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Commencement 2012

Post-Commencement Diploma Ceremony honors graduates

Diploma CeremonyOn May 13, 148 candidates graduated from the School of Education.  Following the main Commencement ceremony in William and Mary Hall, the faculty, graduates, their families and friends processed down Compton Drive and through the woods on the nature trail to the Post Commencement Diploma Ceremony at the new School of Education.  In what has quickly become a tradition, the procession was led by junior members of the Fife and Drum Corp, each of whom has a special connection to the School of Education.  The Ceremony was held in the courtyard, tented for the first time this year.

Sixteen undergraduates completed programs in Elementary or Secondary Education.  At the masters level, 111 individuals received degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, School Psychology, Counselor Education, Educational Leadership, or Higher Education.  Ten others received the Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology.  Eighteen candidates were awarded doctoral degrees in Counselor Education or Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership.

Several major awards are announced at Commencement.  What follows are remarks from Dean Virginia McLaughlin in recognition of award recipients.


Karena HeywardEach Commencement, I have the honor of presenting an award established in 2000 in honor of Margaret, The Lady Thatcher, who served as the 21st Chancellor of the College of William and Mary from 1993-2000 with a deep and abiding commitment to the College's students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Margaret, The Lady Thatcher, Award for Scholarship, Character and Service, for the School of Education, College of William and Mary, was established by Margaret Frances Harmon and Margaret C. and Larry A. Hauben of the School of Education Development Board to be awarded annually to a member of the W&M community who embodies the traits of Scholarship, Character and Service within the School of Education and the College Community.  This year's recipient is Karena Heyward.

Karena is a Doctoral Student in the Counselor Education Program. She is Co-Director of the New Horizons Family Counseling Center and Coordinator of the Wounded Warriors Program of Virginia site here at the College.  Karena has been an adjunct instructor for several courses as well as a supervisor of clinical experiences. Karena has multiple presentations and publications to her credit and has been an active participant in grants totaling close to $200,000.  Karena is a local from Petersburg who grew up a military brat. Because of her life experience, she has been dedicated to the development of healthy families. Her work with groups, couples and particularly military families has established her as person of integrity and caring. As she transitions from the School of Education to her new position as Assistant Professor at Western Kentucky University, we wish her well.

The following are School of Education awards which recognize outstanding performance throughout the program.

In 1983, the Dean and the Faculty of the School of Education established the School of Education Award for Excellence to be awarded annually to two meritorious graduate students; one a Master's degree candidate and the other a Doctoral degree candidate.  In 1989, a third Award for Excellence was added to recognize the meritorious work of an outstanding undergraduate student.

The sole purpose of these awards is to bestow on the recipients recognition as outstanding students in education.  The awards recognize academic and professional excellence as well as outstanding citizenship.

The School of Education Dean's Award for Excellence – Undergraduate recipient is Caitlin Shermer.

Caitlin ShermerCaitlin is graduating with a major in History and Elementary Education. Cate is accomplished in academics and service. She is a Teachers of Promise Honoree, a member of Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society and a Monroe Scholar. She has been a tutor, substitute teacher, childcare worker, and a Teachers for Tomorrow Teacher Cadet while in high school. The faculty nominating Cate for this award already see her potential for leadership in the field.


The School of Education Dean's Award for Excellence – Masters recipient is Yianna KappasYianna Kappas.

Yianna is from the Masters program in EPPL-Higher Education. She served as the Programming Coordinator for the GEA as well as many student organizations to include the W&M Study Abroad Committee, Kappa Alpha Theta and Beta Lambda Chapter. Yianna's influence goes beyond the School of Education. She has worked for the past two years with Athletics in the Academic Support area helping students and staff in that department. One of those who nominated Yianna for this award said: "I challenge you to find a better prepared and more deserving candidate than Yianna.

The School of Excellence Dean's Award for Excellence –Doctorate recipient is Christopher Lawrence.

Christopher LawrenceChris is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education Program and is currently serving as the Co-Director of the New Horizons Family Counseling Center. In addition to his responsibilities of supervising the Masters and doctoral interns in the clinic, Chris was selected as one of the few students who are given the opportunity to teach a course solo. Chris has also demonstrated his strength in scholarship. He is has made more than a dozen presentations at national and regional conferences; and already has five publications to his credit and several more in preparation. A nominating faculty member described Chris in these words: "Experience, leadership and a focused commitment to scholarship set him among the finest of our students."