CUAA's May 2020 graduation candidates are students who have spent their years at CUAA developing in mind, body, and spirit for uncommon lives of service and impact.
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories highlighting Concordia’s May 2020 graduates.
Liz Larsen is no stranger to maintaining relationships from afar.
Her college home, Concordia University Ann Arbor, is nearly 900 miles from her familial home in Sidney, Maine. Larsen’s fiancé, Matt, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, completed two deployments overseas while she was in college.
Larsen, who has remained well-connected to her family and friends despite the distance, has committed to a career in social work where she will be dedicated to supporting families, resolving problems, reconnecting loved ones, and enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities.
“My social work degree gives me a broad opportunity for supporting children and families in many different ways,” said Larsen, who will be the first-ever graduate from Concordia’s new Bachelor of Social Work program.
She knew she wanted to attend a Concordia within the Concordia University System, and found CUAA to be a great match for her desire to be at a Christ-centered university and to know her classmates personally.
“I went to visit Ann Arbor and fell in love with it. Everyone was just so friendly, and every student we passed smiled and waved,” said Larsen, recounting her first visit to campus.
Also a competitive race-walker, it appealed to Larsen to carry her quick-twitch talent into the college-level. Race-walking is a track and field event only offered in the NAIA, of which CUAA is a part.
Larsen didn’t just participate in the event, she qualified for the NAIA national championships four times throughout her collegiate career—three times indoor and once outdoor.
When she wasn’t leading the pack on the track, writing letters to her deployed fiancé, travelling on short-term global education courses to the Caribbean and London, or connecting with family members in Maine, Larsen could be found working in Concordia’s box office, running lights and sound for Daily Chapel, or gathering internship experience hours at her placement with Catholic social services.
“My faith has grown at Concordia, and I love that we can incorporate God and the Bible into our education leading to deeper discussions on faith and learning which has been very influential for me as I prepare to be a social worker.”
Larsen recently welcomed her fiancé home from his second deployment. The two plan to be wed in July, in what will likely be a small ceremony with a large reception to follow once they are able. She is preparing to enter the advanced-standing Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern Maine this fall.
She plans to do something special on Sunday, May 17, to mark the completion of her BSW degree and to celebrate her many Concordia experiences and achievements.
Liz and her 2020 classmates will be honored at a virtual degree conferral ceremony on Sunday, May 17. They will be celebrated in person at the December commencement celebration. These changes are in response to the Coronavirus. To learn more about Concordia’s response visit here.
— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-995-7403.
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