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Convocation 2012 - A Celebration of Academia

September 12, 2012

Simmons's annual Convocation ceremony to open the beginning of academic year 2012-2013 was held September 5 with a faculty procession and all-college ceremony, featuring an address by Center for Excellence in Teaching Interim Director Barbara Walvoord. In her remarks, Dr. Walvoord credited faculty with playing a crucial role in the launch of the Center. "I direct the new Center for Excellence in Teaching, but it is not my project. It's a project for all of us," she said.

At the afternoon undergraduate ceremony, members of the Class of 2013 donned their caps and gowns for the first time, and listened to a speech by Senior Class President Shannon Mary Curran. Twenty-four senior Academy members were recognized for their academic performance, and awards were distributed to faculty members for excellence in advising, teaching, and research (see full list below).

Former Ambassador and newly appointed Warburg Chair of International Relations Mark Bellamy delivered the afternoon address, entitled "Without Fear," which encouraged students to take advantage of their privileged position as students in America. "We are privileged, all of us, to be part of this community," he said, "and with privilege comes responsibility."

The 2012 Convocation was dedicated to Provost Charlena Seymour, who is retiring at the end of this academic year and was instrumental in bringing the annual event to Simmons. In her introductory speech, Provost Seymour listed the many accomplishments of the College over the past year, many related to Strategy 2015. "All of these achievements are not a dream, but a reality for Simmons today," she said.

To view the Simmons Convocation video, click here.  

The following faculty/staff members were recognized at Convocation:

President's Fund for Faculty Excellence
Senior Lecturer Changqing Chen (CAS)
Senior Lecturer Patricia Deyton (SOM)
Assistant Professor Kristie Thomas (SSW)
Associate Professor Ellen Grabiner (CAS)
Associate Professor Valerie Leiter (CAS)
Professor Teresa Nelson (SOM)
Senior Lecturer Mary Shapiro (SOM)

2012-2013 President's Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council Grant Recipients
Professor Johnnie Hamilton-Mason (SSW)
Assistant Professor Joceyln Loftus (SNHS)
Professor Michael Melendez (SSW)
Associate Professor Catherine Paden (CAS)
Assistant Professor Daren Graves (CAS)
Associate Professor Richard Gurney (CAS)
Senior Lecturer Judith Richland (CAS)
Professor Afaa Michael Weaver (CAS)

Recognition of Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Michael Berger (CAS)
Gregory C. Feldman (CAS)
Ellen Grabiner (CAS)
Mindell Reiss Nitkin (SOM)
Stephen Ortega (CAS)
Catherine Paden (CAS)
Elizabeth Scott (CAS)

Recognition of Promotion to Full Professor
Teresa Nelson (SOM)
Maria Dolores Palaez-Benitez (CAS)

Dean's Award for Exceptional Teaching
Assistant Professor Sarah Martin

Dean's Award for Exceptional Undergraduate Advising
Associate Professor Margaret Hanni

Dean's Award for Exceptional Faculty Scholarship
Assistant Professor Shirong Luo

Faculty/Staff Community Service Award
Associate Professor of Practice Randi Lite (CAS)