Fall 2023 Graduation Spotlight: Meet Lauren Cawley Perez

Austin Community College District (ACC) invited more than 3,700 graduates to walk at its fall 2023 commencement ceremony on Thursday, December 7, at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park.

One of those students is Lauren Cawley Perez. Lauren, the president of ACC’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, Alpha Gamma Pi, is a nontraditional college student and a mom of two young children. She will be earning her degree in Studio Art. 

Learn more about her ACC journey and the support she recieved to complete her degree.

Lauren Cawley Perez, ACC Graduate

Tell me about your time at ACC

I began at ACC in fall 2020. My time at ACC has exceeded any expectations I came here with. I explored my education in a positive environment and found that I am a smart person capable of exceptional work. I expanded my art through the art department, even being featured in ACC’s 47th Annual Student Art Exhibit. After my induction into the local Alpha Gamma Pi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (the Honor Society for two-year colleges at ACC), I earned academic recognition.  

How does it feel to be graduating

I’m excited to be a college graduate. Accomplishing this has been so gratifying. I knew I was capable of incredible things. I will be walking the stage for the first time at the age of 28. It was not easy to get here, but I did it. 

What was your favorite part of ACC

My favorite parts at ACC were the in-person fellowship events that ACC Student Life and Alpha Gamma Pi put together. Getting to connect with other students on campus helped me make friends.

Any faculty or staff you want to recognize supporting you

I want to thank my advisor, Professor Mary Kohls, whom I’ve known since I was inducted into the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. I would also like to thank my ceramic professor, Professor Karen Bolton. 

What is next for you

I look forward to taking a break over the winter until classes resume. I plan to complete my associate of Communication Studies, so I will continue to be a Riverbat!

What would you tell someone considering applying for college

Just show up. If you show up, your professors, advisors, counselors, and classmates will meet you in the middle. If you are struggling, let someone know. They will help you.

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