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5/23/2017

Caps Off to Warner Graduates: A Look at May 2017 Commencement

It was a day of pride and celebration for the 171 students receiving graduate degrees from the Warner School of Education. The graduating class gathered with family, friends, faculty, and staff on Saturday, May 20, to make their walk across stage in recognition of marking their educational milestones.
 
Commencement festivities began Saturday morning with the University’s doctoral degree ceremony. The Warner School commencement ceremony then followed in the afternoon in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and opened with welcoming remarks from G. Robert Witmer, Jr. ’59, chairman emeritus of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees. Teaching is a “noble and critically important profession,” he tells Warner graduates as they receive their doctoral and master’s degrees.
 
Other remarks were given by University of Rochester President and CEO Joel Seligman and Warner School Dean Raffaella Borasi. At Warner School commencements, the tradition is to forgo commencement speeches and focus instead on the students’ stories. “You will learn something about each of our 2017 graduates,” says Borasi in her welcoming remarks. 
 
Special student awards were presented to the following 9 Warner graduates for their exceptional academic performance and commitment to education:
 

The Walter I. Garms Award for Educational Leadership was presented to Hayley Johnson and KaShala Smith. 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.
 
Johnson earned a bachelor's in English/Women & Gender Studies from Nazareth College, and proceeded to pursue her master's in higher education at Warner. She has been afforded professional opportunities in admissions, career services, and residence life, and will begin her full-time career this summer at Western New England University.
 
Smith has a long history in education dating back to age sixteen starting with Save Our Children, Inc. She has since worked with Kent State’s English department, Trio, and AmeriCorps. Her experiences with low-income students has inspired her to fight for students in and outside the classroom. Looking ahead, she will help influence policies affecting the lives of these students.
 
The Eleanore F. Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Jessica LoVullo and Olivia Garber. 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.
 
LoVullo has been pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher since her senior year of high school. She completed her undergraduate degree at Fredonia and now holds three certifications in general, special, and literacy elementary education.
 
Garber graduated from the University of Rochester before coming to Warner to pursue her seventh-grade dream of becoming a history teacher. A graduate of the Urban Teaching and Leadership Program with a master’s in social studies education, she hopes to teach youth how to care about the world, learn from their mistakes, and be active and engaged citizens through social studies.
 
The Harold Munson Counseling and Human Development Award was presented to Rachel Cohen and Liubov Fingerut. 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.
 
Cohen, originally from Atlanta, Ga., moved to Upstate New York to pursue her career as a school counselor. A former teacher, she wanted to work within the education system counseling students on academic, emotional, and developmental levels. She will continue her education at the Warner School with a master’s in reading and literacy. 
 
Fingerut was born in the U.S.S.R. In 1990, she moved to Israel, where she completed her undergraduate study in nursing. Today, she works in the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Cardiac ICU as an assistant nurse manager. Utilizing the skills gained from the community mental health counseling program, she hopes to be more effective in counseling critically ill patients.
 
The Tyll van Geel Award was presented to Susan Clark and Edmund (Casey) Kosiorek III. 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.
 
Clark started her career as a registered dental hygienist in Sodus. After starting her family, she earned her bachelor's degree in education at SUNY Oswego. While teaching math in Webster, she completed her master's degree at SUNY Brockport and advanced certificate in school leadership at the Warner School. As a high school administrator with her doctorate complete, she plans to develop a systematic plan to promote digital citizenship in schools.
 
Kosiorek, a native of Batavia, N.Y., has served students across the region in public education for the past 21 years. He has taught at all levels K through 12, coached interscholastic athletics, served as an assistant principal, principal, and is currently superintendent of the Hilton Central School District.  His dissertation topic was an evaluation of an Instructional Video Coaching program.
 
The Mary Ellen Burris Human Development Award was presented to Tian (Jessie) Jiang. The award is named for Mary Ellen Burris, a respected figure in the Rochester community who 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 1971, she has used her knowledge of human development to find creative ways to empower millions of Wegmans shoppers to live healthier lives. The Mary Ellen Burris Award is given to graduate students who are devoted to bringing human development theory and research into practice to foster the health and well-being of individuals, schools, and communities.
 
Jiang grew up in Nanjing, China and came to the U.S. to study special education in 2011. She became interested in working with children with autism at a young age, and has volunteered for many years in this field. She completed behavior analysis training at the Warner School and is ready to serve children, families, and schools in China.
 
In addition to applauding the graduates for their great academic achievements, Provost Robert Clark and Dean Borasi proudly recognized Jayne Lammers assistant professor in teaching and curriculum, for her outstanding teaching and research, academic advising, and leadership role in Warner’s online initiative, Learning in the Digital Age (LiDA). On behalf of the University of Rochester, Borasi presented Lammers with the G. Graydon ‘58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Nontenured Member of the Faculty.
 
On behalf of the University of Rochester community, the Warner School congratulates its graduates and their families. View photos from the 2017 Warner School commencement ceremony HERE and HERE.  

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Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
tdanylak@warner.rochester.edu
585.275.0777; 585.278.6273 (cell)

Tags: Commencement