At the end of the school year, the library faculty and staff traditionally throw the graduating student assistants a party to reminisce, show appreciation, and give warm wishes for a hopeful future.
Student assistants perform important job functions in the library such as checking out books in circulation, assisting in research support in the Knowledge Center, shelving returned books, and many others. This year was unlike any other and this graduation celebration followed suit. The library staff turned to Zoom for an online party to celebrate the student assistants.
Larry Huizar, the library unit head of circulation opened the library’s 20th student assistant graduation party by pointing out the unique nature of the situation. “The class 2020 is going to be the one long remembered,” he said.
He pointed out that in the long history sending off the new grads, this was the first time it was a virtual event.
In her speech, Emma Gibson, the Interim Dean of the University Library told the students that her first job was working in the library as a student assistant, and emphasized that the University Library can’t run as effectively and as efficiently as it does without the student assistants. She also underscored that doing work as a student assistant gives them skills and abilities to prosper when they graduate from Cal Poly Pomona since it “taught me how to deal with unique situations and uncomfortable situations.”
When the students took the floor, they told their favorite library stories, and explained how the work played a positive role in their life. Cal Poly Pomona’s distinctive colleges are well-represented by the graduating student assistants, who are listed below:
- Juan Ramone Sevilla (psychology)
- Diane Amon (aerospace engineering)
- Dastaja Coleman (electrical engineering)
- Ethan Porsona (business administration)
- Elianna-Marie Herrera (art history)
- Leslie Penaloza (psychology)
- Alex Ramirez-Zuniga (electronic systems and technology)
- Andy Kung (history)
- Alex Dan (computer information systems)
- Lisa Cheung (computer engineering)
After many of the student assistants and the library employees shared heartfelt stories, the library faculty and staff offered advice to the new graduates. Many of the library employees talked about the unpredictability of the future, and encouraged the students to take the twists and turns of their life journey in stride.
Librarian Shonn Haren could relate to the students with his graduation situation when he entered the job market in the great recession more than a decade ago. He gave an impassioned speech about treading your path, and that “there is no such thing as bad, honest work” even if it doesn’t fall under the major from which they graduated.
Huizar concluded the event by reminding the graduating students that they are now forever part of the library family, which will always be there to offer help and support.