Laura Gaudet

Dr. Laura Gaudet speaks to the master’s graduates at Winter Commencement in Memorial Hall Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College

Dr. Laura Gaudet, Professor and Chair of Chadron State College’s Counseling, Psychological Sciences and Social Work department, urged newly minted master’s degree recipients to take calculated risks and replace fear with excitement during her commencement speech Friday afternoon at Memorial Hall.

During the exercises, 81 graduates earned their degrees. Irma Torres of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, offered the opening moment of reflection and Megan Dimmit of Alliance, Nebraska offered the closing moment of reflection.

“As you transition to your professional life, take reasonable, achievable, conceivable risks with your endeavors…. Embrace your challenges and opportunities even when they seem a little daunting. Exchange the fear of trying new things with excitement,” Gaudet said.

She shared her experiences presenting about traumatic brain injury at professional conferences in several foreign countries the past few years as examples of meeting challenges in spite of initial trepidation.

She praised CSC students for opening themselves to challenges and facing them on a regular basis.

“Many of you come from first-generation college families…. You continue to impress me with your hard work, determination and perseverance. You are my teachers,” she said. “Commencement is the natural time to acknowledge the trials and tribulations, but also a time to rejoice in the attainment of one’s goal.”

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Gaudet emphasized the importance of relationships in successful personal and professional lives.

“While you are out in the world doing good work, remind people that we are all human beings…. Always thank the people who helped you along the way. None of us achieve things in this world alone; your professors, family members, colleagues and friends helped you achieve this great goal. Help those who follow behind you with their next great achievement,” Gaudet said.

She left the graduates with a prompt to be prepared for job titles that likely may not even currently exist.

“As you go forth in this next phase of your life, say “yes” to your professional endeavors; Know that the opportunities you will be offered in the future will be much greater. Many of these career opportunities are not even on the horizon today,” Gaudet said.

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