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Part of Western Governors University

November 18 & 19 Commencement Weekend in Orlando

Master's Ceremony

Bachelor's Ceremony

Alumni Celebration
Friday, November 18

Rosen Centre
9840 International Dr, 
Orlando, FL 32819

6:30-9:00pm EST


Saturday, November 19

Orange County Convention Center
9800 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Master's Check-in Time: 8 am, EST
Master's Ceremony Time: 9:30 am, EST
Bachelor's Check-in Time: 1:00 pm, EST
Bachelor's Ceremony Time: 2:30 pm, EST

Keynote Speaker | Daymond John

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his business operation into its basement. Daymond is the CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales world-wide. Former President Barack Obama appointed Daymond a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship to harness his energy, ideas, and experience to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs both at home and abroad. 

Daymond is an award-winning entrepreneur and has received hundreds of awards including the Brand Week Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was named #2 on LinkedIn’s Top 20 Voices. Most recently, Real Leaders Magazine named him one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World in 2022.”

His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm The Shark Group offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world’s top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions.

Daymond is also an author of 5 best-selling books including his New York Times best-selling books, The Power of Broke and Rise and Grind. In March 2020, Daymond released his fifth book, Powershift.

Finally, Daymond is celebrating his 14th season on ABC TV’s critically acclaimed business reality show Shark Tank by renowned producer Mark Burnett, which has reinvigorated entrepreneurship around the world. Shark Tank has now gone on to win five Emmys® in the U.S. and millions of weekly viewers world-wide tune into the show as Daymond demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights.

Master's Ceremony Graduate Speakers

Sachella Olivier
MBA, IT Management
Hephzibah, GA

The daughter of Jamaican-origin parents and a diverse cultural background. Sachella Olivier was born and raised on the island of Jamaica for a decade, and then she migrated to the United States (Long Island, NY) at ten years old. From a tender age, Sachella heard the rumors about America being "the land of opportunity," and she pleaded with her mother to give her a chance at it. Finally, in 2005, her mother allowed her to stay in the states to continue her education and pursue her dreams.

Sachella always looked up to her mother as a role model and wanted to be a policewoman, just like her mother at age five. However, Sachella was inspired by her dentist in Jamaica (Dr. Carl Bartley), and she also wanted to pursue dentistry. She thought of dentistry as a way of paying it forward by helping others to be happy (with the ability to smile and laugh confidently). With the bravery and admiration of law enforcement, and the desire to help others, Sachella felt at peace serving in the United States Army, "the best of both worlds," she tells herself.

Sachella joined the United States Armed Forces as an enlisted Soldier right after high school (in 2013) as a medical logistician specialist. Two years after her enlistment, she joined the Hofstra University Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. She successfully earned a scholarship three months into the program. In 2018, Sachella completed the ROTC program and was commissioned as a (signal) officer in the United States Army. She was also a full-time student at Farmingdale State University, where she studied and earned her bachelor's degree in Science, Technology, and Society, with a minor in Sociology.

After Sachella’s commission, six months later, she met her husband (Tariq). He is also a commissioned officer serving as a captain in the United States Army as a signal officer. Only a year after her commission, she was deployed overseas as a second lieutenant.

During her deployment, she was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. As she faced many challenges during her time overseas, her deployment encouraged her to push herself physically, mentally, and academically. While serving at the Regional Cyber Center of Southwest Asia (RCC-SWA) Sachella challenged herself to study and enhance her knowledge and technical skills within information technology (IT)/cyber.

While working long hours and six days a week in a fast-paced environment, Sachella earned an IT certification while serving overseas. After earning her certification, she became the defensive cyber operations (DCO) plans officer for the DCO section within the RCC-SWA. Her certification is also the result of her current position as an information systems officer in charge of one of nine Expeditionary Sustainment Commands (ESC).

Towards the completion of her tour, she told herself that she also wanted to challenge herself academically (which consisted of furthering her education, of earning her master's degree).

After her deployment, she told her husband about her new academic goal to pursue her master's, and he was inspired to do the same. After Sachella and her husband completed their research, they both agreed to attend Western Governors University (WGU) since it was one of the most affordable and military-friendly online schools. Unfortunately, while Sachella was enrolled in the WGU's MBA program, she was geographically separated from her spouse due to military obligations. Still, through all the texts, phone calls, FaceTime, and flights, they supported and encouraged each other to diligently accomplish their master's degrees.

Sachella and her spouse are both thankful for their experience and the knowledge they have gained at WGU. With their advanced knowledge and the challenges the program has prepared them to face, they both look forward to furthering their education (in a Ph.D. program and earning additional IT certifications).

Michelle Hilton
M.S. Nursing - Nursing Informatics
Cocoa, FL

Michelle Hilton grew up in upstate New York with her jack-of-all-trades father and her seamstress and nurse’s aide mother. Both were United States veterans. Joining Michelle were her three sisters, Sara, Lorraine, and Suzanne.

From a young age, Michelle was inspired by her dad’s perseverance and endless curiosity and her mother’s compassion and desire to help others. When Michelle went to college, it made sense that she chose nursing, or rather, nursing chose her.

Soon after becoming a nurse, Michelle married her husband Garrett and traveled with him while he was in the Navy. During that time, Michelle was inspired to help teach new nurses in the field and became a nurse educator teaching nurses how to use medical devices. This naturally placed Michelle at the crossroads of nursing and technology, and she chose a degree in nursing informatics. Michelle completed her degree from WGU in 2022. 

Today Michelle is a member of the American Nephrology Nurses Association and the American Nursing Association and has participated in the American Nursing Association Mentorship Program for the past two years. Michelle and her husband have settled in Florida, with their three dogs and one cat. Michelle has a fierce group of friends, family, and colleagues supporting her growth and success. For fun Michelle enjoys trivia, taking her pontoon boat on the river and visiting her sisters in Arizona.

Bachelor's Ceremony Graduate Speakers

Sarah Minnix
B.S. Business - HR Management
Dothan, AL

Sarah Minnix grew up in an environment where females were not encouraged to pursue higher education. She never thought a degree would be in her future. However, at the age of 11, Sarah saw her mother graduate with a bachelor’s degree and later her master’s degree. 

Through a series of other small but equally impactful moments, she decided she wanted more than what her environment offered and decided to earn her degree as well. Once she made her mind up, there was no stopping her until she reached her goal. She chose WGU as an avenue for reaching this goal as it allowed her to remain mobile without state residency restrictions.  

Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science, Business - HR Management degree from WGU while working as an artist and entrepreneur at Sea323 Designs but is actively pursuing a career in Human Resources.

Formerly of Oklahoma, Sarah currently resides in Alabama after moving through multiple states with her military veteran husband, Andrew. She is a full-time cat mom to Frankie Potato and Jackie Petunia and can usually be found painting, drinking coffee, or eating at her favorite breakfast place with friends. But where she finds her true purpose is when she is volunteering with youth ministries. She strives to be a mentor to the teens as they discover who they are in God and live out their calling. 

Daniel Brothers
B.S. Business Management
Burlington, MA

Massachusetts native Daniel Brothers is the oldest of five children and grew up working alongside his father delivering milk, bread and other dairy products. Daniel credits his dad for teaching him outstanding customer service skills that have served him well in his own career path. 

The dream of attending college was delayed when Daniel’s father passed away at the age of 37. Daniel left school after one year at a traditional university.

Daniel started his professional career at Fanny Farmer Candies, working in a warehouse learning about the transportation, distribution and inventory control industries. At this company Daniel learned much that he would take to other companies.

In 1986, he accepted a similar position at Scitex America, an international high-tech company, noting his time with Scitex America as the greatest time of his professional life. While at this company Daniel held positions in inventory control, customer service and the company call center before the company was purchased and his position transitioned out of the county.

In the early 2000s, Daniel took a position with the Town of Arlington as Facilities Supervisor.  Combining his professional background and his love of sports, particularly ice hockey, Daniel was in a profession he loved. In November of 2006, he moved to the City of Watertown as Skating Rink Director, a position he holds to this day.   
Daniel has been heavily involved in athletics as a 20-year head coach for boy’s lacrosse at Arlington Catholic High School. He works for the state athletic association, the MIAA, helping to manage athletic tournaments and events across the state.  

In 2020, Daniel achieved his lifelong goal of earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management at Western Governors University. 

Daniel still lives in Burlington, MA with his wife Carol and their dog Lua. They have two sons, Mark and Patrick. A fan of his beloved New England sports, Daniel feels grateful that he was able to share the many championships with his boys. In his spare time, he enjoys family time, reading, and watching the NFL on Sundays.

Master's Ceremony Anthem Singer | Susan Altman

Susan Eugenia Altman, soprano, is a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and the proud daughter of Ronald and Tavie Altman, both educators.  She graduated from Englewood Sr. High School in 1985, attained her Associate of Arts from Florida State College Jacksonville in 2001, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy in 2003 from the University of North Florida. Her passion has remained in the fields of music and education where she has worked as a Director of Music in the Catholic Church for the last 35 years and has concurrently served as a music educator in Public, Charter, and Catholic school systems for over 12 years. She currently teaches at Sacred Heart Catholic School and Holy Spirit Catholic School in Jacksonville which was recently awarded as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School.

Susan studied Music Voice Performance while at UNF, FSCJ, and at Averett College in Danville, Virginia, and studied voice with Dr. William "Bill" Brown, world-renowned tenor.  Susan actively participates in church and community choirs, such as the Jacksonville Masterworks Chorale. River City Women's Chorus, and the Danville Area Choral Arts Society and has had the privilege of singing with the Greensboro and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras, as well as the United States Navy Band. Among Susan's greatest honors have been being the mother of four wonderful children and performing here today at the Western Governors University Commencement Ceremonies where she will receive her Master of Science in Special Education, singing our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, which was composed by one of her ancestors, Francis Scott Key

Bachelor's Ceremony Anthem Singer | Carl Slate II

Carl “Bear” Slate II grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with his partner, Alfred.  From a young age, Bear gravitated towards music and live performance.  After singing in school choirs for years, he and a high school friend created a band and started performing their own songs.  In 2005, Bear enrolled at Radford University and joined Phi Mu Alpha, a social fraternity with a special interest in music, where he was elected President of the chapter.

Bear has worked for Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia since 2014.  After spending the majority of his career in the Retail sector, Bear became a Platform Architect for Goodwill in 2018.  Along with the promotion, he decided to continue his education and enrolled at WGU in the Spring of 2019.  He received his BS in Data Management/Data Analytics in September of 2022.

Bear is an avid Harry Potter fan and is excited to finally visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during commencement weekend.