Celebrating Warner's Class of 2020

Welcome and congratulations to our 2020 Warner graduates and families!

We are very happy to celebrate this momentous occasion with you.  We suggest that you start on the main pages for the University of Rochester Class of 2020, where President Mangelsdorf has conferred degrees.  You'll find more remarks, including more from Acting Dean Brian Brent, and a list of graduates there.  Then return here for a Warner celebration.

These pages are not intended to replace an in-person commencement event, but rather to mark the conferral of degrees.  We will find a way to celebrate together in Rochester when conditions allow.

Student Remarks

Nwana Okafor, MS
School Counseling

Maria Chanez-Campanaro, MS
Teacher Education

Shalonda Garfield, EdD
K-12 School Leadership

John DiSarro, EdD
Higher Education

Mahmoud Altalouli, PhD
Teaching, Curriculum & Change

Leslie Baker, MS
Mental Health Counseling

Congratulations from Faculty

Celebrating the Warner Class of 2020

With Thanks

I wish to express to each and every one of you my deepest and honest gratitude for the support you gave me to be able to study. I feel grateful that God and life put people like you in my path. Wonderful people who supported me unconditionally to move forward and fulfill my dream of graduation. Now that I have fulfilled another dream of mine, I wish to share with you my triumph and joy that I feel realizing that my effort, my dedication, my persistence, my constancy and not being defeated by any obstacle made this possible. — Talal Aldhafeeri, MS in Health Profession Education

I love Warner :) — Yaqing Bai, MS in Applied Behavior Analysis and Human Development

I am grateful for the love and support from my classmates and my cohort; shout out to Emily, Andriana, Zee, Becky, Rachel, Kelsey, Liz and the rest of you. I really couldn't have done it without you guys!! — Laura Cardello, MS in Childhood Education

I would like to thank all the educators I have worked with at Warner over the last three years. While I have been a physician for over 30 years, many years with educational roles, I feel the knowledge and skills I learned from the Warner faculty will serve me well in continuing to serve the health professions as an educator. In addition, I want to thank my classmates, from whom I also learned a great deal. If they are representative of the individuals choosing to enter this field, we are in good hands for the future. — Patricia Chess, MS Health Professions Education

I’m grateful to have had this amazing opportunity! I was challenged at all times, and my thinking has been altered for the better. I met some amazing people and was wowed by their minds. I’m forever grateful to my husband, it is because of his love and support that I was able to do this…for our family. — Suellen Christopoulos-Nutting, EdD in Educational Administration (Higher Education)

I couldn't be more grateful to Dr. Uebbing and Dr. Brent for continuing to "pressure" me into coming back and starting the doctoral program. If it wasn't for these kinds of relationships that form at the Warner School, I would not have taken this journey. — Matt Cook, EdD in Educational Leadership

I am grateful for the friendships I’ve made, my classmates, the mentors I’ve gained, the teachers I spent my days with, my family and friends for their constant support ... and my students throughout student teaching who reminded me why I love teaching and were always there to put a smile on my face and make me laugh even on the toughest days! Grateful for the people Warner put into my life! — Andriana Cukalevski, MS in Childhood/Inclusion Education

I am grateful for the endless support from both my fellow classmates in the mental health counseling and school counseling programs, as well as from our incredible professors and our above-and-beyond doctoral student, Rachel Carter. This program provided me with so much learning, both in and out of the classroom, as well as growth, both as a counselor and a human being. I couldn't have gotten through this without all of you, my amazing partner Connor and my always loving and supportive family. Thank you. Here's to the next chapter! — Alyssa Femia, MS in Community Mental Health Counseling

I am grateful for my relationship with God. In addition, I'm very thankful for my husband, Jonathan Hatley's love and support throughout my educational journey. His ongoing encouragement and flexibility has afforded me the time and space to work tirelessly throughout this process. Also, Madisyn Hatley, my only child, has been one of my greatest inspirations in completing this journey. She has taught me to slow down and appreciate all that life brings. It is my hope that my journey will inspire her to fulfill all of her dreams knowing they are possible. — Karla Hatley, EdD in Educational Administration (Higher Education)

I am extremely grateful for the total experience I had at Warner School. I came to Warner School as an international student and met some wonderful professors, who were not just mentors, but also gave me motherly advice. These professors cared for my well-being both inside and outside of Warner. They are 100 percent behind me successfully completing my doctorate and receiving a faculty position, even before graduation. I am also grateful for the friends that I made at Warner, many of them have become my guest presenters in classes, my consultant, and my life-long friends. — Cameka Hazel, EdD in Mental Health and Counselor Education

As I conclude my degree at Warner, I am so thankful for my professors, Dr. Uebbing and Dr. Manaseri. Their knowledge, patience, encouragement, and guidance made this process possible. I will never forget them, and will always be truly grateful for everything they've done for me. In addition, I am thankful for my extremely talented and giving cohort. Their feedback and support was greatly appreciated. Finally, at this time, I find myself most grateful for my family. They have supported me in every way possible throughout this process, and will never know how much that meant to me. — Shannon Heller, EdD in Educational Administration (K-12 Schools)

I am thankful for my family, friends, and school district for supporting me through this process. Especially my partner, Tracie, who has taken on so much to allow me the added time needed to complete my work. My graduation would not be possible without her love and support. But also, our beautiful daughter, Ashe, who inspires me every day to be the best version of myself. — Patrick Irving, EdD in Educational Administration (K-12 Schools)

I am immensely grateful for Dr. Carol St. George. She makes everyone feel as if they have something wonderful to offer the world. I can only hope to treat my own students with the same sense of drive, passion, and courage that Dr. St. George has shown me and my peers. She has taught me that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and an open mind. I couldn't have asked for a better experience in the reading and literacies program with Dr. St. George and my cohort. Thank you so very much for this experience. — Faith Konstantinidis, MS in Reading and Literacies (Advanced Certificate in TESOL)

One of the best features of the Warner School are the amazing professors who genuinely care about their students. For me, Martha Mock always went above and beyond as my advisor. She was a steady rock for me throughout my program who was always optimistic and encouraging while also providing constructive feedback.
— Jen Migliore, EdD in Teaching and Curriculum

I am grateful for the wonderful memories, awesome experiences, and great opportunities that I was able to explore while at Warner. I gained two amazing best friends and expanded my network. Warner has left me with the spirit of ever-better in everything that I do. Big shout out to Dr. Nathan Harris because you have made my time at Warner invaluable! — Anna Mpinga, MS in Higher Education Administration

I am grateful for the never-ending support from my loving husband and family. I thank my parents every day for raising me with a high value of education. I am grateful for the hands-on opportunities I have had while at Warner and the faculty and staff who provided them for me. I am also very thankful for my friends and classmates, who helped push me and grow over the past two years. I love you all. — Jordan Ratzlaff, MS in Educational Administration (Higher Education)

I am incredibly grateful for the endless support and unconditional friendships I have formed over the last two years. The tribe we have created will serve us well as we venture out into the mental health counseling field. — Sarah Ribble, MS in Community Mental Health Counseling

I am very appreciative of everyone who has helped me during my time at Warner. Thank you to my family and friends for supporting me. Thank you to Logan, Nate, and the rest of the Higher Education faculty for believing in me. Thank you to my supervisors, Michael and John, for providing me experiences and advice. — Gavriela Sanders, MS in Educational Administration (Higher Education Student Affairs)

I want to thank my wife, Joanne. She gave me the time and moral support to complete my MBA and Doctorate programs and understood my interest in education. I also thank my parents, Diana and Gerald Scrivens, who were talented high school teachers. They taught me the value of education and that I can only meet my goals and objectives through commitment, perseverance, and a solid work ethic. Finally, I thank Dr. Randy Curren, as well as the other professors, who helped me think more deeply and clearly about the importance of education. Thank you all, Michael J. Scrivens. — Michael Scrivens, EdD in Educational Administration (Higher Education)

I'm grateful to God, my family, and mentors. Thanks to the Counseling faculty, my comps & dissertation committees, and the Ed Leadership faculty for their support and guidance. Thanks to the staff at RIT's counseling center for helping me become a better counselor and the NARACES Exec for their mentoring. I'm also appreciative of my coworkers! Thanks to the staff here at the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning and the Office of Minority Student Affairs. Also, thanks to staff at RIT's Academic Support Center and Spectrum Support. I enjoyed teaching and assisting students with enhancing their skills. Meliora! — Atiya Smith, PhD in Education (Counseling & Counselor Education) 

I am incredibly thankful for the staff at Warner who supported me academically, and personally. They genuinely cared about me and helped me push myself to get to this point. I also need to thank my family for supporting me every step of the way in earning this degree. Earning the title of “Mom” during my program was the biggest blessing, and I dedicate this degree to my daughter and my husband. Finally, I need to thank the students I have taught that inspired me to pursue this degree to be a better teacher. I did it! — Kendra Steele, EdD in Teaching and Curriculum

I am grateful for my village—my family, friends, classmates, professors, and colleagues—who have supported me every day these last three years in accomplishing my goals. Special shout out to: Matt - my lifelong love and rock; April - my academic muse; Deb - my twin; Marie - my Warner bestie; and all of my sisters!! Ubuntu! — Lisa Zeller, EdD in Teaching and Curriculum

I never thought I would have the opportunity to study abroad. Anyway, I made it with family support. I'm grateful to: myself for everything; my parents for their persistent love; my sister for her help, support, and concern; and my husband who is tolerant of all my flaws and still loves me no matter what. My sincere gratitude also goes to Lynne J. Kirst who is devoted to and concerned about international students; to Professor Hairong Shang-Butler for her help and support; and Dr. Jayne C. Lammers for her wisdom in class which shapes my worldview. — Chunmei Zhao, MS in Teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Pomp and Circumstance

With thanks to our friends at the Eastman School of Music. 


Logan R. Hazen Award for Educational Leadership  –  Anna Mpinga and Wendy Owens

Prior to joining the Warner School faculty in 2007, Logan Hazen spent nearly three decades in senior-level student affairs positions, including at the University of Southern California for eight years and then 17 years leading the University of Rochester’s residential living programs. At Warner, he mentored a new generation of student affairs professionals by teaching courses in higher education, serving as the program director, establishing and supervising higher education internships, and advising students. A tireless advocate for Warner students and the student affairs professions, Logan Hazen kept us all centered on the experiences and growth of the students we serve.

Eleanore F. Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching  –  Colton Shaheen

Professor Larson was an extraordinary teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students in the University of Rochester’s education school.  Her passion for instructional excellence inspired her students to embrace a strong commitment to the education of children.  During her tenure of 24 years, Professor Larson helped to fashion educational leaders who made the Rochester region notable for some of the finest school districts in New York State.  Her teaching abilities became well known throughout the University, and in 1978, Professor Larson was selected by the University’s Graduate Student Association to receive the Outstanding Teacher Award.  In 1983, she was named Educator of the Year by Rochester’s chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.

Harold Munson Counseling and Human Development Award  –  Nathalia Martinez-Bliss and Erika Padron

The Warner School owes no greater debt for the development of its strong school and community counseling programs than to Professor Harold Munson.  During his 40 years of service to the education school, Harold Munson initiated the counseling program and, as chair, molded the program into one that school districts and community agencies in Rochester and western New York hold in high regard.  His academic writings on counseling at the elementary school level and on the foundations of developmental guidance have shaped the professional field of school counseling.  In addition to his “school as work” model, he also developed occupational educational models for hearing-impaired students and for women in transition.

Mary Ellen Burris Human Development Award  –  Brandi Hayes

Mary Ellen Burris, a respected figure in the Rochester community, has built an illustrious career as an impassioned advocate for grocery consumers.  Burris is currently a senior vice president of Consumer Affairs at Wegmans Food Markets, where, since 1972, she has used her knowledge of human development to find creative ways to empower millions of Wegmans shoppers to live healthier lives.  Serving as the voice for Wegmans patrons, she has turned her attention to some of the most pressing concerns of consumers across communities, including the obesity epidemic, food safety, and rising food prices.  With her passion for modeling care and respect, empowering people to make life-sustaining choices, and making a difference across all communities, Mary Ellen Burris embodies our goals for students of human development.  It is in her spirit that the Mary Ellen Burris Human Development Award has been created to recognize a graduate in human development who is devoted to bringing human development theory and research into practice to foster the health and well-being of individuals, schools, and communities.

Tyll van Geel Educational Leadership Award  –  Patrick Irving and John DiSarro

Tyll van Geel, EdD, JD, served on the education and political science faculty at the University of Rochester from 1972 until 2006. He was the Earl B. Taylor Professor and chair of the Education Leadership program and a renowned scholar of education law and applied ethical issues in education.  Professor van Geel’s students and colleagues honored him at his retirement with the creation of this award, which is presented to a Doctor of Education graduate in educational leadership who demonstrates Professor van Geel’s commitment to thoughtful, ethical leadership and decision making and rigorous application of scholarship to practice.
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The Graduates

Our graduates are prepared to make the world Ever Better. We celebrate your hard work, perseverance, dedication, and promise. We look forward to the day when we can gather and celebrate in person. Meliora!

Doctoral Dissertations

Mahmoud Altalouli, PhD

The Academic Reading Experiences and Practices of Graduate Students Using English as an Additional Language
Advisor: MJ Curry

Su-Yi Chou, EdD

Writing Personal History with Grandparents: Spiritual Care in Changing Intergenerational Relationships in Taiwan
Advisor: Jayne Lammers

Suellen Christopoulos-Nutting, EdD

New York Chiropractic College Students Need to Develop Information Literacy Skills: A Decision-Analysis Dissertation
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Matthew Cook, EdD

Newark Central School Leaders Need to Use Social Media Effectively: A Decision Analysis
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

John DiSarro, EdD

How Can the University of Rochester Support Fraternity Members’ Academic Performance? A Decision Analysis
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Thisie Schisler Do, EdD

Involving Staff in Decision-Making Processes in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Megan Flaherty, PhD

Informal Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement in College Settings
Advisor: Bryan Gopaul

Shalonda Garfield, EdD

Increasing Parent Engagement in a High-Poverty Urban School
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Kevin Graham, PhD

Another Inconvenient Truth: The Realities of Supporting Undocumented/DACAmented Students within a Private Research Institution
Advisor: Bryan Gopaul

Christine Green, PhD

Re-Envisioning Environmental Print: Reading and Writing Across Multiple Literacy Spaces
Advisor: Joanne Larson

Karla Hatley, EdD

The Necessity of Academic and Social Support Systems: A Program Evaluation of the P-TECH Rochester Program
Advisor: Bryan Gopaul

Cameka Hazel, EdD

Multicultural Counseling Class Instructors’ Perceptions of How Their Experiences with Diversity Have Shaped the Ways They Teach Their Multicultural Counseling Courses
Advisor: Doug Guiffrida

Shannon C. Heller, EdD

The Greece Central School District Needs to Meet the Social-Emotional Needs of Male Students, Grades PreK-2: A Decision Analysis Dissertation
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Patrick Irving, EdD

Developing Inclusive Youth Leadership Through Unified Champion Schools Programming
Advisor: Bryan Gopaul

Katelyn Letizia, EdD

Hilbert College Needs an Accessible Degree Audit System: A Decision Analysis
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Kathryn McFarland, EdD

Impact of Professional Learning Communities on Collective Efficacy in an Alternative School Setting
Advisor: Bryan Gopaul

Scott McGuinness, PhD

The Experiences of Opioid Sourcing Cryptomarket Users
Advisor: Jayne Lammers

Jennifer Migliore, EdD

Developing Collaboration in a Structured Online Professional Learning Community: An Action Research Study
Advisor: Martha Mock

Mónica Lee Miranda, PhD

Nuestras Voces: A Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of Undergraduate Latinas in Latina Sororities
Advisor: Doug Guiffrida

Paula Marie Rice, EdD

Using Coding to Teach Kindergarteners How to Engage in 21st Century Learning Skills: An Action Research Study
Advisor: April Luehmann

Michael Scrivens, EdD

Teaching Ethics: Business School Deans' Perceptions Regarding the Presentation of Ethics within the Business Curriculum
Advisor: Brian Brent

Jennifer Seleman, EdD

Presentation of Ethics within the Business Curriculum
Advisor: Logan Hazen

Alyssa Shoup, EdD

Increasing International Alumni & Constituent Engagement: A Decision Analysis
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Atiya Smith, PhD

Hope within the Ivory Tower: Exploring the Experiences, Perceptions, and Coping Strategies Used by Women of Color in Counselor Education Doctoral Programs at PWIs
Advisor: Kathryn Douthit

Kendra Steele, EdD

Using Critical Literacy to Achieve Culturally Sustaining Practices with English Language Learners
Advisor: Martha Mock

Hui-Jung Tang, PhD

“Wow, I Said This Much!”: Mature Taiwanese Students’ Identities as Confident and Creative English Users in an English Classroom
Advisor: Nancy Ares

Kevin Whitaker, EdD

Geneva City School District Needs to Increase On-Time Graduation Rates for All Students:  A Decision-Making Dissertation
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Corey Whitesell, PhD

Household Chaos and Routines; Identifying Patterns in Family Systems During Kindergarten Transition
Advisor: Dena Swanson

Renee Williams, EdD

Feedback in Algebra: An Action Research Study
Advisor: Martha Mock

Margaret Wright, EdD

Increasing Community Engagement at the Honeoye Central School District: A Decision Analysis Dissertation
Advisor: Stephen Uebbing

Sule Yilmaz, PhD

An Examination of Terminally-ill Cancer Patients’ Relational Well-being and Peaceful Acceptance of the Illness
Advisor: Dena Swanson

Lisa Zeller, EdD

Using Dialogic-Focused Professional Learning Activities to Support a Teacher’s Praxis
Advisor: April Luehmann

Join the Celebration
#UR2020 and #URwarner2020

Join us in celebrating by using this toolkit to download University of Rochester banners, backgrounds, and filters. Use #UR2020 and #URwarner2020 on social media to share your congratulations and help us celebrate. We look forward to seeing and sharing your posts!

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