More than 200 Graduates Celebrated at Warner School’s Commencement

Record High Number of International Students Complete Degrees
One by one, as they made their way across stage to accept their graduate degrees in education, the newly minted graduates of the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education celebrated the May 18 commencement with smiles, joy, and a sense of triumph.
The School’s annual commencement ceremony recognized and celebrated the 204 graduate students who have earned their master’s and doctoral degrees and advanced certificates from the Warner School. This academic year was the first time in the School’s history that Warner graduated more than a dozen international students, a four-fold increase from the past year.
More than 1,500 people attended the 2013 ceremony, which was held in the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Warner faculty and staff, friends and family had an opportunity to honor graduating students and recognize their academic achievements
Commencement festivities began Saturday morning with the University’s doctoral degree ceremony and continued into the afternoon with the Warner School commencement ceremony. During the ceremony, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, University Board of Trustees Chair Edmund Hajim, and Warner School Dean Raffaella Borasi addressed the class of 2013. Dean Borasi congratulated the graduates on their achievements and publicly recognized those—including Warner faculty and staff, and most importantly family and friends—who have contributed to their success and sustained them in their journey.
Special student awards were also presented during the ceremony to the following five Warner graduates for their exceptional academic performance and commitment to education:
The Walter I. Garms Award for Educational Leadership was presented to Chrishele Irene Kingdom. Born and raised in Summerville, S.C., Kingdom taught kindergarten in her home state prior to coming to Warner to pursue her master’s degree in educational policy. She looks forward to stepping out of her role as a classroom teacher to begin a new career in policy or research. She also hopes to eventually begin a PhD program in education research and policy analysis at North Carolina State University. The Garms Award is named in honor of Walter Garms, professor emeritus and former dean of the University of Rochester’s School of Education, who was a leader in the study of both school finance and state funding in public schools. The Garms Award recognizes graduate students who show academic excellence and potential for excellence in educational leadership.
The Eleanore F. Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Heather L. Hostuttler. A first-generation college student, Hostuttler earned her master’s and additional certification in literacy education. She says that education for her was less of a decision and more of a calling. The greatest teaching moments for her are when students “get it” and succeed with pride. Hostuttler looks forward to eventually pursuing her EdD. The Larson Award is named in honor of Eleanore F. Larson, an extraordinary professor who taught both undergraduate and graduate students in the University of Rochester’s School of Education. Larson’s passion for instructional excellence inspired her students to embrace a strong commitment to the education of children. The Larson Award recognizes graduate students whose commitment to teaching reflects Larson’s work.
The Tyll van Geel Award was presented to David Scott Hamilton, who received his doctorate in K-12 school leadership. Hamilton’s career began as a musician and music educator. In 1993, he was part of a visionary team that founded the Quest School in Hilton, N.Y. It was then he realized his true calling— to make a difference as an educational leader. Knowing first-hand how education can transform people's lives and with his doctorate, he intends to focus on evaluation, school improvement, and online education while also having more time to spend with his wife and two sons. The award is named for Tyll van Geel, professor emeritus, who is a renowned scholar of education law and applied ethical issues in education. Professor van Geel was instrumental in designing the educational leadership program at the Warner School. The Tyll van Geel Award is presented to doctoral students in educational leadership who demonstrate Professor van Geel’s commitment to thoughtful, ethical leadership and decision making, and rigorous application of scholarship to practice.
The Harold Munson Counseling and Human Development Award was presented to two Warner graduates: Johanna Maeve Bond and Zhichun Zhou. Originally from Pittsford, Bond earned a bachelor’s in English and psychology from Swarthmore College in 2010. Shortly after, she traveled to England and Northern Ireland for research and volunteer opportunities. Bond’s interest in counseling, along with the support and encouragement of her family and boyfriend, brought her back home to pursue her master’s in community mental health counseling at Warner. She plans to stay in Rochester and become a licensed mental health counselor. Zhou came to Warner from Lanzhou, China to work toward her master’s in human development with a specialization in developmental differences. Prior to her graduate study, she held jobs as a music teacher working with preschoolers in China and as a music therapist working with people with developmental disabilities in Belgium. In Rochester, she also volunteered at Mary Cariola Children’s Center this past year. The award is named for Harold Munson, professor emeritus, who initiated the school and community counseling programs at the University of Rochester’s School of Education and developed the programs’ high standards recognized by school districts and community agencies. The Munson Award is given to graduate students who reflect the mission and objectives of the Warner School counseling program.
Continuing in the tradition that began several years ago, Warner faculty recognized graduates from the School by reading biographies for those receiving their master’s and doctoral degrees.
On behalf of the University of Rochester community, the Warner School congratulates its graduates and their families. To view photos from the 2013 Warner School commencement ceremony, please visit here.
Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
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