UAB commencement ceremonies and doctoral hooding Dec. 12

An expected 2,607 students will graduate in summer/fall 2015. The commencement ceremonies will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Bartow Arena.

2014 commencementAn expected 2,607 students will graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in summer/fall 2015, with an estimated 1,100 participating in two commencement ceremonies and a doctoral hooding Saturday, Dec. 12.

The commencement ceremonies will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. South. College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education graduates will commence at 9:30 a.m. All other graduates will attend the 2 p.m. ceremony.

The UAB Graduate School’s hooding ceremony is set for noon at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The ceremony is for students earning doctorates in education, philosophy, public health and science. In 2015, the university’s highest degree will be conferred on 118 students from 22 states, the District of Columbia and seven countries, in 39 disciplines; 74 will participate in the ceremony. The speaker will be Professor of Microbiology David Bedwell, Ph.D., who also holds secondary appointments in the departments of Genetics; Biology; and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology. 

The Doctor of Nursing Practice hooding ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the National Alumni Society House, 1301 10th Ave. South. The School of Health Professions ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 2101 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North.

A to-do list for graduates, as well as information for guests, is available on the commencement website. Tickets are not required; but seating is first come, first served. Arena doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and at 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. 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.

The bearer of the UAB academic mace for both commencement ceremonies will be Distinguished Professor and Chair Emeritus in the UAB Department of Pediatrics Sergio Stagno, M.D. Stagno was president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation from 2010-2012 and interim president in 2008; interim vice president for Health Affairs in 1995; physician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Alabama from 1989-2014; director of the Residency Training Program, Department of Pediatrics, from 1985-1995; director of the Diagnostic Virology Lab, Department of Pediatrics, from 1978-1994; and lead mentor for the Learning Community Program.

Wayne H. Finley, Ph.D., M.D., professor emeritus in the Department of Genetics and a well-known pioneer in the field of medical genetics, will be awarded the President’s Medal at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, in recognition of his work and efforts as a medical visionary, civic leader and his outstanding history of philanthropic support. Finley co-founded UAB’s Laboratory of Medical Genetics, the first of its kind in the Southeast, and is credited with advancing medical genetics nationally as a field of medical study.

The commencement ceremonies will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Bartow Arena. College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education graduates will commence at 9:30 a.m. All other graduates will attend the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Each ceremony will include undergraduate and graduate speakers. Alyssa Gayle Parker is the undergraduate commencement speaker for the morning ceremony. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in kinesiology. Parker is a member of the UAB Honors College’s Experiential Learning Scholars Program. She was a UAB TrailBlazer, helping to recruit prospective students to UAB; a student assistant in the Office of New Student Programs; and a resident assistant in UAB residence halls. Parker works as a research assistant in the UAB College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Psychology helping assess child autism participants using the Socially Animated Machine robot. As a member of Alpha Xi Delta, she raised money for Autism Speaks. Parker has been an active volunteer with occupational therapists at The Workplace at UAB Highlands, a comprehensive on-the-job injury management and rehabilitation provider, as well as Mitchell’s Place, a research-based, educational, social and therapeutic services program for children, adolescents and families affected by autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. After graduation, she plans to get a master’s degree in occupational therapy to work with children who have developmental disabilities.

Caroline Davis Faught is the graduate commencement speaker for the morning ceremony. She is graduating with her Master of Science degree in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise physiology. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with a concentration in exercise science. Faught represented UAB as a member of the women’s tennis team for five years. While at UAB she was a research study coordinator, focusing on counseling and activity lifestyle modification for a clinical research study. While completing her master’s degree in kinesiology, Faught worked as a physical therapy tech and motion fitness specialist at Eskridge and White Physiotherapy and Fit. After graduation, she plans to continue in her field and become involved with exercise and metabolic testing in lifestyle medicine.

Sarahanne H. Davidson will be one of two undergraduate commencement speakers for the afternoon ceremony. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health with a concentration in preparedness and a minor in biology. Davidson is a Blazer Elite Scholar and the recipient of a National Alumni Society Dean’s Undergraduate Scholarship. She has been an active student leader in campus organizations, including Goin’ Green orientation leader coordinator for UAB New Student Programs, mental health programs coordinator for the UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association and president of Active Minds at UAB. She was a volunteer for Alabama Possible’s Blueprints College Access Initiative, mentoring high school students in the Birmingham community. Davidson was a student assistant for the UAB Alabama Public Health Training Center, as well as a teaching assistant for the UAB HHMI Phage Genomics Research Initiative. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree in environmental health and toxicology with the goal of directing public health research to effectively work within nonprofit service organizations. 

Ariel Demetria Smith will be the second of two undergraduate commencement speakers for the afternoon ceremony. She will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in management with a concentration in human resources. In July 2015, Smith received a Chinese Language and Culture Certificate of Completion from Anshan Normal University in Anshan, China. She is a member of the UAB Honors College’s Global and Community Leadership Honors Program and was a recipient of Minority Access’ 2013 National Role Model Award and the only undergraduate recipient of a President’s Diversity Award in 2014. She was student director for the Birmingham Business Project for two years, mentoring high school students and UAB business students while creating strategic development plans in collaboration with the City of Birmingham. An active student leader in campus and nonprofit organizations, she was president of the Society for Human Resources Management, mentor for Blueprints College Access Initiative and a business student leader. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, Golden Key International, Delta Epsilon Iota Academic and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies, and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Smith was a research assistant for UAB Collat School of Business Professor of Management Grant Savage, Ph.D., for two years, and was an Applied Information Systems and Technology teaching assistant for instructor Ken Gunnells, Ph.D. Smith is the owner of PrimeTime Movement LLC, an organization that focuses on young adult empowerment and motivational speaking. After graduation, she plans to continue working in AmeriCorps VISTA as an outreach and engagement fellow at UAB before pursuing a Ph.D. in social justice.

Daniel A. Sanabria is the graduate commencement speaker for the afternoon ceremony. He is graduating with a Master of Business Administration degree. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics, analysis and policy from UAB in December 2004. Sanabria has extensive experience in capital markets and asset management; he is the principal and CIO of Sigma93 Capital Management LLC, an alternative asset management company he founded in June with approximately $750,000 of trading capital. Over the previous five years, Sanabria was manager of trading and operations for Theta Holdings LLC, where he managed more than $15 million in assets, focusing on the trading of commodity futures and futures options. He has developed index replication strategies using multivariable regression analysis to support market-making programs on a range of real estate indexes. From 2004-2010, he held positions including manager of trading operations, intellectual property manager and comptroller at Delta Rangers, Inc. Sanabria recently led a four-person team to second place in the 2015 CME Group’s Trading Challenge, a derivatives trading competition with more than 500 participants representing 37 countries. He holds FINRA Series 3 and 30 licenses and is a Level II candidate of the Charter Financial Analyst designation. He is also fluent in Spanish. He plans to continue pursuing the development of his Sigma93 trading program and grow the assets under management to its $100 million capacity.