2020 Graduation in a Word
On Wednesday, June 10th, the Woodrow Wilson Graduate School celebrated its second commencement ceremony, recognizing six graduates. Teacher Candidates (TCs), faculty, staff, family, and friends logged on to join in the virtual celebration. Asked to describe the ceremony in one word, members of the GS community spoke about the event as inspiring, uplifting, personal, joyful, and magical.
Dr. Hirsch opened the ceremony by commending the graduates’ unwavering dedication to becoming better educators. “Your capacity to rethink and re-imagine not only the practices of teaching, but also the fundamental assumptions about learning are just some of the magic that you will bring to your classrooms,” she said. Peter Laipson, Chief Academic Officer, used the word “magical” to describe the ceremony, commenting that “it was terrific to see how well our teacher candidates are known and understood by our colleagues and to hear from them what they’d found so valuable about the program.” Dr. Hirsch echoed his statement, “It was clear from the words of each presenter that our students are known and seen for who they are and for the unique magic they bring to the classrooms.”
Despite the challenge of celebrating amidst a global pandemic, the ceremony felt inspiring to Raha Moussavi, an MIT Senior Learning Designer who works very closely with the Graduate School. As alumni and teacher candidates logged on with their families–sharing rooms and screens–the community recognized the accomplishments of this cohort and commented on their talents as educators. Each of the graduates was presented by a member of the faculty and staff. Dr. Moussavi spoke to graduate Breauna Campbell’s many contributions to the community. “It’s been amazing to watch her learn and grow and to see how she has encouraged and inspired others to learn and grow.”
Breauna Campbell used the word “uplifting” to describe the ceremony. Speakers mentioned specific ways that each graduate developed into their role as educator during their time at the Graduate School. Breauna loved all the personal elements of the ceremony, “that made it so special… Ultimately, the graduation felt like an extension of life at WW Graduate School packaged into a remote graduation.”
Graduate Nick Cerini described the ceremony as “personal.” In keeping with the ceremony’s magical theme, graduates were presented with a magic wand said to contain the unique elements that symbolized each graduate’s special strengths and characteristics. Director of the Post-Graduate Mentoring Program Dr. Andrew Wild shared anecdotes about Nick’s warmth and efficacy as an educator. “I had the pleasure of seeing him teach. He warmly greeted his students, conveying knowledge and care in all of his interactions.”
Dr. Deborah Hirsch, President, described the ceremony as “celebratory.” Recognizing both the accomplishments and the potential of the graduates, Dr. Hirsch explained that the ceremony “… felt like a celebration of a community. The camaraderie that graduates and teacher candidates expressed was real and heartfelt.” As to her wishes for the graduates, Dr. Hirsch hopes they will be “that teacher” who makes a difference in the lives of their students.
The Graduate School offers its congratulations to graduates Breauna Campbell, Nicholas Cerini, Zoe Heasley, Ji-Young Kim, Katie Dunn, and Xheni Mucelli.