Meet the 2020 Student Commencement Speaker for the College of Social Science, Sarise Hammad

May 4, 2020 - Liz Schondelmayer

Though the COVID-19 crisis has forced traditional commencement ceremonies to evolve, the College of Social Science would still like to recognize and celebrate our Student Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2020. 

Meet Sarise Hammad, this year’s student speaker and winner of the Outstanding Graduating Senior award for the Global and International Studies department. A passionate social scientist eager to start her career advocating for human rights abroad, we are thankful for the opportunity to share her story and can’t wait to see what she’ll accomplish next.

Why did you choose to become a Spartan?

My two eldest siblings went to Michigan State, so being the youngest daughter to parents of immigrants, I stuck to what my siblings did in their formative years, but added a little bit of my own spice into it.  

How have your years at MSU shaped you and your future?

Michigan State has taught me what a community looks like and it is through these collective experiences such as late night Union, our beautiful campus, and personal relationships made at Michigan State that I plan on carrying with me for the rest of my life endeavors both personal and professional.

What was your proudest memory from my time as an undergrad?

A lot of my proudest moments took place in Berkey hall, whether them being memories from class discussions so intriguing and powerful that I raised my voice and showed my values, or club meetings that centered around human rights and Palestine. Berkey hall has really been that home for me at Michigan State where all my successes took place.

What message are you hoping to leave with your fellow graduates?

An immediate graduation commencement does not take away from how powerful we all are as individuals. I’d like to remind my fellow graduating seniors to live in the present, to enjoy our youth, and to keep shining.

Find Sarise’s video message and more congratulatory messages from CSS faculty, students and alumni at