2019 Elon Master of Education graduates receive degrees

Elon Provost Steven House urged the 2019 Master of Education graduates to be passionate, curious and responsible educators at the program's Commencement ceremony Saturday. 

Members of the Class of 2019 of the Master of Education program
The 2019 graduates of Elon's Master of Education program were encouraged to "think different" as they celebrated Commencement inside Whitley Auditorium Saturday. 

The 16 graduate students received their degrees after successfully completing the three-year program while continuing to teach in the classroom. A majority of the program's courses took place during three summers with the remaining coursework being completed online during the school year. The group of honorees also included seven teachers who completed the requirements for the North Carolina Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Licensure program.

The NCATE-accredited Master of Education program gives experienced teachers the opportunity to broaden their professional knowledge and skills. The program offers challenging courses that give teachers the chance to explore, grow and actively engage in their love of teaching and learning. 

Provost Steven House delivering the Commencement address
​Elon Provost Steven House, who will soon conclude his service as provost after 18 years of leadership at Elon, provided the ceremony's Commencement address. House discussed the traits necessary to develop a successful career in the field of education. 

"I'm often asked 'what one trait do people in education need to be successful?'" he said. "I respond, 'the one trait needed for success in education is passionate-curious-responsible.' OK, these are three traits, but in people with a true love of learning, they come together."

House drew from historic examples, as well as some of his own experiences as a researcher, to remind graduates of the importance of asking challenging questions and being curious about ways to make an impact on the world. 

House highlighted a 1997 advertisement for Apple products, called "Here's to the Crazy Ones." In the ad, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs explains, "…the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." 

House told graduates, "President Connie Ledoux Book and I claim  proudly claim  that the world needs Elon graduates. Why? Because we are crazy enough to believe that you can change the world." 

Sixteen received a master of education degree during the ceremony.
​House also urged graduates to help create the next generation of curious world-changers by fostering a positive learning atmosphere in their classrooms. He pointed to a Gallup Poll, conducted by Kaplan University Partner President Brandon Busteed, which studied the causes of student success in the classroom. House said three of the top responses to the poll were teachers who made students excited about learning, teachers who cared about students as people and teachers who encouraged students to pursue their goals and dreams.

"Today, I challenge you to strive every day to create a teaching and learning environment where your students will develop a love of learning, the ability to ask good questions and the capacity to think different," House said. "I challenge you to give stimulating lectures and assign thought-provoking readings and homework that requires students to think hard. But more importantly, I want you to never forget that the one thing your students will remember most about you is your relationship with them."

House offered an emotional conclusion to his Commencement address by telling graduates, "You are now ready to change the world, so go do it."

April Patton G'19 speaking during the ceremony
​April Patton G'19, who graduated with Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi honors, discussed the "courage" and "energy" required to be a teacher and encouraged classmates to carry the energy they gained in the M.Ed program into their future classrooms.

"We’ve been blessed to see these good teachers emulated in every professor we’ve worked with at Elon," she said. "It is our responsibility to pay that forward. If we venture to share our passions with those we teach, the excitement and love of what we do each day will be passed on to those students in our care, resulting in greater positive energy." 

After recognizing and thanking House for his years of service to Elon, Book issued a charge to the Master of Education graduates.

"Today, you join a rich Elon tradition, a long line of exceptional educators who have answered the call to shape the minds, hearts, and spirits of young people," Book said. "As you continue the important work of championing inquiry and discovery, I charge you to remember that you are members of a noble profession – an honorable calling – deserving great respect. Without you, schools are merely buildings.  They come to life with you, with the teaching and the engagement you bring, and most importantly, the values you bring. That is the foundation for a purposeful and meaningful life."

2019 Graduates of the Master of Education Program 

Carol Ann Boggess † *

B.A., High Point University

Cricia Guadalupe Bonilla de Pérez

B.A., Universidad de El Salvador

Meghan Elizabeth Gribbon Burge

A.B., Elon University

Anne Minton Campbell

A.B., Elon University

Kimberle Celena Campbell † 

B.Ed., University of West Indies

Yefer Antonio Corro Rodriguez

B.A., Universidad Rafael Maria Baralt

Carolina María Garcia Jaramillo

B.A., Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana

Sandra Johana García Pinilla † * 

B.A., Javeriana University

Annabelle Akins Jones † *
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Sue Jin Kwon Kim

B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

April Lee Lucas Patton † *
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Jennifer C. Rathjen † * 

B.A., North Carolina State University

Arlen Beatriz Rivero

B.S., La Universidad del Zulia, Urbe

María Carolina Rivero Berrizbeitia

B.A., Universidad Metropolitana

Deisy Viviana Rueda Grande

B.A., Universidad Industrial de Santander

Yang Xiang

B.A., Wuhan Science and Technology University

† Member of Phi Kappa Phi, nation’s oldest, largest and most selective collegiate international honor society for all academic disciplines 

* Member of Kappa Delta Pi, international honor society in education

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