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Warner Celebrates 2014 Commencement and Student Awards

More than 180 students receiving doctoral and master’s degrees and advanced certificates in education were honored at the Warner School’s 2014 commencement on Saturday, May 17, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.  
Commencement festivities kicked off Saturday morning with the University’s doctoral degree ceremony and continued into the afternoon with the Warner School commencement ceremony. Warner faculty and staff, friends, and family gathered to celebrate the academic achievements of graduating students, who made their way across stage one-by-one to accept their graduate degrees.
During commencement, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, University Board of Trustees Chair Edmund Hajim, and Warner School Dean Raffaella Borasi addressed the class of 2014. A highlight of the ceremony was the reading of biographies of the graduating students—a tradition that began several years ago. Other recognitions included the presentation of the following special student awards to eight Warner graduates for the their academic performance and commitment to education:
The Walter I. Garms Award for Educational Leadership was presented to two Warner graduates: Xavier J. Beckwith and Shalonda Lavale Garfield. A first-generation college student with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Rochester, Beckwith received a master’s degree in educational policy from Warner. He is exploring job opportunities in policy research and analysis, and hopes to eventually pursue his doctorate. 
Garfield, a Rochester City School District teacher, earned her first master’s degree in curriculum development and graduated from Warner with her second master’s in school district leadership, with certification in school building leadership. She hopes to use the knowledge and skills that she gained to become an inspirational administrator and looks forward to leading positive change for the students throughout Monroe County.
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 Quinton S. Mitchell and Timothy Ludwig. Mitchell, a native of Clay, N.Y., had the value of education instilled in him at an early age. This, in combination with his passion for history, led him to Warner to work toward a master’s in social studies education. A graduate of the Urban Teaching and Leadership Program, Mitchell hopes to begin his career as a social studies teacher in the Rochester area this fall. 
After graduating from the University of Rochester in 2010, Ludwig’s study of history and English quickly blossomed into a uniquely-founded interest in education. After spending a summer teaching archery in Maine, Ludwig returned with a desire to pursue his Master of Arts in Teaching in secondary English education. He now exits the program prepared to seek employment, while at the same time applying to doctoral programs in English literature.
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 Samuel (Jack) John Connell and Patrick M. McCue. Connell’s first career (and first doctoral degree) was in the field of pastoral ministry.  After many years as senior pastor of a large and growing congregation, he made a mid-life transition into higher education and enrolled in Warner's doctoral program to develop his knowledge and skills for his second career.  Connell currently serves as executive vice president and senior vice president for advancement at Roberts Wesleyan College.
McCue, a Rochester native, earned his bachelor's degree at Syracuse University and master's degrees from Warner and Canisius College. He is an accomplished educator in the Rochester area, including 11 years as principal of Irondequoit High School and 10 years as a teacher and administrator in Greece. He plans to apply his doctoral study in educational leadership to his new position as assistant superintendent for human resources in Rush-Henrietta.
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: Nicole Frances Williams and David Anthony Carletta. Originally from Pittsford, Williams earned her master’s in school counseling from Warner and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northeastern University. Like many of her classmates, Williams’ heart, she says, is captured by the desire to give youth the tools to succeed.
Carletta grew up in Webster and earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology from Alfred University. While pursuing his master’s in school counseling, with an additional concentration in community counseling, he worked as a teaching assistant and assistant football coach at Webster Schroeder High School. He is excited to use what he learned at Warner as a school counselor.
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.
On behalf of the University of Rochester community, the Warner School congratulates its graduates and their families. To view photos from the 2014 Warner School commencement ceremony, please visit here.
Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
585.275.0777; 585.278.6273 (cell)

Tags: Commencement