2019 Convocation Offers Wise Words to Graduates

Joanna Masingila addresses graduates at Convocation

The School of Education celebrated its 43rd Annual Convocation on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Manley Field House. 336 degree recipients were recognized, including 137 bachelor’s, 135 master’s, 43 Certificates of Advanced Study, and 21 doctoral degrees. Thirteen InclusiveU students were also recognized for completing certificate programs.

In her remarks to the class of 2019, Dean Joanna Masingila assured graduates that the faculty and staff of the School of Education will “continue to walk with you in your journey. We are striving for equity, for justice, for peace, for access alongside you.” She urged graduates to “Be confident, be authentic, act with intention, live with gratitude, go out and overwhelm the world.”

Cerri Banks addresses graduates at convocationCerri Banks ’00, ’04 MS, ’05 CAS, ’06 PhD, was the invited convocation speaker. Dr. Banks is currently the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs at Skidmore College, and also serves as the Chair of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors. She spoke about her previous appearances on the convocation stage, as the undergraduate student speaker for the class of 2000, and when she was hooded for her doctorate by her aunt, Dr. Rae Banks. As a non-traditional student and woman of color, Banks credits the School of Education with changing the course of her life, and leading her to her career as a scholar and administrator. She said, “The work you do holds a critical place in the realization of equitable access to educational excellence. Our priority should be that every person, who so desires, is able to learn and achieve at the highest levels.”

Brianna Stahrr addresses graduates at ConvocationThe undergraduate address was delivered by Brianna Stahrr, a graduate of the English Education program. Stahrr , a native of Central New York, is a Remembrance Scholar and a student athlete, playing goalkeeper for the Syracuse Orange Women’s Lacrosse team. Stahrr shared her routines as a disciplined student-athlete, and encouraged her fellow graduates to make room for the unexpected. “Your unexpected experience could be a friendship, relationship, job opportunity, blown up lesson plan, or another Syracuse snow storm,” she said. “Whatever they may be, reflect on the unexpected experiences, consider their value, and determine how you can grow from them.”

Shane Nelson addresses graduates at ConvocationShane Nelson, a graduate of the Higher Postsecondary Education program, presented the graduate student address. Nelson engaged the crowd in a call-and-response, imploring them to be “BOLD” (Build, Organize, Lead, DO) in their endeavors. He added, “For our future educators in the room that come from privileged identity groups, know that your marginalized students and colleagues are not the spokespeople for the different things that come up in the classroom and on campus around their identities. If they have time, energy, and patience necessary to guide you, cultivate that partnership and be BOLD in that connection.”

The class of 2019 was led into Manley Field House by School of Education Marshals Lauren Czudak  and Emily Durand. The ceremony was punctuated by the harmony of Kathleen Krumback and Brittany Montpetit, graduates of the Music Education program, singing the National Anthem and the Alma Mater. A reception for family and friends followed the ceremony, on the lawn outside Manley Field House.

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