Spring commencement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be conducted in two ceremonies Saturday, May 7, 2011, in Bartow Arena. About half of the 2,507 eligible graduates will participate.
Ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education will begin at 9:30 a.m.; commencement for the schools of Business, Engineering, Public Health, Health Professions, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Optometry will begin at 2 p.m.
Undergraduate and graduate students will give the commencement address at each ceremony. Rebecca Ann Bach, Ph.D., an English professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and winner of the 2011 Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction, will be the mace carrier for both ceremonies.
9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony
Graduating senior Shweta N. Patel of Birmingham will deliver the undergraduate commencement address. Patel, graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology, will start medical school at UAB in the fall. Her professional interests include academic medicine, complementing clinical practices with scientific investigations and balancing scientific challenges with patient care. At UAB she was in the University Honors Program, a Goldwater Scholar, co-editor-in-chief of UAB’s undergraduate research journal Inquiro, awarded the CAS Dean’s award and an officer of both Pre-Med AMSA and Pre-Health Honor Society AED. She is the daughter of Naran and Kusum Patel.
James Andrew Gothard of Clanton, Ala., will deliver the graduate commencement address. Gothard is the recipient of a Department of English graduate fellowship, a graduate assistantship and multiple school and departmental travel grants. He has presented his research at literary conferences locally, nationally and internationally, most notably in Los Angeles and Prague, Czech Republic. He is a member in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society, and he was president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society in 2008. Gothard is graduating with a master’s degree in English. He plans to pursue a doctorate in 20th century British and Irish literature, concentrating in working class studies. He is the son of Michael and Martha Gothard.
2 p.m. commencement ceremony
Stephanie A. Cunningham of Monroeville, Ala., will deliver the undergraduate commencement address. Cunningham is a student in the University Honors Program and the recipient of several academic scholarships. She was vice president of the School of Business’s student leader organization and treasurer of the National Association of Black Accountants. Cunningham volunteered heavily throughout her college career and in 2009 was named the Wiregrass Hospice Administrative Volunteer of the Year. She will receive a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting with a minor in management. She plans to attend the University of Michigan’s School of Law in the fall and then pursue a career in corporate law. Her parents are Jemison and Carol Cunningham.
Leigh Booth of O’Fallon, Ill., will deliver the graduate commencement address. Booth worked as a graduate assistant in the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration. During her time at UAB, she had the opportunity to travel internationally to participate in a collaborative research project at the Technical University of Lodz in Poland. She was a recipient of the Ireland Tuition Scholarship from the UAB Graduate School. She is graduating with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and plans to pursue a career related to the research and development of biomedical materials and devices. She is the daughter of Damon and Janet Booth.
Doctoral hooding ceremony
The doctoral hooding ceremony, for those graduates receiving a Ph.D., Dr.P.H., and Ed.D., will be held at noon May 7, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The guest speaker is Claudiu Lungu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB School of Public Health. Everyone is welcome.