For Shane Mosko, college graduation day wasn’t just about those long days and nights of studying.
For the 25-year-old who suffered paralysis from the waist down after a car accident five years ago, it all came down to a moment – literally 45 seconds — of taking one cautious step at a time with the help of a robotic suit and walking sticks in each hand to get his diploma.
Mosko, an FIU College of Business Worlds Ahead graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, was but one of 426 students graduating on the evening of Dec. 17, 2017, ready and eager to start their futures. Worlds Ahead students are those who have faced an unusual challenge and succeeded.
As Mosko walked along the stage to shake hands with Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg, the crowd’s applause and cheers grew louder and louder.
Mosko said he stood up for those who cannot stand. The moment was bigger than himself, he noted: it was about breaking barriers and judgment, and it was about not defining persons with disabilities or those who use a wheelchair to get around.
“I’m ready to show the world we can do anything we set our minds to,” he said. “For me, being Worlds Ahead was pushing myself to places I’ve never been.”
“Fierce determination. That’s what’s guided him over the past five years,” Rosenberg said as he recognized Mosko at the ceremony.
True to his personal slogan of not letting the debilitation hold him back, Mosko studied abroad visiting Spain, France, Portugal and the Azores in 2015.
He was a key participant in the roll-out of the robotic exoskeleton suit developed by Ekso Bionics and serves as an ambassador marketing the product that helped him walk across the graduation stage. In November, he took the suit to China where he showed what it does.
For now, Mosko plans on continuing to work full-time for Ekso Bionics, where he does their social media marketing campaigns, but he wants to earn an MBA down the road.
A total of 1,260 students earned degrees from the FIU College of Business at the commencements on Dec. 15, 16 and 17:
- Some 511 students from the Alvah H. Chapman Graduate School of Business received master’s degrees and three students received Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Business Administration: Alfred Castillo, Faisal R. Harahap and Peng Zang.
- In addition, 746 students from the R. Kirk Landon Undergraduate School of Business received Bachelor degrees.
At all the ceremonies, President Rosenberg welcomed families and friends, and congratulated the newest alumni. Dean Joanne Li presented the diplomas to all graduates.
College employees who added degrees to their list of accomplishments:
Emily Corbin (BA ’17), Student Assistant in the Management and International Business Department, received a Bachelor of Arts degree and majored in Psychology.
Carlos Garcia Rodriguez (MSIS ’17), Application Developer in the Technology Center, received a Master of Science in Information Systems degree.
Lissette Hernandez (MBA ’17, BA ’14) Operations Manager in the MBA Operations Team, received a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in International Business. Lissette, a recent hire at FIU, had previously received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.
Laura Tellez (BBA ’17), Program Assistant in the Office of Executive & Professional Education, received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and majored in Finance. In June 2018, Laura will be starting her fulltime position as a Financial Analyst for J.P. Morgan in Wilmington, Delaware.