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Meet winter 2021 commencement speaker Anita Suljic

Anita Suljic, commencement speaker. Photo by Hue Herrick

In a busy, bustling world where everyone seems to be racing towards deadlines and ‘what’s next’, College of Health Sciences student Anita Suljic has an outlook that is both refreshing and inspiring.

“Sometimes you forget to acknowledge the little things that you do on a regular basis because you focus so much on the big events or the big projects,” Suljic said. “The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is to acknowledge all the small things you do. Those little things make a big difference.”

Suljic will speak at the fall 2021 morning commencement where she will receive a bachelor of science in health studies with an emphasis in health informatics and information management. Suljic said that she knew she wanted to be in health care and serve others, but the health information track at Boise State helped her find her own niche.

“When you think about health care, you think doctors, nurses, all of the clinical staff, but there’s a whole backside of health informatics and they’re the ones who are running the show to make sure everything can happen,” Suljic said.

While a student, Suljic worked with BroncoFit, a campus-wide initiative to create America’s Healthiest Learning Environment by encouraging Boise State students, faculty and staff to engage in all aspects of health and well-being. Through BroncoFit, Suljic helped put on educational programs for students on topics like mental health, alcohol, environmental sustainability and more.

Suljic also interned at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Boise and gained first-hand experience in the critical function of information and data processing for hospitals. This experience is currently fueling Suljic’s goals to continue health care work and apply for graduate degree programs in health informatics.

“I just want to be able to make some sort of impact within health care and be able to contribute to making people’s lives better just because I know with COVID things have been so hard,” Suljic said.

When Suljic began her education at Boise State, she quickly caught associate professor Jaime Sand’s eye with her clear determination to excel.

Anita Suljic. Photo by Hue Herrick

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Anita nearly since she began at Boise State,” Sand said. “Her dedication and motivation were immediately evident considering the 24 academic credits she had already obtained during high school and remains evident in the fact that she is graduating a semester early with cum laude honors.”

Sand continued, “She is an engaged student with excellent attendance and high-quality work. Her classmates rank her highly in peer assessments, describing her as a reliable team player and excellent communicator with good leadership skills. She has been active in seeking experience beyond the classroom, completing an internship with Girls on the Run and currently working with the local VA hospital. She is also diversifying her skills with a certificate in business analytics.”

Suljic grew up in Boise and always knew that Boise State was the university she wanted to attend. In her freshman year, Suljic joined the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, making valuable friendships and finding mentors who coached her towards success. Suljic said these mentors and her parents have been an essential part of her achievements.

“I definitely want to give a shout-out to my parents. They’ve been the most supportive. And to my greatest friends Lexi Pland and Jackie VanderPoel who have always been there and were always checking in on me whenever I needed it,” Suljic said. “I would also like to say thank you to Jaime Sand for being an amazing advisor, to the women of Alpha Sigma Alpha and BroncoFit, and to my incredible friends from 1202.”

When asked about what her favorite memories are of Boise State, Suljic replied: “All the football games, and to top it off, any time we had Mountain West championship games; those are probably my favorite ones to attend.”