Each year, graduating students from Oregon Tech are selected to represent their college of study as commencement speakers at the annual ceremony. Representing the Class of 2021 are Josie Page Hanel, Christian Gomez, and Walker M. York for the Oregon Institute of Technology virtual commencement ceremony June 12, 2021.

2021 Graduation Speakers

Josie Page Hanel, Population Health Management, Outstanding Scholar

As a first-generation college student from Lakeview, Josie attributes her success to the support of her parents, grandparents, TOP advisors and her faculty members. Josie’s campus involvement includes being an active member of Kappa Xi Alpha sorority and participating in many campus and community service events. Josie also served as an officer in the Associated Students of Oregon Institute of Technology this year, held an internship with the Population Health Management Research Center, and worked on a suicide prevention program for a primary medical care setting.

Josie’s future plans include beginning her career as a patient coordinator for an oncology department, with her sights on a management position eventually, while also fulfilling her dreams to travel the world.


Christian Gomez, Biology-Health Sciences, Chemistry minor; Honors Program, Student Achievement Award, Outstanding Scholar and President’s Senior Cup

Originally from Sherwood, pre-med student Christian focused not only on his academic success but also on serving other students and his community. Christian served as a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry courses where he hosted study sessions, tutored, assisted with labs and graded assignments, quizzes and labs. Christian also served as president of the Biology-Health Sciences Club this year and even through the virtual interactions led the group to make 84 full-size blankets for High Desert Hospice and they received a volunteer excellence award for their work. Christian and another student spent this year getting a student chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the National Pre-health Honors Society, established at Oregon Tech, which will be the first chapter in Oregon.

Christian plans take some time to apply to medical school with a start date of fall 2022, where he will strive to be a passionate pediatrician and to continue to serve his community.


Walker M. York, Accounting; Most Dedicated Student Award, Outstanding Scholar and President’s Senior Cup

Walker hails from Grants Pass, and his dedication to assisting other students is evident through his work as a Peer Consultant (tutor), TOP tutor and Supplemental Instructor for accounting classes. Walker also served as the event planner for the Campus Activities Board and as a Business Ambassador in support of the Management department. This year, Walker was also a member of Oregon Tech’s team that competed in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) national student case study which placed in the Elite 8 (and currently waiting for final announcement of this year’s winners).

Academically, Walker’s high academic marks and personality landed him an internship last summer at Interfor (a lumber company) in Port Angeles, Washington, where he made such an impression that he was offered a full-time position upon graduation (and he accepted it). Interfor has agreed to pay for Walker’s graduate education in the coming year.

More information about the university’s commencement ceremonies, visit www.oit.edu/registrar/graduate/commencement.