IDS Graduates 59 at Fall '23 Ceremony

Students celebrate graduation as black and gold baloons are released into the air.By William Lineberry
University College, Honors College

University College’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program graduated 59 students Friday, December 8 at its Fall 2023 graduation ceremony held at the Singleton Center for Performing Arts on Virginia Commonwealth University's Monroe Park campus. 

Students’ chosen families and friends joined University College faculty and staff in celebrating IDS students and to wish them well as they proceed on to the next chapter in their personal and professional lives.

IDS director, Zach Hilpert, Ph.D., praised graduates in his remarks at the ceremony for taking on the challenge of studying multiple disciplines as interdisciplinary scholars.  

“Unlike most of the other graduates across campus being celebrated this week, each of these graduates has studied extensively in multiple disciplines,” Hilpert said. “But these students have not simply successfully studied two, or three, or four or five different subjects. Instead, they have become knowledgeable in multiple areas of expertise, while also pondering the overlapping, interconnected ways in which those subjects come together to create new knowledge.”

The alum speaker at the graduation was Matty Helton (‘19, B.I.S.), who shared with graduates how IDS helped shape his view of the world and how some of the most substantial issues of the present age must be solved through interdisciplinarity. 

"You have worked hard and earned this degree you are being awarded today," said D'Arcy Mays, University College's Interim Dean. "You have demonstrated that you have inside you what it takes to set a goal and to do what is necessary to achieve that goal. I challenge each of you as you move to the next step of your life to use this degree as a springboard to challenge yourself with new goals, to fight the challenges that stand between you and meeting those goals, and as you have done in earning this degree, to never give up."

IDS graduates' areas of concentration, which every IDS student is required to have, demonstrated how each graduate combined their interdisciplinary interests into one cohesive concentration. Some concentration areas for fall graduates included:

  • Historic Urban Planning for Sustainability
  • Creative Media Services
  • Entrepreneurship in Community Engagement
  • Environmental Science and Data Analytics
  • Creative Marketing Practices