Graduation roundup: CHSS 2017 graduates recognized at multiple celebrations

Monday, June 26, 2017
CHSS graduates with banner at SF State Commencement '17

In addition to the festivities at SF State’s May 25 Commencement at AT&T Park, many schools, departments and programs held ceremonies to recognize new graduates. Here are highlights of some of the graduation ceremonies from around the College.

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Department of Child & Adolescent Development

CAD graduation ceremonyThe Department of Child & Adolescent Development recognized 164 graduates at a ceremony on May 21 in Annex 1. In addition, the department presented five awards: Monica Dell'Aglio was the SF State CAD Undergraduate Hood Honoree, Desiree Luna received the Dr. Shannon Perry Achievement Award, Valerie Ann Lucchetti received the Dr. Marjorie Seashore Achievement & Service Award, Angela Aquilizan received the Dr. Lynn Steinman Early Care & Education Award, and Desiree Luna and Jennifer Huang were Phi Beta Kappa Awardees. Tiara Mosley was the student speaker. For retiring CAD Department Chair Rene Dahl, this was her last time serving as the event's emcee. 

Promoting Achievement Through Higher Education (PATH) Program

PATH graduation highlightsThe PATH Program (jointly housed within the Marian Wright Edelman Institute and the Department of Child & Adolescent Development) held a graduation dinner in honor of this year's class. For the past few years, the PATH program has been increasing graduation rates for early childhood education students at SF State while also increasing competency levels. All of the graduates in this cohort completed their work in either four years or, for transfers, in two years. Many of the graduates were non-traditional students — about one-third were working mothers, most were in their 30s and most came from lower-income communities. Read a recent story about PATH here.

Clinical Laboratory Science Internship Training Program

CLS program graduatesThe CLS program recently held a graduation ceremony for the 29 students of Class 76, all of whom have successfully completed their final rotations to become licensed as clinical laboratory scientists by the State of California. Class 76 demonstrated outstanding performance on the ASCP board exams, not only with a 100 percent pass rate, but also boasting the highest-scoring student across the nation.





Department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics

CFSD graduation ceremonyThe Department of Consumer Family Studies/Dietetics held two celebration ceremonies on May 27 in McKenna Theatre. One ceremony was for Apparel Design & Merchandising and Interior Design; a second ceremony was for Family & Consumer Sciences and Dietetics & Food Management, with 196 student graduating in total. Both ceremonies filled the auditorium with cheering and supportive friends and families. Department Chair Connie Ulasewicz welcomed the audience and recognized all faculty in attendance. Distinguished graduates, chosen by the faculty, spoke for each program.

The students who addressed the ceremonies were Patrick Newton (B.S., Dietetics, and department undergrad representative), Rayshawn Wright (B.A., Family & Consumer Sciences), Jocelyn Salazar (B.S., Apparel Design & Merchandising), Lauren Tokunaga (B.S., Interior Design) and Nancy Martin (M.A., Family & Consumer Sciences, and department M.A. representative). Isabella Brown (B.A., ’15, Family & Consumer Sciences) received the Alumni of the Year recognition. The Anne Markevich Scholarship was presented to Maria Baligod, and the Krohn Scholarship was presented to Lisa Hamilton.

Department of Counseling

Counseling Dept ceremonyThe Department of Counseling honored graduate students receiving their Master of Science in Counseling at a recognition ceremony on May 20 at Annex I. Sixty-four students were hooded across six department programs: Career Counseling; College Counseling; School Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling; Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling; and Gerontological Counseling. Six graduates were nominated to speak by their fellow classmates:  Katricia ManaloPatrice Reed-FortChristina CadangChelsey Williams and Alexander LocustSkyler Barton, a 2009 graduate of the department, delivered the keynote address. Three students, Saba Mengistab GebreAlexander Locust and Shola Shodiya-Zeumault, were recognized as Distinguished Graduates for their academic, research and service accomplishments. The ceremony was organized by student officers and volunteers from the Counseling Student Association and the Rehabilitation Counseling Student Association. (Photos by Janet Sanchez)

Department of Health Education

Health Ed graduation highlights

The Department of Health Education held ceremonies for its B.S. and MPH graduates, both on May 26 at San Francisco’s Castro Theater.

The undergraduate ceremony recognized 148 students graduating with bachelor's degrees. In addition, the following awards were presented: Elsie Arias received the Department Honoree Award, Trineca Godfrey received the Department Service Award and Edelweiss Vaovasa received the Zoe Cardoza-Clayson Global Health and Social Justice Award. The Institute of Holistic Health presented two Studies Student Awards: Michael Connolly received the George S. Araki Academic Achievement Award and Madeline Kohler received the IHHS University and Community Service Award. Oscar Macias (B.S., ’07; MPH, ’10) was the B.S. Alum of the Year featured speaker. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was social justice activist Roma Guy, who was recently portrayed in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise.” A special guest was Lisa Russell, the daughter of former Health Ed faculty member Zoe Cardoza-Clayson, in whose memory the family offers the annual Zoe Cardoza-Clayson Global Health and Social Justice Award.

The MPH ceremony recognized 24 graduates. Atziri Rodriguez and Justin P. Wellins were honored as College of Health & Social Sciences Distinguished Grads; Claire Renee De LeonMelissa Jean Peters and Andrew Rodriguez were honored as Department of Health Education Distinguished Grads; and Elizabeth Schoyer was honored as John Blake West Scholar. Celia Graterol (MPH, ’03) was MPH Alum of the Year. The ceremony's keynote speaker was Graduate Coordinator Sally Geisse.

Department of Kinesiology

Kinesiology graduation ceremony highlightsThe Department of Kinesiology celebrated the graduation of 220 undergraduates and 10 graduate students at the Nourse Theater on May 24. The event was hosted by the Kinesiology Student Association and featured keynote speaker Mark Lasota, student speakers Stacey DeMartini and Dulce Gomez, and master of ceremonies Assistant Professor Kent Lorenz

School of Nursing

nursing graduation highlightsThe School of Nursing held its Spring 2017 Pinning and Hooding Ceremony on May 22 in the McKenna Theatre. The event recognized 56 bachelor’s candidates (in both the SF State and Sequoia cohorts) and 27 master of science candidates. The ceremony opened with remarks by Mary Ann van Dam, director of the School of Nursing. The Phillip Derf Service Award was presented to Nawal Al-harazi (SF State BSN) and Dillon Meng (Sequoia BSN). Assistant Professor Carrie Holshuh was the MSN keynote speaker, and Asha Koshy and Darren Shipley were MSN class speakers.

For the BSN address, Professor Emerita Karen Johnson-Brennan spoke about the significance of the nursing pin. Nursing faculty members Larry Vitale and Esther Kawamura were the keynote speakers for the SF State Main Campus BSN and the SF State Sequoia Cohort respectively. Nawal Al-harazi and Caitlin David were BSN class speakers for the SF State Main Campus, and Jennifer Fernandez was class speaker for the SF State Sequoia Cohort.

Department of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy graduating classThe UCSF/SF State Doctor of Physical Therapy program celebrated the graduation of 50 students on June 7. The DPT degree was conferred to these students at the UCSF Graduate Division ceremony held at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. All of the SF State Physical Therapy faculty participated in the event along with their UCSF PT faculty colleagues.





School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement (PACE)

PACE graduation highlightsPACE held its graduation on May 26 at Patio Español Restaurant in San Francisco. In attendance were 47 students from the Criminal Justice Studies program, 3 from the Urban Studies & Planning program and 20 students earning Master of Public Administration degrees. The Gerontology Program and Environmental Studies Program held separate ceremonies.

Many were recognized with special awards: Shaman Walton (MPA, ‘10) received the PACE Alumnus of the Year Award; Glen Rojas received the PACE Public Service Award and Angela Chan received the PACE Civic Engagement Award. Cody Dolan, Jennifer Cruz-Rios, Sara Fine and Visakha Som (who also received the CHSS hood) were recognized as PACE Distinguished Students. Tre Allen, Ana Sosa, Katherine Ngo and Annamarie Cunningham each received Barbara Jordan Awards.

Environmental Studies Program

Thirty-nine students earned degrees in Environmental Studies this year. Speakers at the ceremony included Michael Yang, who won the Feliz Scholarship in Environmental Studies this year, and Don Feliz, the son of George Feliz, who was a professor of economics at SF State. The scholarship was created as a memorial to honor George Feliz. Another speaker was Professor of Urban Studies & Planning Raquel Rivera Pinderhughes. The interdisiplinary Environmental Studies program was created by a student/faculty committee, of which Pinderhughes was a member.  She still serves as an advisor to some Environmental Studies students and is an inspiration to many. She was the Environmental Studies Faculty Honoree this year. The program’s Alum of the Year, Jessica Tovar, also spoke. Tovar graduated from the program when it was only a few years old. Since her graduation she has been a fierce fighter for environmental justice, working as a community organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, and presently with the Local Clean Energy Alliance.

 Gerontology Program

Gerontology graduation highlightsThe Gerontology Program held a pre-commencement brunch celebration on May 25. Professor and Coordinator of Gerontology Darlene Yee-Melichar gave remarks and Professor Emerita of Gerontology Anabel Pelham introduced 13 honorees: Lindsay Anglade, Sahara Aviles, Martin C. Blanco, Natasha Carmona, Laura Gibson, Tonjalyn Ford, Jenny (Jin Young) Lee, Trish (Patricia) Mahoney, David O'Sullivan, Marquita Ridgle, Eunice (Eunok) Shin, Silvia Sobral and Shyuan Ching Tan.

Ten scholarships were awarded: James Schindler received the Long-Term Care Administration Scholarship; Martin C. Blanco received the Patrick Nobis Endowed Scholarship; Jenny (Jin-Young) Lee received the Michelle Benjamin Scholarship; Yahaira Aviles received the Peninsula del Rey Scholarship; Lindsay Anglade, Kristy Lui and& Silvia Sobral received Anabel Pelham Gerontology Scholarships; Martin C. Blanco received the Sixty Plus Scholarship; Silvia Sobral received the SF State Graduate Distinguished Achievement Award; and Martin C. Blanco received the SF State Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.

Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism

RPT graduation highlightsThe department held its ceremony on May 24 at Annex 1, recognizing 78 bachelor’s degree students and 5 master’s students. More than half the graduating class consisted of first-generation students.

Cicely Muldoon, the interim superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, was the featured speaker. Alumni Awards were presented to Maria Rosario (B.S., ’14) and Kimiko DePedro (B.S., ’14). Michael Bennett (who also received the CHSS hood) was recognized as Undergraduate Honoree, Araceley Montero was honored as Graduate Honoree, Miah Taylor received the Outstanding Student Leader Award and Lucas Metcalf-Tobin received the Outstanding Faculty Award. The department awarded the following scholarships: Miah Taylor received the Carol Severin Scholarship; Lei Asato received the Events, Travel & Tourism Scholarship; Albia Cruz received the Ryan Jones Memorial Scholarship and Khiry Foster received the NOLS Scholarship.

Department of Sociology & Sexuality Studies

Sexuality Studies

Sexuality Studies graduatesOn May 24, the department held a capstone event, the 2017 Sexuality Studies Graduate Symposium, to share and celebrate the work students have done in the course of completing their M.A. in Sexuality Students. Thirteen students graduated with the degree. The presentations represented a range of topics and approaches reflecting the strengths and interests of the cohort and the faculty who teach and support them.  


Sociology graduates were celebrated at the SF State Commencement at AT&T Park. A total of 50 sociology students graduated in the 2016-17 year. Of those who were granted degrees, two graduated with summa cum laude honors, six with magna cum laude honors and four with cum laude honors.






School of Social Work

Social Work graduationThe Masters of Social Work Council and Social Work Advocates for Visions of Empowerment student organizations hosted the San Francisco State University School of Social Work Graduation on June 3 at San Francisco State's Student Life Event Center. U.S Congresswoman Barbara Lee delivered an inspiring commencement address calling all to action through resistance of the social injustices of the country's political climate. ​Congresswoman Lee, a social worker herself, highlighted the transformative role that social workers can have in the lives of clients, families, and communities.

At the ceremony, many of the students were recognized for their achievements and contributions that were above and beyond their role as students. Members of SWAVE (Undergraduate SW club), Phi Alpha Beta Chapter (social work honor society) and MSWC (Graduate SW student club were asked to stand. Also applauded were student representatives on self-study committees and student leaders from Lobby Day 2017. In addition, the following special honors were recognized: Nathan Padilla received Universitywide Undergraduate Honors, Celina Rivas received Universitywide Graduate Honors and Jieying Guan received the Cecily Wagstaff Scholarship.