The Adams State University Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony for candidates receiving their master’s and doctorate degrees will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in Plachy Hall. The ceremony will award nine doctorate and 358 master’s degrees.

Danielle P. Smith will deliver the graduate commencement address. An employee in the Office of Financial Aid, she worked full-time while earning an M.S. in Human Performance and Physical Education. Previously, she earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Adams State in 1996. She resides in the San Luis Valley with husband, Clint, and three sons: Colton, Luke and Chase.

Danielle SmithIn 2011, Smith experienced a life-changing event when her sister died of breast cancer. As a graduate student, that experience motivated her to pursue research that would impact the quality of life for those facing a cancer diagnosis. Guided by a belief that exercise can be a healthy choice for patients, Smith pursued the topic for her graduate thesis, when she launched an original study to discover and measure the benefits.

Smith designed an 8-week physical activity intervention that measured changes in volunteers’ aerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition, among other things. Participants in the exercise group showed a significant increase in aerobic capacity, decrease in pain, muscular strength and endurance after the intervention. They also saw decreased fatigue and a better quality of life.

Smith’s initial study has made such an impact that The Colorado Cancer Coalition awarded the Adams State University Kinesiology Department a two-year grant to continue studying the effects of exercise on the physical, mental, and social health of cancer survivors.

Family and friends unable to physically attend the commencement ceremony can stream the program live on their device from the Adams State Facebook Page, or from Those attending can use the Adams State Commencement Snapchat filter and share on Instagram.