April 28, 2016
Jonel (Joe) Iliscupidez ’16 was the student speaker at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement on May 7. A committee of seniors, staff, and faculty selected Joe, a psychology major from Fontana, California, during the annual Senior Speaker Competition.
During his time at Lewis & Clark, Joe has been busy both in and out of the classroom. A four-year varsity athlete on the football team, Joe was also a co-chair for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Asian Student Union, and a LEAP mentor for the Department of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. He worked as a student assistant in the Dean of Students Office for four years, planning popular events like the Lip Sync Battle and karaoke night. Joe loves to sing, and was a member of an a cappella group composed of student-athletes.
We talked with Joe about his time at Lewis & Clark and how a liberal arts education has prepared him for the future.
Do you feel as though L&C has changed you?
My four years here have definitely helped me grow as an individual. I have learned more about myself, and my interests. All the ups and a lot of downs have taught me so many valuable lessons. I think L&C has helped me become the outstanding young man that my parents envisioned me to be.
What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?
My favorite class was not a part of my major. In the fall, I took a SOAN course called “Intro to Sociology” taught by Assistant Professor of Sociology Maryann Bylander that opened my eyes to a lot of topics in society today. I learned about social constructs, social justice, and equality. I was able to also apply concepts from my psychology courses to classroom discussion.
Do you have any graduation plans?
I’m planning on staying on campus this the summer to attend the Graduate School of Education and Counseling to get my M.A. in Student Affairs Administration. I’m also going to Florida for some vacation time!
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
The opportunity to continue to play football, the sport I love. I knew I needed the structure it provides to keep me focused. I also wanted to get away from home so I could grow up and learn more about myself.
What’s your favorite memory from your four years here?
I love all the memories I made playing on the football team, and the time spent just being around the guys at school functions like Fall Ball, the Lu’au, Glowdeo, and Spring Fling.
What message do you hope to convey to your fellow graduates at commencement?
Pursue whatever endeavors you wish to with the utmost confidence. Go with your own flow and don’t be afraid to just be yourself.