating her passion for STEM to the next generation and enjoys going to High School and College Campuses giving talks about women in STEM and how important it is to get our next generation involved.
A Message from Timothy Humphrey
Timothy Humphrey is currently Vice President, IBM Chief Data Office, with a mission to deliver a trusted, enterprise-wide data and AI platform for transforming IBM. He is also the Senior State Executive for IBM in North Carolina and Senior Location Executive for IBM in Research Triangle Park, NC, one of the company’s largest sites. Previously, Tim held various IBM executive roles spanning Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Data, Acquisitions, Supply Chain and Sales Support. He led IBM’s efforts to transform into the premier cognitive enterprise by embedding Artificial Intelligence into internal business processes across the company.
Prior to joining IBM’s supply chain organization in 2011, Tim held several engineering roles leading the design, development and launch of several technologies and offerings for Lenovo and the former Personal Computer Division of IBM. Tim has over 20 years of global experience in the computing industry with experience in technical support, hardware & software development, quality assurance and battery technology. He has earned numerous patents as well as management, innovation and excellence awards for his contributions to the computing industry.
Active in the community, Tim engages in several non-profit fundraising activities, special events and volunteer efforts. He serves as a board member for many local non-profit organizations. Tim is also a very active mentor to over 30 global professionals, students and youth.
Tim graduated from North Carolina State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is a member of the North Carolina State University Electrical and Computer Engineering Hall of Fame. Tim is a North Carolina native and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.