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Over 400 graduates take part in spring convocation ceremony

Kathryn Kao

May 18, 2016

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Over 400 graduates of the University of Georgia College of Education walked across the stage at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, during the College's Spring 2016 Graduation Convocation ceremony on May 12.

More than 3,100 families, friends, faculty and staff attended the event to honor the 423 students who graduated this spring. Of the 423 newly minted graduates, 387 received a bachelor's degree, 35 received a master's degree and one received an educational specialist degree.

Twice a year, the College honors its graduating students at the College of Education Graduation Convocation. This is an opportunity for soon-to-be alumni to celebrate the conclusion of their collegiate journey with classmates and close friends. At convocation, each student is recognized by name, shakes hands with Dean Craig H. Kennedy and receives a special College of Education gift as family and friends celebrate from the audience. All graduating students in the College are invited to attend.

After Dean Kennedy's opening remarks, Beth Tolley, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice, introduced the ceremony's guest speaker, Bynikini Frazier.

Bynikini Frazier

Frazier, a first grade teacher at Sarah Mills Hodge Elementary School in Savannah, Georgia, learned the joy of teaching as a fifth-grade student at the same elementary school she currently teaches at today. Frazier spoke to the audience about her educational journey, starting from her first day in kindergarten to the day she fulfilled her dream and was named the 2015 Savannah Chatham County Public Schools District Teacher of the Year.

"I am beaming in joy as we are here today to uplift the treasured work of future educators," she told the audience. "I challenge you to teach beyond the hardships, the lesson plans, the norm and help our students to reach their dreams."

In addition to serving as the president of the College's alumni board, Frazier was selected by Governor Nathan Deal as a winner in the Innovation in Teaching competition. Frazier also serves as a mentor for the Teacher Induction Program and holds leadership positions in several national honor and service organizations. Most recently, she was selected as a member of the Class of 2014 40 Under 40 and, among other notable honors, has been placed on the 2016 Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice Honor Roll.

After Frazier's speech, Anne Marcotte, a professor and the department head of the language and literacy education department, announced all 423 graduates by department as they walked across the stage. Last spring, 434 students participated in the College's convocation.