2012 Political Science Graduation Banquet - December

POSC Graduation Banquet – December 2012

By Karen Son

On December 6, 2012, Political Science majors and faculty gathered in the Aloha Center for the Political Science graduation banquet. At each graduation the department gathers to encourage graduates and inspire our younger majors. As the final’s week approached, our meeting gave students and faculty a break and a chance to enjoy each other’s company. After enjoying a delicious meal, guests listened as Dr. Murdock introduced and acknowledged the retirement of Dr. Jon Jonassen. After twenty years Dr. Jonassen’s service at BYUH’s Political Science Department has come to an end. Addressing the audience, Dr. Jonassen summarized his two decades at BYUH and left pearls of advice. He began his remarks by advising students to be confident, to actively involve themselves in service, to be teach-able, and establish certainty in their goal-setting. Before becoming a professor at BYUH in 1993, Dr. Jonassen maintained different official positions, including New Caledonia’s Acting Secretary General and the Director of Programs, and the Secretary of Ministry of Cultural Development in the Cook Islands. While working in these positions, Dr. Jonassen encouraged government spending on highly successful cultural developments. Dr. Jonassen also emphasized the power and importance of prayer. Years ago, while flying in a small plane enroute to Rurutu, an island in French Polynesia, Jon and his family members encountered a strong cyclone. Caught in the winds, the small plane was battered about wildly. Others on the plane screamed but Dr. Jonassen’s family prayed. The pilot flew straight down and managed to land in the fierce winds. Comparing this experience to the journey of life, Dr. Jonassen advised students to seek guidance and assistance through prayer when challenges like cyclones strike. Dr. Jonassen also complemented our graduates. While students from other universities generally graduate with skills in reading, writing, oral communication, comprehension, and critical thinking, our BYUH graduates earn their degrees with some additional, special attributes: high moral values, work ethics, intercultural wealth, love of Christ, future perspectives and confidence for future paths. With such attributes, skills, and a degree earned through our BYUH experience, our graduates will seek for places and opportunities to serve. As Elder Theodore Burton has said, “We were chosen and set apart to serve.” Ending his remarks, Dr. Jonassen wished our students to have a successful future as they depart BYUH. Ending his discussions, he wished our students Kia Orana – live long, happy and be prosperous! After Dr. Jonassen’s talk, our graduates were honored and received their certificates and special awards. Those who received special awards include the following: 2012 POSC Special Awards: Outstanding Graduate in Political Science, Summa Cum Laude: Heidi McFarland Academic Achievement for Graduating with Honors, Magna Cum Laude: Tiffany Handerson Academic Achievement for Graduating with Honors, Cum Laude: Pheobe Pacis Academic Achievement for Graduating with Honors, Cum Laude: Nicole Adair Political Science Service Award: Hironui Johnston Dale Robertson Award: Rachel Ouellet