To Class of 2019: As Educators, “We Must Never Lose Sight of Who Stands to Benefit”

Congratulations Class of 2019

The NC State College of Education recognized about 328 graduating students during its Spring 2019 Graduation Ceremony Friday, May 10, in Reynolds Coliseum. Below is a recap of the ceremony.

Number of Graduates: 328 total (98 bachelor’s, 189 master’s and 41 doctoral degrees)

Of Note: The printed program distributed for graduation included a poem called “Diamonds” that graduating student Stephen McKinney ’19MAT wrote. He recites his poem to the elementary students he student-taught this past semester in this video:

Also Of Note: During the ceremony, the College of Education recognized Ed Gerler, a professor of counselor education, who has participated in as many as 80 graduation ceremonies. He will retire next week after 42 years with the college. Professor Gerler is nationally recognized for his scholarship and as a stellar teacher, advisor and mentor for students. Since joining the college in 1977, he has served the college in various roles, including as associate dean for research.


Jemilia Davis

Charge to the Graduate Students: Jemilia Davis, a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development graduate whose professional experiences are rooted in student affairs and academic affairs. She received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region III’s 2019 Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

What She Said: “As we step into our classrooms, our labs, our offices, our communities, we must never lose sight of who stands to benefit. Our past fuels us to action so that generations to come will say, we are because they were. What stands between us and an equitable future is the educator we decide to be.”

What She Also Said: “The sankofa bird is an image of a bird whose feet are firmly planted forward with her head turned looking behind. . . . The sankofa bird reminds us that as we have firmly planted our feet facing our bright futures ahead, we must not forget what got us here, why we became educators, and what we have learned while at NC State. . . So what do we do with what we have learned? The sankofa bird reminds us that we look to the past to build a successful future. So, let’s build a successful future. How? Our NC State mantra suggests, we must think and do; and as educators, we have a unique role in society, which makes it even more important for us to think and do.


Mason Taylor
Mason Taylor

Charge to the Undergraduate Students: Mason Taylor, a bachelor’s in technology, engineering, and design education graduate who will teach and launch the technology, engineering, and design program at Green Level High School, which opens in August 2019 in Wake County.

What He Said: “While student teaching, I had a student ask me: ‘Mr. Taylor, why did you want to teach? You know everything about engineering; so why be a teacher?’ And I responded because I wanted to change the world.”

What He Also Said: “That’s the beauty of being in the College of Education at NC State. You can look one way, and act and sound another. You can come from a small town or a big city, and you can make a difference in the world. You can inspire the future of our planet to be the best versions of themselves they can be, just as the people in this college have done for me and countless others.”


The hooding of a doctoral student during May 2019 Graduation.

What the Dean Said: “You have chosen the profession of education not in spite of the challenges; but, in many cases, precisely because of those challenges. Even on the toughest days, you show up and embrace what it means to be an educator today: You are problem solvers, creators, innovators, healers, and change agents.”

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

The Dean’s Last Words: “In the words of our student speakers: Never doubt your ability to make a difference in the lives of others. And remember: What stands between us and equitable future is the educator you decide to be. Congratulations, and may you always be the leader of the Pack! Go Pack!”


Elementary Education Graduating Students

Special Recognitions:The college recognized nearly 100 students who are members of cohorts, groups and honor societies; who completed enrichment and honors programs; and who received honors and awards, including those who were involved in the ELM Research Fellows Program, Epsilon Pi Tau (Technology Education Honors Society), Goodnight Scholars, Kappa Delta Pi, N.C. Principal Fellows, Park Scholars, Passport to Success, Students Advocating for Youth (SAY), University Honors Program, and University Scholars Program.

In addition, the college presented doctoral dissertations awards to Ashley Gray ’18PHD, Nancy Smith ’18PHD and Mona Tauber ’19PHD for outstanding scholarly research completed during the 2018-19 academic year. Seventeen others were also recognized for awards received. Those honorees are listed below.

Education Council Outstanding Senior Awards

  • Elementary Education: Ilana Kate Dunne
  • Middle Grades English Language Arts and Social Studies Academic Achievement Award: Brianna Barbour
  • Mathematics Education (High School): Sabrina Monserate
  • Mathematics Education (Middle School): Bethany Helms
  • Science Education (High School): Maya Marin
  • Science Education (Middle School): Jed McLaughlin
  • Outstanding Senior in Technology, Engineering, and Design Education: Adam Tokonitz

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Departmental Awards

  • 2019 Graduate Student Research Symposium Winners: Megan Ennes, Science Education (1st place); and Michelle Nugent, Science Education (2nd place)
  • Epsilon Pi Tau Leadership Award: Deidre Kelly
  • Robert H. Hammond Outstanding Student Achievement in Graphic Communication Minor Award: Alberto Quiroga
  • Garland Kermit Hilliard Outstanding Student Achievement in Technology Engineering, and Design Education: Eryn Koty
  • John Park Memorial Outstanding Senior Award in Science Education: Sarah Bowman (Middle School) and Maya Marin (High School)

Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Departmental Awards

  • John Arnold Middle Grades English Language Arts and Social Studies Award: Josiah Blevins
  • Pat Dalton Middle Grades English Language Arts and Social Studies Award: Concetta Errichiello
  • Jimmy Scherrer Outstanding Senior Service Award: Kelsi Harris

Class of 2019 Graduating Students