UAB commencement scheduled for Dec. 14

More than 800 students will walk at the Dec. 14 UAB fall commencement ceremonies.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will hold its fall doctoral hooding convocation and commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The UAB Graduate School doctoral hooding ceremony will be held at noon in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The university’s highest degree will be conferred on 208 candidates with about 80 attending the ceremony. The guest speaker will be Charles Amsler, Ph.D., professor of Biology in the College of Arts of Sciences.

graduation commencement sMore than 800 students will walk in UAB’s fall commencement ceremonies, which will take place at 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. South. At least 2,354 students are expected to graduate this semester.

Sergio Stagno, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine will be awarded the President’s Medal during the commencement ceremony. Stagno has been a world leader in combating pediatric infectious diseases, serving on the executive committee of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and on several National Institutes of Health study sections and advisory councils. His research has focused on cytomegalovirus, especially regarding infection acquired during pregnancy and the consequences of the disease for children. Through the Child Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization directed by Stagno, he has provided funding for the establishment of three Centers of Excellence in Chile and promoted the exchange of pediatricians in training between these universities and UAB. 

The mace carrier for both ceremonies will be John Kearney, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology. Kearney was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, which is the academic medical center’s highest faculty honor. He joined the faculty in 1977 and has continued his studies on B cell differentiation.

During the 9:15 a.m. ceremony, Swapna Kakani will give the undergraduate address and Kimberly Snow will speak on behalf of the graduate students.

Kakani will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. She is a member of the Science and Technology Honors Program, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, Psi Chi Honors Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She received the Aaron Lamar Jr. Scholarship and the 2013 Psychology Achievement Award. Kakani co-created a hands-on educational program for underserved students to teach them the importance of academic excellence, nutritional wellness, cultural awareness and social interaction. After graduation, she plans to advance the program, pursue an advanced degree in public health, and eventually work for the Department of Health and Human Services.     

Snow will graduate with a Master of Science degree in elementary education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Jacksonville State University in 2002. She was awarded her Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2005.  Snow has served as an associate attorney with Jim F. Oros Jr., P.C., since 2009. After graduation, she plans to teach at a local elementary school while practicing law part time and remaining active in the legal community.  

During the 2 p.m. service, Ryan Densmore will give the undergraduate address and Kimberly Piazza will be the graduate speaker.

Densmore will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. He served as a member of the Science and Technology Honors Program and Biomedical Engineering Honor Society. He has been on the Academic Dean’s List and UAB President’s List. Densmore has been an active student leader in many campus organizations as well as a strong volunteer for outside organizations. He has worked as a research assistant with a focus on cardiac arrhythmias for three years and has shadowed various physicians. Upon graduation, he plans to attend medical school, where he hopes to pursue a career as a primary care physician.

Piazza will receive a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from UAB in 2012. Piazza was the recipient of the License to Learn Scholarship and Transfer of Excellence Scholarship. She plans to pursue a career in public accounting and become a certified public accountant. Her long-term aspirations include pursuing a Ph.D. in accountancy so that she can teach accounting on the college level.