Shout-outs: Graduating from the U in 2020

By News@TheU

Shout-outs: Graduating from the U in 2020

By News@TheU
Congratulate, encourage, and honor this year's class. Read shout-outs from members of the University of Miami community to spring 2020 graduates.

I received my B.S. in Public Health, while being a member and captain on the basketball team, last year. I was accepted into UM’s 4+1 program and had the opportunity to get my Master in Public Health with a focus in epidemiology. Ideally, I would be walking in my graduation ceremony tomorrow, May 7th. However, due to COVID-19, I have been able to make my impact in my field in a different way. I became a member of the SPARK-C team, which is University of Miami initiative to trace confirmed, presumptive, and exposed individuals to COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County.

-Khaila Prather

My twin sister, Stephanie Perez, and I are both graduating Spring 2020. Stephanie will be attending Harvard Law School next year, and I (Amanda) accepted an offer to attend Yale School of Medicine, which makes for a sibling rivalry for the ages.
We come from a family of ’Canes. Our parents attended UM, and our brother, Bryan Perez, is a double ’Cane grad from undergrad and the Miller School of Medicine. He is an anesthesiologist resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and will be completing his fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in August. This hospital is associated with the University of Pennsylvania. The Perez Family is going Ivy League next year!
Stephanie and I are interested in using our careers to help vulnerable populations. Beyond the legacy we hope to leave in the future, we have also each left a legacy here at UM. I served as the Chair of Hurricane Productions this year and have left a lasting influence on the organization. I was able to create a community and family among members, promote diversity and inclusivity in our programming, and created safe spaces for students on our campus. Stephanie served as the Rathskeller Advisory Board for two chairs, where she planned and executed a total of 150 events in her two years and helped make the Rat a welcoming place for all students.

-Amanda Perez

This shout-out is for my daughter, Genesis Cosme, who graduates with a Bachelor of Science in public relations and minors in art, ecosystem science and policy, and marketing.
The last couple of months have been not been part of the norm and although we can't celebrate as we would want, it doesn't take away from the fact that we are so proud of you and all your accomplishments! Another milestone that you have crushed like a boss in the great life we know you will lead. Welcome to the real world and although it can be tough at times, we know you'll conquer it and can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Congratulations on your graduation! We love you!

-Yamile Cosme

I want to congratulate my daughter Tasia White for obtaining her BSN in nursing. She’s worked so hard and has always been in the top of her class, I’m one proud mom.

-Lisa Cagua

Tommy Fletcher just graduated and has been working full time at a TV station for two years while doing his undergrad. It's impressive especially now that he's working to inform everyone about coronavirus and gets far less credit than he deserves.


Shefali Mehra is an outstanding student, an extremely kind person, and a fantastic leader. I cannot believe three years have gone by since we first met at badminton club. Your selflessness and optimism continue to amaze me to this day, and were made very evident during the time we co-led Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP). Congratulations on graduating a year early and on getting pre-accepted into UM’s Miller School of Medicine! I look forward to seeing the major impact you will inevitably make in the medical world.

Robert Zappala is an exemplary student, a great role model, and an even better person. I am very fortunate to have met you during your last semester at the U. Thank you for your eagerness to provide academic, professional, and personal advice, even though I could not provide anything of similar value in return; I am extremely grateful for that. Congratulations on graduating in three years, and I cannot wait to see what you will accomplish in the near future.

-Yiorgos Takoudis

The families of Russie Tselentis and Nicole Phocas would like to congratulate them both on their graduation! Well done, Class of 2020. Nicole and Russie started pre-school together in 2002 in Zimbabwe. Nicole and her family left in 2003, and now nearly 18 years later, they are both graduating together. We are so proud of them.

-Sonia Phocas

Would you like to recognize a graduating student from the University of Miami? Congratulate, encourage, and honor this year's class. Submit your shout-out.