Commencement Speaker Spotlights: Annelise Miller and Armando Aguirre

Former PSEO student and Miami Beach native addressing fellow students at graduation

Annelise Miller

Annelise Miller

Annelise Miller, 18, is earning her Communication Studies Transfer Pathway A.A. degree at Inver Hills Community College. Annelise graduated from Eastview High School, Class of 2021, and first attended Inver Hills as a PSEO student.

After she graduates from Inver this May, Annelise is transferring to Minnesota State University Mankato, where she’ll be majoring in communications with a minor in marketing. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in public relations or digital marketing.

Annelise made the dean’s list at Inver Hills and also participated in Phi Theta Kappa. She works while attending college, putting in 14–24 hours a week as a sales associate at a metaphysical shop called Divine Time.  Her family has two Shetland sheepdogs, aka Shelties, named Opie and Odin, and two white tree frogs named Gus and Shawn.

In her free time, Annelise enjoys aerial sling, singing, and reading. “Aerial sling is an apparatus very similar to silks you would see at the circus,” she explained, “but they connect as loop at the bottom instead of remaining two separate panels of fabric. I saw someone on Instagram do it and knew I had to try! I love to sing any ballad I can belt out. I actually mostly read online comics, usually though the app Webtoon.”

Annelise resides in Apple Valley with her mom and dad, Kim and Nathan, who are both teachers, one younger brother, Simon, 16, and the family’s dogs and frogs.

What is the topic of your commencement speech and what do you hope to convey to your fellow graduates?

My speech is about three things we learned during our time at Inver Hills that did not come directly from our textbooks. Such as grit, patience, and adaptability. I hope when people hear my speech, they feel proud that they made it this far despite the conditions of the past couple of years.
Annelise Miller
Communications Major
2022 Commencement Speaker
Inver Hills Community College

Annelise Miller Q & A

Why did you decide to attend Inver Hills?

I started as a PSEO student my senior year of high school. High school was already going to be mostly online, so I figured I might as well just do online PSEO. After graduating high school, I decided to take one more year to finish my A.A since I was already halfway done.

What motivated you to choose Communications Studies as your major at Inver Hills?

After I took two communications classes, I realized it was something that felt natural to me, so I decided to stick with it!

What are the main reasons you’ve chosen your future career path?

PR and digital marketing really fall in line with my strengths and seem like interesting areas!

Three words that describe you as a college student:
FLEXIBLE. DETERMINED. PATIENT.

How can college students increase their chances of academic success?

Plan out time to do homework and have realistic expectations of what you can get done in a certain amount of time.

What person has influenced you the most in life and why?

My parents have both equally influenced my life the most. They have always been supportive of whatever I chose to pursue and are always there to help and offer advice when I need it.

Where do you hope to find yourself in 20 years?

Wherever I end up career-wise, I hope I have a good work/life balance and have hobbies to fill my time.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills:

VALUABLE

Annelise Miller gallery


Armando Aguirre

Armando Aguirre, 34, is following the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) at Inver Hills as he completes his Associate of Arts (A.A.), the college’s #1 transfer degree. Originally from Miami Beach, Florida, Armando graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School, Class of 2005.

After he graduates from Inver Hills this May, he will be attending Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, where he will pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Hospitality and Event Management. Armando works as a food and beverage director with Marriott Hotels & Resorts, putting in 55 hours a week while going to college. Once he earns his bachelor’s degree, his next goal will be pursuing a regional role at Marriott.

Public speaking was an extracurricular activity he enjoyed at Inver Hills. He received Minnesota State Grants to help pay for his schooling as well as 2021 Awards of Leadership of the Quarter from Marriott.

Armando has been married to his wife, Ashley, for eight years. Armando and Ashley have three beautiful children, Arianna, 6, Alia, 2, and Armando, 8 weeks old.

During his time attending Edward Waters College, a private university in Jacksonville, Florida, Armando played baseball and football. A fan of beverage knowledge, he’s a certified as a level one sommelier and level one cicerone. He resides with his family in Bloomington, Minnesota.

What is the topic of your commencement speech and what do you hope to convey to your fellow graduates?

The topic of my speech is the gratifying feeling of attaining my degree and the privilege we have as a student body to graduate from a wonderful institution. My hope is to create a sense of accomplishment and humbleness amongst my peers.
Armando Aguirre
Associate of Arts (A.A.)
2022 Commencement Speaker
Inver Hills Community College

Armando Aguirre Q & A

Why did you decide to attend Inver Hills?

Inver Hills faculty gave me a sense of confidence during registration and created a plan that I felt was achievable. Inver Hills guided me in the right direction.

What motivated you to choose your major at Inver Hills?

When I attended my college prep course with Ms. VanVossen, she made me aware that my transfer credits would be best applied to an Associate of Arts. That my main focus needed to be establishing a major and a university that would work best for my passion, that passion being hospitality.

What are the main reasons you’ve chosen your future career path?

Southwest Minnesota State University has a wonderful hospitality program. This program is offered online, which allows me to work on my studies while maintaining the much-needed focus on my career.

Three words that describe you as a college student:
COMMITTED. RESILIENT. DETERMINED.

How can college students increase their chances of academic success?

I would recommend to all college students to create a budget first, then create a time sheet with the number of hours spent on work, personal health, and activities. I would then ask them to re-write their budget with their school fees and their expected committed time to attending school.

Once they have established this, they will be able to know how much they can commit to work and their studies without overextending themselves. This will allow them to create a realistic plan that is attainable and give them the highest possibility of success.

What person has influenced you the most in life and why?

The most influential person in my life is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He allows me to be confident and understand that all which is within reach can be gained with commitment and love.

Where do you hope to find yourself in 20 years?

In 20 years, I would like to see myself career-wise as a chief operating officer (COO) in my field and or a vice president of operations. I know I will achieve this with continued hard work and focus. I would also like to be able to share a wonderful life with my family by creating an expectation of family first. Ensuring we are always connecting with each other and committed to sharing our lives together.

What one word best describes your experience at Inver Hills:

SUCCESSFUL!

Armando Aguirre gallery

Graduation & Commencement

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! You’ve put in the hard work, now let’s celebrate. The 2022 Inver Hills Graduation Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. May 12, 2022 at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, Minnesota. Inver Hills will follow the most current health guidelines.

Participation in the commencement ceremony is voluntary; however, to receive your diploma you have to apply to graduate. READ MORE…

Learn more about graduation at Inver Hills by contacting:

Enrollment Center
651-450-3503
College Center

Tags from the story
, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *