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UMA Celebrates Graduating Class at Commencement Exercises

Tampa, FL , September 16th, 2016 – Ultimate Medical Academy’s community of learning came together on Sept. 10 at the USF Sun Dome to celebrate the graduation of its fall class of 2016.

UMA graduates traveled from all over the country, from Vermont to Hawaii, to join in the Pomp and Circumstance, with thousands more in the audience celebrating their success, including employer partners, families and friends. Attendees were able to meet with their advisors and instructors, have professional photos taken in their caps and gowns, capture their special day at selfie stations and photo booths and more. The ceremony included student and faculty speakers, and an inspiring keynote presentation from prominent healthcare speaker and author Marcus Engel.

Engel discussed his own personal story of being struck by a drunk driver while in college and undergoing years of treatments and therapy to recover. He coached UMA graduates on the importance of providing compassionate patient care, tying the speech into his own unique and highly emotional experience.

In their turn, the student speakers provided meaningful glimpses into what UMA students regularly overcome in order to reach success.

Dominique Bermudez, the online student speaker, spoke of a particularly difficult time in her UMA academic journey. When her daughter began having trouble in school, Dominique felt she herself should put aside her schoolwork to help her daughter succeed. However, her daughter’s words surprised her.

“She said I could not quit,” Dominique shared tearfully in her emotional speech. “She had seen my six UMA Dean’s List certificates hanging on the wall. These were beacons of hope to her. These represented what was possible. At that moment, we both realized we could no longer be victims of our circumstances. I couldn’t give up, so she wouldn’t give up. Despite the odds, we both persevered. As she completed the 5th grade with her class, I completed my UMA associate [degree] program.”

Graduates who couldn’t attend the ceremony in Tampa were able to experience commencement in real-time by watching UMA’s special live-stream broadcast via the internet. Many also participated in a live chat discussion throughout the morning’s events.

UMA President Derek Apanovitch commended UMA graduates for their perseverance and determination to overcome hardship along the road toward student success.

“We do what we do because of you,” Apanovitch said. “You inspire us, and that’s why providing full student support is so important to our institution.”

Apanovitch reminded students that UMA’s dedication to student outcomes extends past graduation.

“It is an exciting time for you and your career in a dynamic, ever-changing, ever-growing healthcare industry. And just like UMA was there for you during school, we will be there for you as alumni…This is just the beginning of your relationship with us.”

UMA offers heartfelt congratulations to all graduates near and far, and offers special thanks to the sponsors, faculty and staff who offered student support.

A recording of the ceremony is available for on-demand viewing via UMA’s YouTube channel.