Commencement 2018: International student to speak at URI’s graduate commencement

Doctoral candidate will receive degree in chemistry

Media Contact: Carol McCarthy, 401-874-4147 |
Oleg Kazakov
Oleg Kazakov

KINGSTON, R.I., May 3, 2018 — A University of Rhode Island doctoral student from Moscow has been selected as student speaker for the 2018 Graduate School Commencement on Saturday, May 19.

Oleg Kazakov, who will receive his Ph.D. in chemistry later this year, will offer welcoming remarks on behalf of the Class of 2018 during the ceremony at the Ryan Center, 1 Lincoln Almond Plaza, Kingston. URI faculty, administrators, staff and distinguished guests will be on hand as 762 students receive master’s and doctoral degrees or post-graduate certificates in 70 programs across all nine colleges. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m.

Kazakov, a member of the Graduate Student Association Executive Board, has had a love of learning since his childhood in Russia. “As a boy, I enjoyed reading and trying to explain my grandfather’s lectures on advanced mathematics. In high school, I became interested in science and decided to pursue a career in chemistry,” he said.

After high school, he enrolled at the Moscow University of Chemical Technology and received a specialist degree in chemical engineering. He then spent two years working in the chemical business as a sales manager while volunteering as a teacher. Kazakov also holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, under instructor Danny Savery.

In 2013, Kazakov began his doctoral studies at URI, under the supervision of Professor M.K. Kiesewetter. His research focuses on organocatalytic ring-opening polymerization, which is used in development of biodegradable materials and production of plastics for microelectronic biomedical applications.”