Jacob Karam Will Be University College Banner Bearer At Fall Commencement|
Dec. 14, 2011
By Steve Peterson
Once the Fall 2011 Commencement is finished on December 17, the occasion will be especially celebratory for University College's banner bearer, Jacob Karam. Not only will Karam parade the gonfalon for University College, but he'll also be receiving his Bachelor of Arts in University Studies degree.
Karam, who backed-up Seth Doege as the quarterback for the Red Raiders football team, will then set his sights on graduate school and eventually law school after tailoring his undergraduate studies toward a pre-law emphasis.
"Thanks to the customization of the University Studies degree program, I was able to shape my education to fit my needs and prepare for a future in law," he said.
The bachelor's degree in University Studies is a unique academic program that allows University College students to customize their educational experience according to their own personal goals. And one of Karam's goals was to finish his undergraduate degree in less than three years.
"The challenge I faced upon arriving in Lubbock was to figure out how to complete my undergraduate education as quickly as possible," he said.
So Karam met with Ryan Davis, an academic advisor at University College, who helped him create an academic plan that was both achievable and concentrated toward pre-law studies within a two-and-half year timeframe. Karam's degree plan included concentrations in Communication Studies, Legal Studies, and Political Science.
"It was not that easy for Ryan Davis to create a condensed academic plan for me but he did, and he also continued to work very closely with me to ensure that I met my specific time goal," said Karam. "The faculty here is great, and the advising staff works hard to help students choose a degree plan that will not only build upon their strengths but also prepare them for their careers."
Despite his considerable responsibilities to both the football team and to dealing with an atypical course load - Karam still excelled in his classes, and will graduate magna cum laude. He also volunteered much of his free time to community service projects such as the time he gathered together many student athletes from various sports to spend the day at High Point Village, which he said was the most memorable volunteer opportunity he had in Lubbock.
These factors are what led to Karam being a candidate to represent University College as the banner bearer for commencement. According to Sarah Foley, the director of University College's Advising Team, the top three students were chosen based on multiple categories such as GPA, campus involvement, community involvement, and employment. A committee then convened and eventually selected Karam to be the Fall 2011 banner bearer.
"Being selected as the banner bearer is a huge honor for me personally," said Karam. "I am very privileged to lead our class into the graduation ceremony."
While Karam is finishing up his time at Texas Tech, he said that he will never forget his opportunities and achievements while here. "I loved playing football as a Red Raider and I also loved helping out in the community with service projects at various institutions," he said.
He also is very grateful for the flexibility offered by his educational program with University College, which made it possible for Karam to maintain a full academic schedule while still contributing 100 percent to the football team. "The many online course options made it possible for me to take required courses during both the busy regular season and the offseason," he said. "Thanks to the faculty and staff of University College, I was able to be competitive on and off the football field."
Finally, Karam recommends both Texas Tech and University College to current or potential students looking to balance their academic goals with multiple areas of interest. "The key is to make a cohesive plan that will count for something when looking for a job," he advises.
"The faculty here is always ready to help you achieve your goal, you just have to ask," he said. "I am incredibly grateful to University College."