IDS Program Confers 64 Degrees at Fall Commencement Ceremony
By William Lineberry
University College, Senior Communications Specialist
The Virginia Commonwealth University Interdisciplinary Studies program, which is under the VCU University College, conferred 64 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degrees at the Fall 2022 IDS commencement ceremony, which took place Saturday, December 10 at the Singleton Center for Performing Arts on VCU’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, yes, while also pondering the overlapping, interconnected ways in which those subjects come together to create new knowledge.”
...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, yes, while also pondering the overlapping, interconnected ways in which those subjects come together to create new knowledge.
University College Dean Constance Relihan, Ph.D., praised students for persevering through the stresses of shifting to online learning, health anxieties created by the pandemic, social and racial injustices and more. She also added that in a world that is becoming more interconnected and interdisciplinary, the education received from the IDS program should position IDS graduates well to become future leaders.
“The interdisciplinary education you have pursued has pushed you to explore the connections between disparate fields of study and to develop multiple ways of thinking so that you will be prepared to solve complex problems, address emerging issues and contribute to the betterment of your communities and businesses,” Relihan said. “Your intersectional and outside-the-box areas of knowledge and skills will make you uniquely prepared for wherever your life’s journey leads.”
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:
- Creative Business Communications
- User Experience and Interface Design
- Disability Studies in Education K-12
- Latin American Economy and Data Visualization
- The Business and Marketing of Art History
“You will forever be part of us as alumni of University College,” Relihan said in her closing remarks. “We are so proud of you. Congratulations!”
Photo by VCU University Relations, 2020