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UHCL graduate Millicent Hendrix honored as Fall 2023 Commencement Speaker

Written by: Lauren Sawyer

 Ultimately, you are responsible for choosing where to plant and sow your seed. UHCL provides all the necessary nutrients for growth and success, offers shade for self-care, and leaves room for you to add your unique touch.

Millicent Hendrix

University of Houston Clear-Lake (UHCL) senior Millicent Hendrix is graduating with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and is deeply honored to serve as the fall 2023 commencement speaker on behalf of the College of Human Sciences and Humanities. Being entrusted with representing the collective voice on a day of profound celebration marks a fitting conclusion for the Giddings, Texas native.

“UHCL has demonstrated belief in a potential I could have hardly envisioned for myself,” said Millicent. “This opportunity is not just an honor, but also a responsibility that I aim to embrace fully, using my words to delicately usher in the closure of this significant milestone that we, as graduates, have achieved.”

Millicent chose to pursue her master’s degree at UH-Clear Lake because of the university’s welcoming atmosphere during her first visit. Despite having other options to attain her degree, the size and intimate feeling of UHCL, coupled with opportunities within her specific field of study, made UHCL “home.”

“The campus, its dedicated psychological services building, and support for former foster youth, convinced me that UHCL offered unique avenues for personal and professional growth,” she said.

In addition, Millicent was attracted to the campus setting, which provided a conducive environment for service, education, and growth.

Throughout her 10-year collegiate journey, setbacks were woven into her story from the very beginning.

“From working full-time to fund parts of my educational experiences, to the profound loss of my grandmother my biggest supporter and role model and navigating the upheaval caused by a deadly virus that reshaped the way I knew life, the past few years have been filled with adversities I never imagined for myself,” she said.

The formidable challenges were moments of growth and learning for Millicent. Regardless of the obstacle, she emerged from the other side with greater knowledge and understanding, ready to face any challenge with resilience and determination.

As someone who tends to internalize feedback and be her most prominent critic, Millicent said she would like to share a key message with her peers: “you deserve good things.”

“In today’s world where everyone’s thoughts are accessible through social media and the internet, this experience is likely relatable. A crucial lesson learned is the compassion, understanding, and empathy we extend to others, should be applied to oneself,” she said.

She ultimately aspires to work as a licensed clinical psychologist and plans to apply to doctoral programs after graduation. She credits UHCL for preparing her for the transition.

“Post-doctorate, I envision myself running a private practice, offering therapeutic services to those in need,” she said. “UHCL has been instrumental in preparing me for my future career.”

She added that Psychological Services Clinic Director Elil Yuvarajan, and former adjunct professor, Zachary Appenzeller, were two standout professors that left a lasting impact on her college experience.

“Their teaching prioritized the quality of information over quantity, offering practical applications for the clinical knowledge gained in their courses,” she said.

Millicent encourages students to dare greatly, and “go all in.” She said the process of choosing an academic home is like cultivating a garden.

“When considering UHCL, think about aspects you can continue to influence or build upon. Identify elements that align with your personal goals and aspirations,” she explained. “Ultimately, you are responsible for choosing where to plant and sow your seed. UHCL provides all the necessary nutrients for growth and success, offers shade for self-care, and leaves room for you to add your unique touch.”

Whether it’s working as a community coordinator at HEB, developing her research at UTHealth Trauma and Resilience Center, diving into a good fiction book, or spending time with her partner and dogs, Millicent remains committed to watering what matters the most in her life and inspires others to do the same.

To learn about UHCL’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/clinical-psychology-ma. For information about the Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/commencement/.