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Live stream available for Saturday’s commencement ceremonies

December 10, 2013

As more than 500 students prepare to graduate from Emporia State University on Saturday, at least two degree candidates will continue family legacies when they receive their diplomas. For the first time, those who cannot attend can view the ceremonies live on the Internet at

Emporia State University will confer degrees in two ceremonies on Saturday.

At 9:30 a.m., nearly 300 candidates for undergraduate degrees will be recognized at White Auditorium, 111 E. Sixth Ave. Dr. David Edds, 2013 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, will address the graduates.

At 2 p.m., more than 200 candidates for graduate degrees will be hooded at Albert Taylor Hall in Plumb Hall on the Emporia State campus. Shane Bangerter, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, will speak at both ceremonies.

More information on commencement can be found online at

Family legacies

When Courtney Brokaw Stemler of Silver Lake headed to college, she saw herself becoming an attorney, which is why she chose Washburn University and an undergraduate degree in political science. Midway through her college career, though, she changed direction.

Active in debate and forensics while a student at Silver Lake High School, Stemler found herself helping coach the team as a college student and decided to pursue an education degree.

Two outside factors helped her decide to transfer to Emporia State University.

One, the Emporia High School debate coach offered her a job. Two, her father, Kevin Brokaw, was already a Hornet. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business education in 1992 from Emporia State. Her stepmother, Shannon Langley Brokaw, also came from a long line of Hornets. Shannon Brokaw is a member of the Wendling family from Olpe, which was named the Hornet Heritage family in 2002.

“My dad said, ‘Courtney, you really ought to think about going to Emporia,’” Stemler recalled. “I am so glad I did.”

Stemler credits professors in The Teachers College for making her transfer into the elementary education program so easy — including a last-minute change of her final Professional Development Site.

During her first semester, Stemler was in a fourth-grade classroom at Emporia’s William Allen White Elementary School. Her second-semester site was to be in Olathe, where her new husband was working. But before the semester began, Chris Stemler took a job in Topeka.

Three weeks before classes started in August, Stemler was placed in a kindergarten classroom at Topeka’s Whitson Elementary School.

With commencement right around the corner, Stemler is now looking for a job.

“My plan is to teach K-6 unless a middle school math position opens up,” she said. “I’ll teach a couple of years then probably look at programs for master’s degrees.”

Skyler Delmott of Emporia is preparing for his second walk across the stage in an Emporia State University commencement. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2010. On Saturday, he will receive a master’s degree in biology.

As an undergraduate, Delmott ran track and cross country for Emporia State. In fact, earning degrees as members of the track team is a family tradition in the Delmott house.

Dad Dennis came to Emporia from Iowa to run track, left college for service in the Marines before returning to coach while training for the Olympics and earning a master’s degree. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences education and a master’s degree in physical education. Dennis went on to a lengthy career with the Emporia Police Department.

Mom Patty was also running track when a coach suggested to Dennis that the two pair up for a couples race. Eventually, the couple paired up to raise a family in Emporia while Patty, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, worked as an applications developer in Emporia State’s Information Technology department.

Skyler is their oldest son. Asher Delmott, younger by two years, was also a track athlete while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He graduated in 2012 and is now pursuing a master’s degree in psychology at Emporia State.

With all that family history, attending Emporia State was an easy choice, Skyler Delmott said.

“I was a runner and this team had the best fit,” he explained. Then-Coach Dave Harris offered a scholarship and “Emporia State was the most cost-effective route to a good education.”

Delmott’s specialty is environmental biology with an emphasis in aquatics, a field that allowed him plenty of hands-on learning.

“I started out wanting to do herpetology in high school, but I’ve learned that everything is tied to water,” he explained. “In aquatics, there are more field trips; it’s about half class and half field trips.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree, he was looking for a government job but not having much luck. His advisor, Dr. David Edds, offered him a research assistantship if he enrolled in graduate school.

“It was the only door that was open,” Delmott remembered. “I’m glad I took it.”

Now, it’s again time to look for a job. He had an internship followed by a temporary job with Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and is now expanding his job search to wildlife agencies in other states.

But first, he and his family will celebrate another Emporia State diploma.



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