UAB summer virtual commencement is Aug. 14-15

The graduate ceremony, with approximately 1,262 graduating master’s and doctoral students, will air at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, while the undergraduate, with approximately 583 students, will air at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15.

VC2UAB's new virtual commencement toolkit features craft and food ideas and digital goodies for celebrating at home and online. More than 1,845 students will graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in two virtual ceremonies Aug. 14-15. 

The graduate ceremony, with approximately 1,262 graduating master’s and doctoral students, will air on UAB’s FacebookYouTube and Instagram TV channels at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14. For summer 2020, the UAB Graduate School will confer the university’s highest degrees on 76 students from 25 states and four countries representing 30 disciplines. 

The undergraduate ceremony, with approximately 583 students, will air on UAB’s FacebookYouTube and Instagram TV channels at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15. Use the hashtag #UABClassof2020 for both ceremonies. Full details for graduates are available online at uab.edu/commencement

UAB has created a virtual commencement toolkit for celebrating online and at home with craft and food ideas and digital goodies. The toolkit includes:

For the virtual ceremony, graduating students were asked to submit 15-second videos of themselves, on topics ranging from their favorite things and what they enjoyed the most during their time at UAB to what they will miss as they leave campus life. The students were also asked to show how they are celebrating while practicing social distancing. UAB has compiled the submitted videos to be included in the virtual ceremony, with messages from campus leaders, student government leaders and clips from the graduates.

VC5Jazmine Benjamin
Photography: Steve Wood 
Jazmine Benjamin,
Graduate Student Government president, will be the graduate student speaker. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences, under the mentorship of David Pollock, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology. Benjamin researches the role of feeding behaviors in risk factors for diabetic nephropathy; she hopes her research can be translated into improved therapeutics for those with metabolic disorders. Benjamin is passionate about outreach, science policy, and bringing diversity to the STEM field and academia through representation in media. She uses social media, specifically Twitter, as a way to practice her science communication and advocacy skills, and shares her research results, graduate school experiences and insight into science policy topics important to her in an effort to normalize non-academic career choices. She is the Science and Technology Policy fellow for the Alabama chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, and a co-founder and former president of the Science Policy and Advocacy Initiative, for which she organized and led biomedical research students to promote science-related policy issues. She has advocated for the consideration of science in policy decisions to lawmakers on the local and national levels. Benjamin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of South Carolina-Aiken. 

Tyler HuangTyler Huang
Photography: Lexi Coon
Tyler Huang, student body president and past executive vice president of the
Undergraduate Student Government Association, will be the undergraduate student speaker. He is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in neuroscience with a minor in chemistry. Huang is in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program and the UAB Honors College’s University Honors Program. He is a recipient of the Regions Endowed Scholarship and is a UAB institutional nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship and Gates Cambridge Scholarship; he will compete for these prestigious scholarships later this fall. Huang is an undergraduate research assistant working with Burel Goodin, Ph.D., UAB Department of Psychology, in the Biobehavioral Pain and Research Lab, where he examines socioeconomic disparities in pain perception. Huang is a clinical volunteer for Equal Access Birmingham, a student-run free clinic that emphasizes the continuity of care to the medically underserved in Birmingham and leads tours as a UAB TrailBlazer to prospective students and families.