A graduate holds his arms up as he walks onto the stage.

Ready for Success

Outstanding Graduates

Sharmane Flanders stands in her graduation regalia in front of three of her finished paintings while holding another colorful canvas.

Thriving artist

If I was in a place that didn't value art as much as Kalamazoo, I wouldn't have been able to meet these amazing people and I wouldn't be able to be at the place that I am now with my art: having two solo shows, all of the connections I have made, and all of the amazing opportunities I have received.

Sharmane Flanders, B.A.'23

  • Warda Niaz poses for a photo in her cap and gown.

    Warda Niaz initially thought she'd pursue a career in coaching but pivoted to sports marketing and hasn't looked back. Thanks to the support of expert staff in the sport management program and hands-on learning opportunities, she's ready to hit the ground running in her career.

  • A portrait of Quinn Heiser in his graduation cap and gown standing in front of a scenic painting.

    Quinn Heiser got a jump start on his master's degree in geography while completing his bachelor's degree and received a Department of Defense SMART Award that will fund the remainder of his graduate studies and give him a job at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency once he finishes his master's.

Laila Stein, dressed her graduation cap and gown, sits in the cockpit of a small College of Aviation airplane.

Runway to success

I often describe myself as the shy, introverted kid who had a lot of passion and a lot of drive for things, but I didn't really know where to place it or what to do with it. And I think coming (to Western) really taught me that there's a place for every passion and there's a mechanism for every drive you have to do things.

Laila Stein, B.S.'23

Bharat Goel leans on a railing while wearing his graduation cap and gown.

Amped up future

Research ranging from enhancing the power grid to increasing electric battery safety powered early career opportunities for Bharat Goel.

  • A portrait of Taylor Gaines in her cap and gown in front of a snowy Bronco statue.

    Taylor Gaines, whose family experienced stretches of homelessness growing up, is excited to put what she's learned at Western into practice. She has dreams of becoming a physical therapist and opening a clinic to help patients who can't otherwise afford care. "I just care a lot about people, how I can better the community. Seeing the stuff that I've been through just made me want to do better for other people," she says.

A photo of Mike Caliendo in his cap and gown.

Tackling medical school

Mike Caliendo has excelled in the classroom and on the football field, recognized among the top student-athletes in the nation. After several years holding the line to protect his quarterback, the biomedical sciences graduate is ready to tackle the next step in his career: protecting public health.

Inspiring Alumni