Bita Riazi

Bita Riazi

In Winter 2019, a student in our program was been chosen by UMD as their December main commencement student speaker.  Her name is Bita Riazi. We are so extremely proud of Bita's accomplishments and selection!  Bita has a great story and is a true advocate for Shady Grove.  Please see Bita's Bio below and join us in celebrating her accomplishments!

Bita Riazi // Student Speaker

For Bita Riazi, graduating from the University of Maryland is the culmination of the hopes that her immigrant family carried to the United States nearly 30 years ago. Her parents left Iran and all their relatives behind for Maryland in 1991, hoping then-one-year-old Riazi’s educational prospects would be brighter. And while the journey to a degree wasn’t a straight line, it has been rewarding. “I had a lot of faculty who believed in me,” she says. Riazi earned an associate’s degree in general studies from Montgomery College in 2011 and planned to immediately transfer to UMD. But when her parents faced several health crises, Riazi, an only child, instead took care of them and worked full time at a spa in Gaithersburg. “I always did want to go back and finish school, but sometimes life happens,” she says. “Family is first.” Beset by doubts about being able to navigate a return to higher education, Riazi attended three open houses at the Universities of Shady Grove, which offer several UMD degree programs, before taking the leap. It was the best way, she says, to honor the sacrifices that both she and her family had made. “I’m going back for me,” she told her parents at the time, “but I’m really going back for you guys.” Over the next two years of pursuing her bachelor’s degree in communication, Riazi made Dean’s List every semester and was nominated for the dean’s Senior Scholar Award. Since August, she has also been a programming and production intern in the D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, booking guests, researching stories, writing scripts and other duties. While interested now in a career in media and entertainment reporting, Riazi ultimately wants to work in a field that can help and inspire people, be it through writing or speaking. Her experience at UMD has been a key step toward that goal. “Between the faculty and my fellow Terps, they all have such impeccable vision,” Riazi says.

UMD Commencement, December 20th, 2021

The University of Maryland will hold its campuswide Winter 2021 Commencement on Monday, December 20, 2021. The ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. at the XFINITY Center.

Updates, details, and how to aquire tickets can be found on the main commencement website:

  • Gates will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony. 
  • The university will follow all current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. 
  • Strollers are not permitted in the XFINITY Center nor is there stroller parking on site.
  • Regalia is encouraged but not required to ensure that all interested graduates can attend without concerns inhibiting their participation.

To ensure everyone’s safety, and in accordance with University COVID-19 protocols, masks will be required.

The ceremony will also be available via live stream on the university’s Facebook page and YouTube channels.

We’re thrilled to have our graduates join us at the University of Maryland’s Winter 2021 Commencement on Monday, December 20, 2021. Individual college and school ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, December 21 & Wednesday December 22.

The Department of Communication wishes all of our graduates the best!

For more information regarding Graduation dates, please click here