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College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Profiles

To many students, graduate Anthony "Tony" Begesha is a familiar face, whether he guided their first tour of the campus, helped them adjust to college life, or studied alongside them while working towards his Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Now he's encouraging GSU students to be involved on campus.

"Do not be afraid to get yourself out there and participate on campus. There are multiple events and organizations around that are not only incredibly fun, but will help you develop skills that you will use for the rest of your life."

Read more here.


Illinois’ budget crisis limited the financial aid available during that time, which meant college for Danuta Chlebek was no longer possible. When #GovState heard her story, the university sprang to action and supplied her a full ride scholarship to ensure she could obtain her Bachelor's in History. Now a 2020 graduate, Chelbek encourages students to cherish their time at GSU.

“Dedicate yourself to your studies and understand that all the faculty at GSU want to help you succeed. You are lucky to be at a school where you are not a number, but a student with your own strengths and weaknesses.”

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After teaching photography for 15 years, 2020 graduate Candi Helsel decided it was time for her to be the student again in the Independent Film and Digital Imaging program. Impassioned by her newly earned degree, she reflects on the inspiration she has gained in her time at GSU.

"As a teacher, I spend so much of my energy focused on the success of my own students. GSU gave me the opportunity to submerge myself into learning for myself. It was renewing to be challenged from a learning perspective."

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2020 graduate and mother of two, Areej Samara followed her passion to finish a degree in political science to one day be an immigration lawyer. Inspired by her Palestinian professor and invigorated by class projects in Springfield, the Grad leaves GSU knowing her future is limitless.

“You shouldn't ever set limits for yourself. You only get as far as you think you can go, and you'd be surprised at what you can do. I learned that here.”

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When Kristy Weidenhoefer Marcordes, a 2020 graduate, started the Master of Fine Arts in Independent Film and Digital Imaging program she was looking to find herself as an artist in order to be a more impactful high school art teacher.

I have developed that voice to inspire my work and speak through it and making my craft has become a peaceful and relaxing process that I enjoy. By engaging in this MFA program at Governors State University, I was able to re-introduce myself to the process of making art and why I fell in love with art in the first place.”

Read more here.