Irvin Morales: Business administration major seeks ‘American Dream’

As a recent American citizen, Irvin Morales bleeds red, white and blue. As a Publix employee, he also bleeds green. Morales’ path to the “American dream” began 15 years ago, when his mother immigrated to the United States empty-handed from El Salvador. In hopes of becoming a store manager, he now is in his final semester before earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration at FSU Panama City.

Sam E. Nole: Robot changes major, graduates with Public Safety and Security degree

When Sam E. Nole came to FSU Panama City thanks to a scholarship from the AT&T Foundation, her whole world was computer science. When she wasn’t working on a new program or learning new tricks of the trade, she would unplug and recharge her battery in a home that seemed like nothing but a box.

Cana Sylvester: Education major uses theater, Disney experience in classroom

Cana Sylvester knows about life on the stage. Introduced to acting as a child, she went on to perform in productions at Mosley High School, majored in theater at Gulf Coast State College and was a cast member in the Disney College Program.

Rob Griffith: Non-traditional student managing mine defense project

Since Rob Griffith saw his first computer in elementary school, he has had an affinity for technology. Now, at 40, he is completing his degree in computer engineering at Florida State University Panama City. With graduation nearing, Griffith is serving as project manager on the Wireless Portable Influence Measuring System (Wireless PIMS) for defense manufacturer Exelis Mine Defense Systems.

Stephanie Smith: Student, mother manages Interactive Bubble Exhibit (IBEX)

As a mother, Stephanie Smith knows children are fascinated with bubbles and buttons. As an engineering student, she is learning how to turn those bubbles and buttons into an interactive museum exhibit.