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Honors Awarded at 2010 Convocation Ceremony

The 90-degree sweltering heat didn't keep HGSE students, alumni, faculty, and families, who gathered in Radcliffe Yard for the HGSE Convocation on May 26, from focusing on the big tasks that lay before them as they head out into the world of education. The many HGSE speakers addressed the crowd, inspiring the new graduates with words touching on the love of education, the power of teachers to make a difference, and the shared fervor to fight against injustices.

These precommencement exercises saw honors such as the Morningstar Family Teaching Award, Alumni Council Award, Class Gift, and Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Awards presented.

In a humorous and light-hearted speech, student speaker Samuel Haynor reflected on his time at HGSE through the language he learned here, including terms like "unpack" and "push back," and all the various acronyms. "I learned many other words and terms here as well. Student Achievement. Hidden Curriculum. ESL. KIPP. TFA. KIPP. OSA. SEO. SOS...," Haynor said. "But I was hoping to add one more. Just one."

Haynor wished to add the word "agape," which means "true love" or "charity" or a "love for people you haven't necessarily met yet." He stressed how teachers often are the epitome of "agape" in their day-to-day passion to constantly fight for children, and how many of his fellow students will go on to do the same in their roles as educators.

He shared how one of his own students wrote him a note once, in which the student told him that he didn't "suck" so much. Haynor laughed that it was best note he ever received. Then, he encouraged everyone under Radcliffe tent to reach beneath their chairs where a blank piece of paper and envelope awaited. Haynor challenged everyone to write a letter to their favorite teacher and let them know of the difference they had made in their lives.

"They say that HGSE is the nexus of practice, policy, and research, but you are the nexus of mind, heart, and hands," he said. "Those teachers Agape-d you once. They still do. And the greatest homage and honor to them is to get out there and do it better. If there is anything and everything I have learned from all of you, it is that to love something, you need to know it. And to know it, you need somebody to help you. Love is knowledge, and it may be the only path to peace and justice both. Spread it like wildfire."

Though faculty speaker Assistant Professor Meira Levinson warned that she did not intend to provide any "warm and cuddly" moments, and that perhaps students should reconsider their vote, she did put forth ideas to the graduating students. Levinson argued that education is not just the Civil Rights issue of our time, as so often has been said, but actually the Civil Rights "struggle" of our time.

Listing the massive injustices taking place in schools every day from students being treated as inmates to schools having no libraries, playgrounds, doors on bathrooms, or toilet paper -- Levinson said that everyone must be prepared to make sacrifices and not be "afraid" to demand that others make sacrifices as well in order to overcome. "Work together to create a reservoir of strength," she said.

This year's recipient of the Alumni Council Award, Charles "Doc" Dey, M.A.T.'58, is an example of the power educators can have in joining the fight against injustices. Dey shared stories of his 60-year journey in education with students, from the time he told his mother about his dream to be an educator and she scoffed at the little money he'd make to the struggle for equality during the Civil Rights Movement.

He noted that his career has relied on the "faith in the promise of our society, however, flawed." And today, Dey explained, that this faith extended to the graduates as they continue the "national story" of education. "You become bearers of hope," he said.

"The Ed School is part of your lifelong scaffolding and it will serve you well...," he said. "And some day it will be one of you standing here, sharing your journey and success, and what you will have made possible for so many others."

The complete list of honorees:

Student Speaker: Samuel Haynor, Ed.M.'10

Morningstar Family Teacher Award: Professor Paul Harris

Alumni Council Award: Charles "Doc" Dey, M.A.T.'58

Faculty Speaker: Assistant Professor Meira Levinson

Phyllis Strimling Award: Hannah Poole, Ed.M.'10

Class Marshals:
Megin Charner-Laird, Ed.M.'02, Ed.D.'10
Jacy Ippolito, Ed.M.'01, Ed.D.'09
Carlo Cerruti, Ed.D.'10

Sioux Hall, C.A.S.'10

Samuel Odamah, Arts in Education
Neil Spears, Educational Policy and Management
Scott Flanary, Higher Education
Nathaniel Dunigan, Human Development and Psychology
Ming Jin, International Education Policy
Noah Mackert, Language and Literacy
Paviter Singh, Learning and Teaching
Christine Size, Mind, Brain, and Education
Dorie Withey, Risk and Prevention
Demetrius Hobson, School Leadership
Eric Gonzalez, Special Studies
Ryan Sim, Teacher Education
Jennifer Cottle, Technology, Innovation, and Education

Class Gift: $32,126.20 to support financial aid and fellowships.


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