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IUP held a graduation fair, hosted by the Co-op Store and Registrar’s Office, in the HUB Ohio Room on Thursday. It offered a platform for graduating students to share their successes and confirm graduation plans.

The IUP Co-op Store and the Registrar’s Office hosted the graduation fair Wednesday and Thursday in the Hadley Union Building’s Ohio Room. 

The graduation fair is held for a day or two each semester as a celebratory festival for students graduating. Students can come and check in, share their achievements, ensure the correct diploma address and name spelling and pick up or pre-order their caps and gowns. 

Students can also order other things like class rings, graduation packs and frames. 

“I congratulate all 2019 IUP students who are going for their commencements,” Michael Powell, interim registrar, said. “I hope they found this event useful.” 

Not only could students get their graduation material ordered or picked up, they could also talk to other tables there. 

The other tables included the Career and Professional Development Center, financial aid, graduate admissions, alumni, Student Philanthropy Council, Office of Extended Studies, Multicultural Affairs Student Success and the Office of International Education.

The graduation fair targets departments that would be involved with graduation and commencement. Students can hit all the areas so they can get all they need for commencement. 

“I think the most important thing for students is that they have the ability to make sure everything is accurate before graduation,” Samantha Bozzer, management technician, said. “Students can make sure their program of study or major or minor is reflective of their true status. 

“If there’s anything that needs to be changed, they are aware of it and can take care of it before the ceremony. I also think it’s important for the students because it builds excitement for them before the ceremony.” 

The graduation fair event used to be known as “Salute to Grads,” which was a one-day event held in the Co-op Store. 

Powell wanted to change the dynamics of this event slightly to be a two-day event, accessible and convenient for students during the day and during the evening. 

Wednesday’s graduation fair was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday’s graduation fair was held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

The graduation fair will be held every commencement cycle and most likely will occur in March or April for the May commencement. Powell said hopes this can be a continuous standard for IUP. 

There were different tables for students to take advantage of the services they could use after graduation. 

The Career and Professional Development Center had a table and was there promoting Handshake, an app that helps students and graduates find jobs and opportunities. 

“All students and alumni have a free account on Handshake, which an online forum for jobs, careers or internships that best match their interests,” Jan Shellenbarger, special events coordinator, said. “We encourage them to use it and all services are available to students and alumni.” 

Students can go to iup.edu/career for more information.

Many students came to the event to pick up their caps and gowns and look at the different services available to them at IUP after graduation. 

“I’m just ready to graduate, and I’m looking forward to my future,” Kathryn Jordan (senior, criminology) said. “I have to make sure I can find my cap and gown, graduation announcements, check my degree and diploma information, make sure my account balance is paid in full and see if I’m eligible for an honors medallion.” 

The graduation fair had career services, financial aid for loans, graduate school information and alumni services for students. 

“I’m here to get a better feel for life after the undergraduate,” Chris Shumovich (senior, general studies) said. “I got an email for this event, plus I needed to pick up my cap and gown.”  

The graduate admissions were there trying to encourage IUP students to attend graduate school at IUP. It offers more than 50 programs of certifications. 

“I’m a graduate student, and the practicum experiences and the connections I’ve made with other professionals has really helped me with this transition,” Craig Washington (graduate assistant) said. “We are here for outreach and for other students to experience this.” 

Financial aid representatives were at the graduation fair to talk with students about student loan repairment after graduation and exit counseling. 

The graduation fair was a successful event that had many services and resources for commencement and life after IUP. 

A new service offered this year during the graduation ceremony is a text message service parents and families can sign up for and get notified for emergencies and weather. For more information, visit iup.edu/ens.

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