#NCStateCED18 Recap: The Class of 2018’s Work Has Just Begun

A photo of NC State Education 2018 graduates

The NC State College of Education recognized over 150 graduating students during its December 2018 Graduation Ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the McKimmon Center. Below is a recap of the ceremony.

Number of Graduates: About 157 total (~34 doctoral, ~94 master’s and ~24 undergraduates)

A photo of NC State Education graduate Yolanda Wilson
Yolanda Wilson ’18EDD

Who Delivered the Charge to the Graduate Students: Yolanda Wilson’18EDD, a Doctor of Education in Adult and Community College Education graduate and the associate vice president at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

What Yolanda Said: “As you begin your post-graduation journey — as teachers, researchers, policy makers, administrators and community advocates — will you see the work through to the end, even when it gets hard?”

What Yolanda Also Said: “To my graduating classmates, please do take a brief moment to celebrate, because we have reached a wonderful milestone. . . . But be reminded that the real work has only just begun. . . and it will take what psychologist Angela Duckworth calls grit—a special cocktail of passion and perseverance — to make sustainable progress that leads to measurable impact.”


A photo of NC State Education graduate Armando Salazar-Cardoso
Armando Salazar-Cardoso ’18

Charge to the Undergraduate Students: Armando Salazar-Cardoso ’18, a science education graduate who will teach seventh-grade science in Wake County after graduation.

What Armando Said: “I know each and every one of you has their own experiences and backgrounds, but we need to remember our students also have their own experiences and backgrounds. So, every time a student acts out, let’s remember to be patient because their lives may be falling apart.”

What Armando Also Said: “As I look out at all of you, I see a group of leaders that will help create new leaders.”


Special Recognition: Ashley Lawson ’18, a double graduate in mathematics education and mathematics and a Park Scholar, was recognized during the college’s graduation ceremony for being an NC State valedictorian, receiving a nationally prestigious Truman Scholarship, and having the Belltower lit red in her honor for being named the college’s first Truman Scholar. She plans to teach high school math in Davie County for several years after graduation and then pursue a Ph.D. in public administration and development sociology.

What Ashley Said: “On my cap I paraphrased Nelson Mandela and it says ‘Education is the most powerful way to change the world.’ I think that is incredibly true. But I also want to note that he did not say that education is the most powerful way to change the world positively. As an educator, we have an incredible power and responsibility. We can belittle our students or we can empower them. We have the power to make them feel incapable, and we have the power to help them see their abilities when they can’t see it in themselves, just like my mentors did for me. I know the people in this room will absolutely ensure that education is a powerful positive force because I have seen you all do it. I’ve watched as all of you have empowered your students. . . . And I know you will continue to change lives.”


What Dean Mary Ann Danowitz Said: “Collectively, you will conduct research, influence policies, lead community colleges and schools, counselor children and adults, and teach students. No matter the path you have chosen to take in the field of education, I urge you to be a champion for the educational success of all students.”


In Memoriam: Taylor Virginia Marie White was near completion of her Master of Education in Adult and Community College Education when she died because of cancer in July 2018. In addition to pursuing her master’s, Taylor was the assistant director of the tutoring program and an adjunct instructor in composition at William Peace University. The college presented Taylor White’s degree posthumously to her sister, Olivia White. A reflection from Taylor’s family was read during the ceremony:

“Always seeking greater knowledge, skills and abilities for her life’s calling, Taylor researched the best place for her post-graduate education and learned that North Carolina State University was that place. Not only could she be a student, but she could continue to serve others with her work at William Peace University and maintain her job as a crew member at Trader Joe’s, where she worked for over nine years. . . .

Even while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, Taylor continued working, tutoring and going to class working towards her master’s degree in adult and community college education. . . . The joy she felt reading her students’ essays and providing them feedback radiated from her. . . . She wanted to encourage and touch each student individually to reach their full potential. After her death, we learned through multiple notes and letters that not only was Taylor helping her students but that she was providing guidance and tutoring to her friends and co-workers at Trader Joe’s in their education and life pursuits. . . .

Let this be her legacy to her fellow students: Give of yourself, invest in your relationships with family, friends and community.”

View the Photo Gallery

Winter Commencement Ceremony 2018

Watch the Entire Ceremony