2021 English Department Commencement

Virtual commencement brought to you by MarchingOrder

Click here to download the program:

2021 Commencement Address
Genaro Padilla, Professor


2021 Student Speech
Giovanna Lomanto


2021 Student Speech
Jae Joon Shin


2021 Student Speech
Kamila Kaminska-Palarczyk


2021 Student Speech
Zara Khan


Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Reading "Zong!" in several classes has been transformative—not only do I extensively write about it in my thesis, it helps me as a poet (re)discover the beauty of language, recognize the tragedies behind its history, and inform me of ways that I can affect our historical usage.

Giovanna Lomanto

Q: What is your most memorable or favorite book you've read during your time here?

A: Oh God, there are so many! I really liked the short story 180H course (not workshop), and I loved reading Arthur C Clarke's "The Star". Such a poignant short story that blew my mind.

Nicole Chew

I've learned a lot in my classes here at Cal about reading and writing. But the things I'll take away are the moments that weren't planned, those days when I ran into someone at FSM and we had a conversation that stuck with me, those days when I went to Moe's.

Paige Prudhon

I will always look fondly upon Wheeler hall: hiding and studying in the English lounge, taking up too much space on the staircases, getting lost on the fourth floor trying to find my professor's offices, and making small talk with other confused English majors as we waited in line in office hours...The beautiful, huge windows in Wheeler opened the windows of my soul and gave me knowledge, insights, and memories I'll treasure forever.

Nique Salapare

"Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."
    —Langston Hughes

Vivien Jenette Lee

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
    —Michael Scott, The Office

Kamila Kaminska-Palarczyk

Nothing to be done.
    —Samuel Beckett, “Waiting for Godot”

Zhilin Yan

Class of 2021