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Graduate Commencement


Lewis & Clark Graduate School Commencement: Sunday, June 3, 2018

Guest Commencement Speaker: Dr. Manivong Ratts

Dr. Manivong J. Ratts has been chosen to represent the 2018 graduating class as the commencement keynote speaker at the June 3 commencement ceremony.

Dr. Ratts is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (WA) and National Certified Counselor who is currently a tenured Professor of Counseling at Seattle University and Chair of the Department of Leadership and Professional Studies at Seattle University. Currently, he is the head of two different research studies, one focuses on multicultural and social justice competent counseling and the second surrounds LGBTQ courtesy stigma.

Dr. Ratts began his career in higher education in 2005 as an adjunct faculty member at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Since beginning this career, he has published 14 peer-reviewed articles and collaborated on two books.

Dr. Ratts holds a Ph.D. and Masters of Science in Counseling, along with his Bachelor of Arts, from Western Washington University.

Dr. Manivong Ratts was selected as this year’s commencement keynote speaker not only because of his history with Lewis & Clark but because of his outstanding dedication to social justice. Since 2006, Dr. Ratts has been awarded the National Counselors for Social Justice O’Hana Award from the American Counseling Association, the WACES Emerging Leader Award for Multicultural Education, Global Diversity/Social Justice, and WACES Multiculturalism and Social Justice Advocacy Award.

Student Commencement Speaker: Araceli Cruz

Araceli Cruz is an Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Lewis & Clark College and soon to be a graduate of the Student Affairs Administration program at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Her work focuses on breaking down barriers for historically marginalized students, ensuring they can access and thrive in higher education. The Student Affairs Administration program has helped her understand how to mitigate policies and procedures that may produce inequalities for marginalized communities in higher education. Araceli’s future career goals including becoming a university president.

Her work has been presented at the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education regional conference and is under review for an upcoming edited volume on a collection of narratives detailing the experiences of student affairs professionals of color in higher education. Her contribution offers recommendations for success for student affairs professionals of color and ways they can construct opportunities to flourish.

Araceli currently serves as a board member of the Portland Leadership Foundation and is the Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Inclusion committee for the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In addition, Araceli serves on various scholarship selection committees and volunteers with local college readiness programs.

Araceli received her bachelor’s degree from Linfield College where she majored in Sociology and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family.


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