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Claflin University will hold its fall commencement convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14 in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex.

The speaker for the commencement ceremony is Katarina Fjording, vice president of purchasing and manufacturing at Volvo America in Ridgeville.

Fjording is an automotive veteran with more than 27 years of global industrial operations experience from Europe, Asia and America. Her international experience spans product and tooling development; purchasing and manufacturing as well as being an automotive supplier to European premium brands.

A mechanical engineer, she began her career in Volvo as a design engineer on the Volvo 850 model.

For most of the 1990s, Fjording was a design engineer in Sweden, briefly working for one of Volvo's suppliers before returning to the automaker in 1997.

When Ford bought Volvo in 1999, she began traveling to Dearborn, Mich. to help with engineering. The Ford bosses offered her a job at the automaker that year, and Fjording moved to the U.S., going between Dearborn and Chicago to launch the D3 platform -- a design that was to underpin at least eight North American Ford Motor Co. models.

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