Troy Resident, Rochester High Grad to Deliver WSU Commencement Address
Yelena Sukhoterina, a Troy resident and graduate of Rochester High School, will be the commencement speaker for Wayne State University's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 8 — a role reserved only for students of outstanding character and high academic standard.
Sukhoterina is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the CFPCA and a bachelor of arts degree in German from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Sukhoterina's interest in language started at the age of eight when she wrote a ten-page sequel to J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. At the time, she only spoke Russian and lived in Moscow.
In 2004, Sukhoterina arrived in Rochester, Michigan with her parents. At Rochester High School, she built on the elementary English she learned in Russia and before long, she was tutoring fellow students in math, had joined the thespian society, and was serving the community through Key Club and Honor Society volunteer events.
At Wayne State, Sukhoterina has contributed arts & entertainment stories and a travel blog to The South End, the university's student newspaper, and has written on local culture as an intern for HOUR Detroit magazine. Sukhoterina also participated in the Junior Year in Munich study abroad program and works as a supplemental instructor in Wayne State's Academic Success Center tutoring students in German.
She has received numerous scholarships, including the W. Sprague Holden Memorial Scholarship in Journalism and the prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) Scholarship by the German government to support independent research she conducted during her junior year abroad.
After graduation, Sukhoterina intends to incorporate her language skills into her career in journalism. She is particularly interested in covering the compelling work of nonprofit organizations and the green movement. “For the best years of my life so far, I thank Wayne State University," she said.