Commencement 2021

Smiling woman carrying books with blurred group of people behind her

Celebrating Warner’s Class of 2021

The Warner School 2021 Commencement ceremony took place at
 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 22 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. 
 The Doctoral Degree ceremony was held on May 21 at 10 a.m.
View Commencement 2021 photos.
View the University's Moments from Commencement photo gallery.

Click Here to Watch the Ceremony

Warner School's Virtual Yearbook

Congratulations Warner School graduates!

You did it! Take a look at some of your favorite memories during your Warner journey.
Click the programs below to explore and learn about our 2021 graduates.

Student Awards

On behalf of the Warner School community, congratulations to our 2021 student award recipients.
Logan R. Hazen Award for Educational Leadership – Alonni N. Reid and Leanne Elizabeth Averill
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 – Lara Olivia Andree
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 – Robert B. Brunelle, Jr. and Jahan Ara Chughtai
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 – Amanda Katherine Stroh
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 – Megan Wideman, Harold O. Fields, and Loretta J. Orologio
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.
Read more about the 2021 student award recipients.

University Awards & Honors

William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching
Brian Brent is the Earl B. Taylor Professor at the Warner School of Education and Human Development. Beginning his career as a certified public accountant, Brent developed an interest in school finance. He entered graduate school in education at Cornell University, earning a master’s degree and a PhD before joining the faculty of the Warner School.

As a faculty member in the Educational Leadership Program, Brent teaches courses in administrative decision making and fiscal issues in schools and universities. In these courses, he provides students with the methodological skills needed to conduct thoughtful decision analyses to improve organizational policies and practices. Several years ago, he and his colleagues completely reimagined the EdD degree and developed one of the first accelerated cohort models of doctoral education for school administrators in the country. Central to their model was a revamped capstone project, creating a new degree requirement that school administrators would find useful to their career trajectories.

Brent’s research interests include the equity of district- and school-level human and capital resource allocation policies and practices, equity in the ability of districts to raise local revenues, and the cost-effective use of education dollars.

During his Warner tenure, Brent has served as the senior associate dean for graduate studies and as the acting dean. He currently serves as Warner’s faculty ombudsperson for the University Ombuds Office and the Ombuds Affiliate Network. He has received several awards for his scholarly work and teaching, including the University’s Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Jean Flanigan Award from the American Education Finance Association.

Graydon Curtis ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching Excellence
Tricia Shalka is an assistant professor in the Warner School of Education and Human Development’s higher education program. Her primary research investigates the impacts of traumatic experience on college students, particularly in terms of developmental outcomes. She also maintains a secondary research interest in the internationalization of higher education with a particular emphasis on the experiences of international students in American colleges and universities. Shalka exemplifies excellence in the classroom, as a mentor and advisor, and as a colleague looking to innovate and explore new programming that meets the needs of Warner School students. She is described by students as being student-centered and highly supportive of their goals.

Shalka’s scholarship is actively informed by her previous experiences in higher education administration. She has worked in residential life, fraternity and sorority life, student affairs assessment, and student and young alumni programs. She currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Trauma Studies in Education and is on the editorial board of the Journal of College Student Development. Shalka has published in several major journals, including the Review of Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

She has received several awards, including the American College Personnel Association’s (College Student Educators International) Emerging Scholars Award and the Association of College Unions International’s Chester A. Berry Scholar Award. Shalka received her doctorate in higher education and student affairs from the Ohio State University, her master’s degree in college student personnel from the University of Maryland, and her bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College.

The Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal recognizes alumni for outstanding achievement and notable service
Alice Holloway Young ’57 (MEd), ’69W (EdD) has called her life’s mission “breaking down barriers so that others may shine.” She is a groundbreaking educator, community leader, and children’s advocate.

Born in 1923 in North Carolina, she overcame the challenges of growing up in the Jim Crow South before starting her career with the Rochester City School District (RCSD) in 1952. She was among the first African American teachers in the district and the first African American to hold the titles of reading specialist, vice principal, and principal for RCSD. Additionally, she wrote and supervised the district’s first integration programs, including the Urban-Suburban program, the oldest voluntary desegregation program in the country. She retired from RCSD in 1985 as supervising director of elementary education.

Young also served as a founding trustee of Monroe Community College in 1961 and chaired the college’s Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1998. In March, she was presented with the 2021 Liberty Medal—the highest honor awarded by the New York State Senate. The award, given for lifetime achievement and exceptional community acts, recognized Young’s impact on education in Rochester and Monroe County spanning more than 50 years.

She has received numerous other awards and recognitions, including a 2019 Icon Success Leadership Award from the Rochester Business Journal; a 2018 Woman of Distinction honor from the New York State Assembly; the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award for Special Achievement, the highest honor conferred by the State University of New York Association of the Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges; and the Urban League of Rochester’s Distinguished Community Service Award, among several other accolades.

Join the Celebration
#UR2021 and #URwarner2021

Join us in celebrating by using this toolkit to download University of Rochester banners, backgrounds, and filters. Use #UR2021 and #URwarner2021 on social media to share your congratulations and help us celebrate. We look forward to seeing and sharing your posts!

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