Graduation Spotlight: Dominic Bhola

Friday, December 16, 2022 - 11:30am
Dominic Bhola

Hometown: Lincoln, NE 
Major: Journalism

 What does graduating from Nebraska mean to you?

Graduating from UNL means all the hard work and the support of my friends, family, and instructors was worth it! Completing my undergraduate degree at UNL was a wonderful and evocative experience. So many wonderful people have supported and helped me, and I've enjoyed a lot of excellent experiences and moments throughout my college journey.

To all the other graduating students this year: congratulations! You made it through, and you deserve it. It was a struggle at times – with long hours, challenging coursework, and demanding deadlines. College is difficult but rewarding, and I think we've all earned our undergraduate degrees.

And to students who are continuing their journeys at UNL, you're doing a wonderful job. Please take time for self-care and personal relationships – my college experience was all about balancing my aspirations and making time for fun amidst hectic schedules. I hope your UNL experience is just as beautiful, if not more, than mine.

What were you involved in on campus?

My experiences and campus involvements have been pretty esoteric and holistic! I have not formally contributed to any student organizations, but I've really enjoyed participating as a visiting member in many clubs, auditing elective classes for fun, and creating my own studying and support groups.

Some of my finest memories at UNL involve my cherished friends from my advanced poetry class – we printed and handbound our own anthology of poetry and art, and continue to collaborate and write together. Additionally, I organized and curated an art exhibition at the MEDICI Gallery on campus, which featured work from 10 writers and artists across a diverse array of backgrounds, fields of study, and colleges at the university.

In Fall 2021, I had the wonderful opportunity of working as a CoJMC Peer Mentor! I worked with seven freshmen, and I'm very proud to have been a little part of their college experience. They are so bright and aspirational, and I'm so excited to see their brilliant futures ahead!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be staying in Lincoln, Nebraska; so if anyone would like to meet up for some coffee or tea, I'd love to! I will continue to practice writing and art, submitting poetry to publications and fine-tuning my creative fiction. I will continue working as a journalist, while also hoping to explore the literary world as an editor.

All in all, I'd like to take a little time to breathe. I think anyone who has emerged from college after four intense years – especially during the pandemic! – deserves to take a break to reflect and heal.

In that sense, I will be dedicating some time to self-care and spending time with family and friends. I'm looking forward to collecting new types of tea, having garden parties, playing croquet, and growing strawberries.

Please share a transformational moment from your time at Nebraska.

A pivotal part of my college journey has been the support and kindness of my family. They helped me so much throughout this process and continue to inspire me. My family supported me when classes were difficult or exceptionally challenging – they reminded me to be open and appreciative to all the people I've met on this journey, whether its friends, instructors, or just brief acquaintances.

Particularly, I'd love to emphasize the support of my mom, Wendy. She has been so involved and crucial to my college experience. She is always so kind towards my professors and friends, crafting handmade gifts for them; she has always been there to listen to me talk about my day, my classes, and my struggles – whether we're having conversations about difficult topics in my courses, helping me understand research questions or visualize assignments, supplying my endless wardrobe, or talking through ideas for projects and papers. My mom shared this college experience with me, and she deserves this spotlight just as much as I do.

So, I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to my parents, sisters, and nephews for helping me through this process – it means a lot!

What's the best thing about being a Husker?

The best thing about being a Husker is the community. I have been very honored to be surrounded by such wonderful and interesting people throughout my college experience. I've met so many interesting individuals with diverse stories and aspirations.

I'm grateful to the friends, classmates, advisors, and instructors who have made campus an exciting place to be. I think every person I've met has contributed to my college journey, even those who aren't always noticed or recognized. So this includes people who have shown me kindness who I've only spoken with once or briefly, or service workers like the public transportation drivers who help me get to campus on time every day. Everyone has played a little part in my journey as a Husker, and I appreciate it greatly!

What are you most looking forward to, after graduation?

After graduation, I am most looking forward to new experiences and memories ahead! Nebraska has such a multifaceted community, and there are always adventures and opportunities awaiting us. Whether I'm staying at home and reading in my garden, or going out with friends and making new connections – I'm really looking forward to continuing to grow as a person, and enjoying existing and new projects with people I adore.

Who would you like to thank for supporting you throughout your college career?

There are so many fantastic individuals who I appreciate greatly – they've helped me so much throughout my semesters at UNL, and I hope we can stay in touch and contact moving forward. I can't even begin to write a comprehensive list of people I'd like to say 'thank you' to, because so many people have made my experience as a Husker so meaningful!

I'd like to say a special thank you to the teachers and professors who have made my learning experience so well-rounded and full of vibrant moments. If I'm allowed to be a bit extravagant, here's a short message to some of them that came to mind – but this doesn't even begin to encompass the amazing network of people who have been so integral to my journey. I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to all the instructors and teaching assistants I've met. Thank you for your role in educating and supporting me.

Catherine Johnson, merci beaucoup! Tu es un professeur super génial, et tes cours de français sont toujours merveilleux! Thank you for always being so patient, considerate, and wonderful as a person.

Ikuho Amano, thank you for being so interesting, well-rounded, and always so fascinating! I've greatly enjoyed all of the courses I've taken with you, and I always look forward to hearing about all of your projects, careers, and conquests.

Anne McConkey, thank you for being such an insightful and enthusiastic advisor! Your guidance has been so meaningful to me – you've given me so much freedom and flexibility in building my schedule here at UNL, which has helped me explore my interests and have a lot of fun in the process! Thank you for being such a delightful and supportive part of my college experience.

Katie Anania, thank you for being so groundbreaking and truly innovative! You've opened my eyes to so many possibilities, both within art and beyond. Let's have tea and talk about history, research, and alternate museum tours.

Katie Henson, thank you for being so eloquent and fantastic! Your motivation and interest in your students' work is truly lovely. You're the one I'd trust to lead us during an Octopus Uprising.

Barney McCoy, thank you for teaching me to be diligent! Your courses have always pushed me to work harder and push my boundaries, and I appreciate you encouraging me to do so!

Michelle Hassler, thank you for your feedback and insight! I've grown so much as a reporter because of your expertise, and I appreciate you being so receptive and understanding of how challenging yet rewarding journalism is.

Rick Alloway, thank you for being such a generous and truly wonderful instructor! The courses I've taken with you have been truly impactful, and I really admire how caring and compassionate you are towards your students and their interests.

Karez Hassan, thank you for being so reassuring and astute! We shared some 'firsts' together – your first experience as an instructor at the CoJMC was also my first experience mentoring students. I hope we both have lots of new experiences to tell each other about!

Dane Kiambi, thank you for being such a captivating instructor! I learned a lot about how to deal with crises from your class.

Olga Pierce, thank you for being my very first instructor in my very first course at the CoJMC! My experience in your class was formative for my college journey.

Gary Kebbel, thank you for always being so welcoming and full of liveliness! You were one of my first professors here at UNL, and I always enjoyed our conversations, both about mass media and baking. You'll have to send me your recipe for croissants!

Marc Pearce, thank you for being so warm and understanding. Your course on the psychology of personality was one of my favorite online classes in the midst of the pandemic, and you imparted so much knowledge which remains relevant and useful for me.

Grace Bauer, thank you for being my first poetry professor! I'm still trying to find the balance between melodrama and realism, both in life and in poetry, but your feedback has always been so helpful and resonant.

Wendy Katz, thank you for encouraging me to think critically about art and its impact on the world. You are so erudite and I enjoy the opportunity to glean wisdom from you!

Hope Wabuke, thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful writers, and being such an impactful writer yourself. The books we read in your women's literature course remain influential to my own work.

Lynne Nevin, thank you for believing in me and supporting my childhood aspiration of being a ballet dancer. I'm still working on my pas-de-chat, but I appreciate your encouragement!

Darima Budaeva, thank you for making French so fun to learn, and for being one of the coolest and most fashionable instructors I know.

Vernon Joseph and the team at Dunkin, thank you for supplying me with many cups of cappuccinos and caffeine to survive these hectic semesters!

The Sheldon Museum of Art team, I'll be back to check in on your upcoming exhibits when I can!

Aaron Bronfman, thank you for being so thought-provoking and insightful. I still find myself having existential crises about whether my feelings are fictional or whether art actually is art – but your course was always so marvelous in atmosphere and content.

Susan Oestmann, thank you for being one of my favorite people at Andersen Hall! You are such a positive person and a bright presence on campus. Thank you for always taking the time to chat with me!

Thank you for reading a little bit about my college journey, and I wish you the best of luck in yours!