The NC State College of Education recognized over 150 graduating students during its December 2019 Graduation Ceremony Thursday, Dec. 19, in the McKimmon Center. Below is a recap of the ceremony.
Number of Graduates: About 157 total (~34 doctoral, ~103 master’s and ~20 undergraduates)
Who Delivered the Charge to the Graduate Students: Greg Cheney ’19PHD, an Army Chaplain, paratrooper and licensed marriage and family therapist who earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development with a focus on counseling and counselor education.
What Greg Said: “When I think about what I gained and learned during my time here, it’s a lot like my experience as a paratrooper. . . . As a diverse group, with incredibly different backgrounds, we came together as a team and we walked this educational journey together. We shared life together. We supported and respected each other, collaborated, and in many instances became close friends. This became the most memorable part of my experience as a College of Education student — being surrounded by other highly capable educators whom I formed bonds with.”
What Greg Also Said: “Before we jump, let me offer you one final reminder: you are a well-trained, extraordinary educator, and you are surrounded by other well-trained, extraordinary educators. Because of those facts you can exit this aircraft with confidence. You are ready. We are ready. Go leave your legacy. It’s time.”
Charge to the Undergraduate Students: Walaa Sarsour ’19, a mathematics education graduate who will join the Wake County Public School System as a middle school math teacher after graduation.
What Walaa Said: “We all have our why stories. My why begins with my parents — who are both educators. My father is an engineering graduate from this very university and my mother is a math teacher — they were and continue to be the most influential educators to me. While a student at NC State, I was often the only female Muslim student in my classes. I did not have the representation present, but I did have the experience of being taught by inspiring professors whose empathy, purposeful and relevant teaching and stimulating classroom environments reinforced my belief in my ability to succeed. For that reason, I aspire to become not only a great math teacher but also an extraordinary educator like my parents and professors were, because their influence certainly went beyond a single subject area.”
What Walaa Also Said: “My hope is that we all take the three Es and modify them in a way where we keep evolving, stay educated, and hold our profession to high esteem. My hope is also that we all will become as effective of educators as we have had modeled during our time here in the College of Education: That we, too, will value diversity and connection-making, and that we will teach empathy and love — love of others and love of knowledge. That we will always evolve, educate and esteem — and we will never forget our why.”
What Dean Mary Ann Danowitz Said: “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 students, particularly those of color or living in poverty. I urge you to use your passion, commitment and care — along with the knowledge and skills you’ve gained at NC State — to be a fierce advocate and to improve the life of every student, every client, every colleague, or every individual with whom you interact. Always remember, for many people, you are their last best hope for a better tomorrow. So embrace your calling as an extraordinary educator and be confident knowing you are poised to build a better world for children, families, the state and our nation.”
What Dean Mary Ann Danowitz Also Said: “To our new alumni, to draw from the words of our student speakers Greg and Walaa: You are well-trained, extraordinary educators. You are ready to jump into the next phase of your life. There will be challenges you face and times of uncertainty. But be grounded in your why statement. Always remember why you chose the profession of education — and that will carry you through whatever you may face so you can make an extraordinary impact on the lives of those who need you the most.”
Of Note: Two members of the college’s December 2019 graduating class were commissioned: Anthony Chaanine, a U.S. Army ROTC commissionee, and William Magee, an Air Force ROTC commissionee. Both earned their Bachelor of Science in Technology, Engineering, and Design Education degrees.
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