More than 40 graduates were celebrated at the College of Communication and the Arts’ third annual Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremony on May 17.
Dean Deirdre Yates and the faculty of the College of Communication and the Arts gathered in the Jubilee Hall Auditorium on May 17 to celebrate 42 graduates and their guests at the College’s third annual Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremony.
The event began with the invocation led by Father John Dennehy. Following the invocation, Dean Yates delivered introductory remarks and Associate Provost Gregory Burton, Ph.D., delivered a welcome message on behalf of the Provost.
“Standing before you now, I am confident in the scholars and professionals you have become,” Dean Yates said. “I am certain that you will apply the theories you have learned in the classroom into the practice of your everyday professional lives.”
During the presentation of degree candidates, the room was filled with cheers as students from Graduate Studies’ Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication programs were hooded by program faculty, symbolizing the completion of their master’s degrees.
Dean Deirdre Yates presented Matthew Dellaguzzo with the M.A. in Museum Profession program's inaugural Experiential Learning Award.
This year, the Museum Professions program recognized Matthew Dellaguzzo as the receipt of the inaugural Experiential Learning Award. Dellaguzzo was honored for his work at his internship at the Hunterdon County Historical Society, where he researched an uncatalogued collection of Native American artifacts.
The event also included two student speakers who were nominated by the faculty. This year’s speakers included Ashley Halinski, a M.A. in Museum Professions graduate, and Derek Martinez, a M.A. in Strategic Communication graduate. Each speaker shared inspirational anecdotes with their fellow graduates and spoke of how their advanced degree will define their future.
“Through our classwork, our projects, our lectures, and our labs, we have acquired a specialized set of skills that will open doors to so many opportunities that many others do not get,” Halinski said. “Do not waste them.”
Martinez echoed Halinski’s sentiments. “All of the countless hours spent in night classes, writing papers, and working on presentations have paid off,” he said. “Every assignment, every project, every presentation – they were all designed to make us better individuals academically, professionally, and personally. Each of you are now better prepared to go out into society and make a difference in your industries.”
The Ceremony concluded with the conferral of degrees delivered by Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella and closing remarks by Dean Yates.
Students from Graduate Studies’ Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication programs were hooded by program faculty.
“Take this moment to reflect on your successes and hard work and recognize that although you have come to the end of this academic road, your next journey is just beginning,” Dean Yates said. “I invite you to continue to be vibrant members of our College’s community and I offer my congratulations on earning your master’s degrees from this fine College and this great University.”
Dr. Ryan Hudes, assistant dean of Graduate Studies, added after the Ceremony, “The Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremony is an exciting, culminating celebration designed to recognize our students for their significant academic accomplishment. Of note, many of this year’s graduates first enrolled in our programs during our inaugural year and will forever be part of the College’s formative years and its history. I am thankful for each graduate’s contributions to our programs and wish everyone success in their future endeavors.”
Following the Ceremony, graduates were spotted outside, taking part of a long-standing tradition of stepping on the University’s seal after they earn their degree.
The College currently offers three graduate-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated master's/B.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.