UAB to celebrate commencement, doctoral hooding April 26

An estimated 1,200 students will participate in UAB’s two spring commencement ceremonies, with at least 2,828 students set to graduate.

commencement 2011 featureThe University of Alabama at Birmingham will hold two commencement ceremonies and a doctoral hooding ceremony Saturday, April 26. At least 2,828 students will graduate this spring.

The UAB Graduate School doctoral hooding ceremony will be held at noon in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The university’s highest degree will be conferred on 55 candidates with about 45 attending the ceremony. The guest speaker will be Lori McMahon, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology in the UAB School of Medicine.

An estimated 600 students will walk in each of UAB’s spring commencement ceremonies, set for 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. South. The ceremony for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education will commence at 9:30 a.m. All other graduates will attend the 2 p.m. ceremony.

A to-do list for graduates, as well as information for guests, is available on the commencement website. Tickets are not required for guests. Seating is first come, first served, and the arena doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the 9:30 a.m. ceremony and at 1 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony. Due to community events happening nearby, commencement attendees should plan to arrive early and leave plenty of time for parking. Events will begin on time. University officials recommend guests leave nonessential bags at home or in the car. The ceremonies will be recorded and added online for viewing at about a week after the ceremonies.

quinlanKieran Quinlan  The bearer of the UAB academic mace for both commencement ceremonies will be Kieran Quinlan, Ph.D., professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. Quinlan is the recipient of the 2014 Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction. He is an acclaimed writer and scholar whose specialty is in 20th century American and Irish literature, with emphasis on writers from the American South. He wrote three books: “John Crowe Ransom’s Secular Faith,” “Walker Percy, The Last Catholic Novelist,” and “Strange Kin: Ireland and the American South,” which won the Landry Award for the best book in Southern studies from LSU Press.

For the morning ceremony, Naveed Farrukh will deliver the undergraduate address, and Kara Burnett will give the graduate address.

Farrukh will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in health care organization and policy. Farrukh has been a student research assistant in the UAB Neurobiology Lab since 2011. His scholarships include a four-year Presidential scholarship and Robert C. Byrd, Spencer’s Honor and Ruston scholarships. An active student leader in campus organizations including the Ambassadors and TrailBlazers, Farrukh was also a strong volunteer for outside organizations. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school and one day work in the fields of medicine and health policy.       

Other UAB commencement ceremonies include:

Burnett will graduate with a Master of Arts degree in community health education. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in health education from UAB in 2012. She is a member of the Alabama Wellness Task Force, where she developed school wellness initiatives to pilot in two Alabama counties and trained teachers on implementation of initiatives in collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. During her collegiate career, she was a volunteer at Children’s Hospital, UAB Hospital, Camp Smile-A-Mile, Arthritis Foundation and Glen Iris Elementary Afterschool Farmers Market. She plans to attend Arizona State University in the fall for its doctoral program in physical activity, nutrition and wellness.

For the afternoon ceremony, Shameka Rodgers will deliver the undergraduate address, and Michael Howard will speak on behalf of graduate students.

Rodgers will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She is a member of the Experiential Learning Scholars Program and the UAB School of Nursing Honors Program.  Her numerous scholarship awards include the Brock Family Endowed Nursing, Lettie P. Whitehead Nursing, Mary J. Harwell Nursing, UAB Equity and Diversity, and UAB Collegiate scholarships. An orientation leader coordinator and a resident assistant, she held membership in the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Student Nurses Association, Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., National Panhellenic Council, Gamma Sigma Alpha Greek Honors Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society and the Multicultural Scholars Program. After graduation, Rodgers plans to attend the UAB Graduate School of Nursing. While attending graduate school, she will work at the UAB Women and Infants Center Gynecology/Oncology Nursing Unit.

Howard will graduate with a Master of Business Administration degree in finance. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Auburn University in 1998 and continued his education while instructing technology courses, earning A+, Network+ and MCSE certifications. At UAB, Howard worked as the fixed-income portfolio manager for UAB’s Green and Gold Fund. Recently, he was tapped for membership in Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Since 2008, he has been vice president of operations with Catastrophic Medical Excess Inc., a medical reinsurance brokerage and employer health care consulting firm.