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To the College of Education Class of 2022: ‘As Educators, I Remind You and Encourage You to Keep Going, Take on New Challenges, and Continue to Have the Will to Win’

graduating student

The NC State College of Education welcomed more than 420 new alumni during the Spring 2022 graduation ceremony on May 6. Below is a recap of the event. 

Number of Graduates: 428 students graduated from the College of Education on May 6, 2022, including 29 doctoral students, 254 master’s students and 144 bachelor’s students.

Charge to Graduate Students

Megan Morin
Megan Morin ’22PHD

Megan Morin ’22PHD, who earned her Ph.D. in the Learning and Teaching in STEM engineering and technology education program area of study, delivered the charge to graduate students, reminding her fellow graduates that although they have experienced challenges on their journeys to earn their degrees, they have also displayed resilience and success. 

“It is a tough job to be in education these days,” Morin said. “But as educators, I remind you and encourage you to keep going, take on new challenges, and continue to have the will to win.”

Charge to Undergraduate Students

Kay Sumpter
Kyanna “Kay” Sumpter ’22

Kyanna “Kay” Sumpter ’22, who earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with a dual licensure in special education, delivered the charge to the undergraduate students. She reminded her fellow future educators to always take time for self care and to remember that they are strong, capable and impactful to the students they will work with. 

“Always remember to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not. We will all have days that are not the best and days that will make us want to quit,” she said. “Find that new community of people that will continue to push you when things get hard. Find a community that has endless opportunities and resources for you to take advantage of. Find a community that believes in you and knows that you can do it. This is what I found in the College of Education.”

The Lasting Legacy of Dr. Lee Stiff

A pin worn by NC State College of Education faculty in honor of Lee V. Stiff, Ph.D. says "those who care, teach."

Both student speakers shared how they were impacted by the lasting legacy of Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education Lee Vernon Stiff, who passed away in March 2021 after teaching and leading in the College of Education for 37 years. 

Morin shared a comment made by Stiff before his retirement in 2020 that stayed with her through her doctoral journey.

“A few years ago, In a casual conversation during the College of Education event, Dr. Stiff shared a charge:  ‘As educators, we have an obligation to provide more inclusive educational opportunities and that everyone should have the opportunity to have a good education,'” Mor said. “He also reminded us that we, as educators, must be an advocate for others, especially those who can’t be one for themselves.”

Sumpter carried the words of Dr. Stiff with her to graduation, on a pin given to her by former College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz. The pin displayed a phrase coined by Stiff that says “Those who can, do. Those who care, teach.”

“This pin symbolizes strength,” Sumpter said. “I wear this pin to remind myself of just how strong I am and as a reminder that Dr. Mary Ann Danowitz believed in me, and I should believe in myself too.” 

Appreciating All Educators

During the Spring 2022 graduation ceremony, Dean Paola Sztajn not only recognized those educators who just earned their degrees, but celebrated all current and retired educators with a round of applause.

“To our educators who are here today, thank you for everything you do,” she said. “You have one of the toughest jobs in the world, yet you have one of the most important jobs in the world. None of us would be here without you. You are the backbone of our society.”

View Photos from NC State’s College of Education Graduation Ceremony

Watch the NC State College of Education Graduation Ceremony