11:20 AM

Student Speaker Patocka Ready to Take on Life

Student Speaker Patocka Ready to Take on Life

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

While Student Speaker Elle Patocka recently completed her bachelor’s in Communication Arts, she has no intention of slowing down.

Her degree should come in handy when she delivers her commencement address entitled Continue Having the Time of Your Life. She wants to encourage her fellow graduates to continue to enjoy life post-commencement.

Commencement speaker photo“We must persevere and continue making life worthwhile and at least recalling what brought us to where we are,” she said.

Patocka is a graduate of Omaha Bryan High School where she served as a commencement speaker as well. After picking up credits at Metro Community College, she elected to continue her education at Bellevue University.

After visiting campus and speaking with an advisor she knew she had found the right place.

“It fit what I was used to: smaller class sizes, ability to have one-on-one with professors and community feeling. I was also awarded a scholarship that proved to help immensely,” she said.

A diverse learning experience was one of the highlights of Patocka’s time at Bellevue University.

“I had a class where I was sandwiched by a soccer player from England, a baseball player from California, and  a Veteran mother from my home state- all ranged in age from right out of high school, to  having grown children of their own,” she said. “The experience we all had in common was wanting to receive a quality education at an affordable price -- which we all received.”

Patocka praised all of the faculty members she encountered, but saved some special praise for Psychology Professor Dr. Roxanne Sullivan and her American Vision and Values instructor Professor Rick Galusha.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere she created for us students,” Patocka said of Sullivan, while Galusha was “insanely great teaching history, politics and music in the Kirkpatrick Signature Series.”

So how will Patocka continue having the time of her life?

“I would love to work in public relations or radio,” she said. “However, earning a degree also opened the doors for me to apply to Teach for America and the Peace Corps, so those two programs are on my horizon.”