More than 1,100 graduates will receive a diploma this weekend! It’s almost time to take that final walk across the stage to get your diploma! For most of you, this is your first time graduating from Northern Kentucky University. It’s important to be prepared. We gathered a few tips to help you get through the day.
College of Arts & Sciences
Andrea Shiverdecker, a non-traditional student, began her bachelor’s degree 20 years ago after graduating from Larry A. Ryle High School in 1999. She attended Eastern Kentucky University for a short period before her marriage to her husband, Dusty. Following the September 11th tragedy, she joined the U.S. Air Force. After a military enlistment and a subsequent career as a professional dog groomer, she eventually returned to college in January 2017 to finish her degree at Northern Kentucky University.
Andrea found anthropology by chance, and it changed her life. As a research fellow with NKU’s Parker Academy Project, funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, Andrea was able to gain a variety of experience with real-world tasks, including historical archiving, document analysis and transcription, archaeology and artifact analysis. She also served as digital curator and photographer for the project and maintained the program’s social media accounts and website. As a result of her work on this project, Andrea produced two publications that were featured on both state and national archaeological community blogs.
Andrea also participated in a study abroad project in Belize to study the sugar cane industry and its impact on the local villages and communities. She won both an NKU International Study Abroad scholarship and the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad Storytellers Scholarship for her research in Belize, some of which can be seen on Instagram @blue_2_orange.
During her time at NKU, Andrea became a lifetime member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi and the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society. She was an NKU Institute of Student Research and Creative Activity featured researcher in July 2018 and was a member of the Dean’s List every semester since returning to college. As treasurer and president of the Norse Student Anthropology Society, Andrea created and organized guest speakers, community outreach events and the now-annual community philanthropy donation and direct distribution event, “Warm the Homeless,” which aids the local homeless community in toiletries and warm clothing during the winter months.
Andrea is excited about where her future could lead after graduation, and hopes to attend graduate school in the upcoming year to pursue a Ph.D. in Mesoamerican Archaeology so she can teach and share anthropology with the world.
2018 Frank Sinton Milburn Outstanding Professor Award Recipient
David Singleton, professor of law, joined the faculty at NKU’s Chase College of Law in 2007 and has since made a dramatic impact on the university and the region.
Singleton received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1991, and his A.B. in Economics and Public Policy Studies from Duke University in 1987. Upon graduation from law school, Singleton received a Skadden Fellowship to work at the Legal Action Center for the Homeless in New York City, where he practiced for three years. He then worked as a public defender for seven years, first with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and then with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.
After moving to Cincinnati in 2001, Singleton practiced at Thompson Hine before joining the Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) as its executive director in July 2002. The OJPC is a non-partisan, nonprofit law office whose purpose is to reform Ohio’s justice system. Professor Singleton regularly involves students in the work of the center through which they work with other lawyers, interview current and formerly incarcerated clients, and even occasionally present arguments in court on behalf of clients.
This experiential learning teaches future lawyers about justice by incorporating real-life, high-profile cases into his classes, such as the highly-publicized case of his client, Tyra Patterson, who was released after serving more than 21 years in a Dayton prison for a crime she did not commit. He also engages his students by inviting them to accompany him on client visits when possible.
“I always try and talk about the humanity of folks I represent,” he says. “I tell people why I do it. For some people, they might not do what I do or understand why I do what I do, but I at least can share as many experiences as I can about the people I represent.”
Singleton also serves as the director of the Chase Constitutional Litigation Clinic, which was created in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The clinic provides students with hands-on experience in actual civil rights cases; this experience includes interviewing clients, writing appellate briefs and delivering oral arguments to the court. Students litigate on behalf of prisoners and former offenders in federal and state court.
“I ask everyone to suspend his or her judgment and give the people they represent a chance,” Singleton says. “Don’t judge them on the worst things they’ve done. We’re all people, and some make mistakes that land us in prison. That doesn’t mean clients have lost their humanity. We fight for people because they’re human beings.”
Singleton helps people in the criminal justice system who many have turned their backs on, and he doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon.
“I’m going to keep doing what I do until they roll me out in a pine box,” he says. “It’s a calling for me. I’m so blessed to be able to use my time and my talents to help people that few lawyers want to spend their time with.”
Sports Business and Event Management
Haile/US Bank College of Business
Mitchell Bischoff is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Business and Event Management from the Haile/US Bank College of Business. He began his journey at Northern Kentucky University after transferring from the University of Cincinnati in the fall of 2016.
After he became a member of the GAME ON Professional Development program at NKU, he spent the past four seasons as an equipment assistant for the Cincinnati Bengals. Mitch hit the ground running, and he plans to do the same with his professional career.
Dedicated to his studies and his city, Mitch has also been active in the community. He has worked and volunteered for the Marvin Lewis Community Fund since 2015, helped run NFL Play 60 events at Paul Brown Stadium and worked with the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation to help raise money for local hospitals at their VIP dinners. With a city full of opportunities and a solid support group of family and friends, Mitch truly believes that NKU has put him on the best path to succeed in the sports industry.