UAB spring commencement ceremonies are April 26-27

Approximately 2,100 students are scheduled to graduate from UAB this spring.

CommencementJoomla4Doctoral hooding and commencement ceremonies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be held Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27.

Approximately 2,100 students will graduate from UAB this spring. An estimated 1,500 students will participate in the ceremonies.

The commencement ceremony for master’s, specialist and doctoral students will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, in Bartow Arena. For spring 2019, the UAB Graduate School will confer the university’s highest degrees on 63 students from 12 states and nine countries representing 25 disciplines; approximately 52 will be hooded in the ceremony. The academic mace will be carried by Michael Wyss, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology. Wyss was chair of the UAB Faculty Senate in 2000-2001 and 2017-2018 and is now interim ombudsman. For the past 13 years, he has directed the UAB Center for Community Outreach and Development.

Undergraduate students will walk in ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in Bartow Arena. Students in the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences will participate in the morning ceremony, and those in the schools of Business, Engineering, Public Health, Health Professions and Nursing will take part in the afternoon ceremony. For the morning ceremony, the academic mace will be carried by Mona Fouad, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, founding director of UAB’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, and senior associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the UAB School of Medicine. Fouad is the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. James Worrell, Ph.D., associate professor in the Collat School of Business’ Department of Accounting and Finance, chair of the UAB Faculty Senate, and incoming faculty representative to the UA System Board of Trustees, will carry the academic mace for the afternoon ceremony.

A to-do list for graduates, as well as information for guests, is available on the commencement website. Tickets are not required; but seating for the commencement ceremonies is first come, first served. Bartow Arena doors will open one hour prior to each ceremony. University officials recommend guests leave nonessential bags at home or in the car. The ceremonies will be recorded and available online for viewing at in early May.

CommencementJoomla2Mark E. PepinMark E. Pepin will be the speaker at the graduate commencement ceremony. He is graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in biomedical engineering from the School of Engineering under the mentorship of Adam R. Wende, Ph.D. His dissertation, “Genetic and Epigenetic Determinants of Heart Failure Susceptibility,” focuses on identifying the key molecular mechanisms that control cardiac metabolism in end-stage human heart failure. Pepin has received awards and honors including the Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, Featheringill Young Investigator Award in the UAB Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center and Dean’s Research Award in the School of Medicine at UAB. At the Gordon Research Conference in Hong Kong, China, he was presented with the Graduate Trainee Speaker Award. His research has led to 12 peer-reviewed publications and 27 presentations at local, national and international meetings. Pepin graduated with his Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering from the University of California at Davis in 2013. He graduated from Clemson University with his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 2011. Pepin will remain at UAB for two years to complete his Doctor of Medicine degree. Upon completion of the M.D. program, he plans to pursue a combined medical residency and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine. His ultimate career goal is to remain in academia treating patients, teaching students, and performing basic and translational research focused on cardiovascular disease.

CommencementJoomla1Alexandria Nicole SummerlinAlexandria Nicole Summerlin will be the commencement speaker for the morning ceremony Saturday, April 27. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood and elementary education from the School of Education. Summerlin has been student life coordinator for The Horizons School for Young Adults with Disabilities since April 2016. In this role, she educates and instructs young adults with intellectual disabilities, helping to evaluate students’ progress, developing weekly program plans focused on socialization and helping to guide students toward independence. She has received many scholarships, including a UAB Breakthrough Scholarship, Stewart Teacher Education Scholarship and UAB Alumni Scholarship. Her research on the importance of a writing workshop within the early childhood/elementary classroom highlighted the role of autonomy and choice for advancing the writing development of young children. Summerlin began her undergraduate career majoring in biomedical sciences but changed to education because of her passion for science and her desire to advocate for learners using research-based teaching methods. Although she loved every course in the biomedical science program, her experiences at the Horizon School and as a supplemental math instructor helped her realize her true passion, empowering children to believe in themselves as mathematicians, scientists, readers, writers, historians and, ultimately, thinkers who are successful problem-solvers. After graduation, Summerlin plans to seek employment as an elementary school teacher and says she would love to teach in the Birmingham City School System because of her love for the community. Alongside teaching, Summerlin plans to continue her research, building on and extending the existing knowledge within the field to ensure that students of all walks of life receive the best educational experiences possible to achieve the life of their dreams.

CommencementJoomla3Dianna NicholsDianna Nichols will be the commencement speaker for the afternoon ceremony Saturday, April 27. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the School of Nursing, where she is a nursing honors student. Nichols has worked throughout the pursuit of her degree gaining valuable clinical experience, most recently in a student preceptorship in the Hematology/Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. At the same time, she has been working and gaining research experience at the Heart Failure Transitional Care Services for Adults clinic at UAB Hospital, a nurse-managed interprofessional collaborative clinic for underserved patients with a diagnosis of heart failure. She has received many scholarships and honors throughout her education, including the UAB Collegiate Honors Scholarship, Board of Visitors Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship, Francis S. Falkenburg Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Ruth Tonn Ahrgal Endowed Nursing Scholarship, UAB Dean’s Nursing Scholar and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Member. Nichols has volunteered at Children’s Hospital of Alabama as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nursing ambassador, as well as other community outreach projects. After graduation, Nichols plans to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (clinical practice degree) or Doctor of Philosophy degree in nursing (research-focused degree) while pursuing a career in oncology at UAB Hospital.