On Monday, May 21, the University of Maryland College of Education gathered at Reckord Armory at 4 pm to fete the College’s new graduates with a commencement ceremony. More than 250 graduates—including undergraduate, masters and doctoral students—received their diplomas while family and friends cheered their academic milestones.
Dean Jennifer King Rice presided over the ceremony, remarking on education’s fundamental role in society and congratulating students, along with their families and friends, for their success in earning their degrees.
Associate Professor Donald J. Bolger served as the ceremony’s grand marshal, while Ms. Linda Pieplow, president of the College’s alumni chapter, welcomed graduates as newly-minted University of Maryland alumni. Glenn Kasten-Sportes, a program coordinator in the Office of Student Services, ably announced the graduates as they processed across the stage to receive their diplomas.
This year, three student speakers presented at commencement. Amy Fuhrmann, who was earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, provided the first student address of the ceremony; she was followed by David Curry, Jr., who was receiving his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and Policy. Michelle Sauer, who Dean Rice remarked had done a fantastic job as the student speaker at the main university commencement, spoke as the undergraduate student speaker. Ms. Sauer, a double major in English Language and Literature and Secondary Education, congratulated her fellow undergraduates for completing their student teaching and their EdTPA evaluations and receiving their bachelor’s degrees.
After the ceremony was concluded with a benediction, the graduates and their families and friends recessed outside for a reception held outside the Reckord Armory on a beautiful spring day.
College of Education Student Speakers
Doctoral Student Speaker
Amy Fuhrmann received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She is completing her clinical internship at the Catholic University of America’s Counseling Center and previously has completed clinical training at the UMD Counseling Center and the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic and Research Lab. With a love for teaching, research, and practice, Amy worked as a Graduate Research Fellow and Graduate Assistant for the Counseling Center Research Unit and the Dept. of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. For these roles, Amy received the University’s 2017 Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award. During her doctoral study, Amy has published 3 peer-reviewed articles and given 20 presentations at national and regional conferences. She has held several elected leadership positions at the University, including as the doctoral representative for the COE Faculty Senate, Secretary for the COE Graduate Student Association, and Campus representative for the APAGS Advocacy Coordinating Team. Her research and practice interests include the connection between mental and physical health, factors that contribute to progress in therapy, visible and invisible identities, meaning-making, and supervision and training. Prior to her doctoral study, Amy received a B.A. in Journalism from Ithaca College and worked as a newspaper reporter. She then worked as a grant writer for the Univ. of Pennsylvania while earning her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Villanova Univ. in 2012. Following graduation, Amy plans to open her own practice and serve as a clinician for the greater Washington, D.C. area while continuing to enjoy hiking, skiing, scrapbooking, writing and exciting new adventures with her husband, daughter, family and friends.
Doctoral Student Speaker
Dr. David Curry Jr. graduates with a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership and Policy. He began his professional career with Prince George’s County Public Schools as a mathematics instructor. He subsequently obtained his certification in school administration from Catholic University and began his administrative career as an assistant principal, before becoming the principal of Charles Carroll Middle School. During this tenure, Dr. Curry collaborated with stakeholders to bring about changes in the culture of teaching and learning by advocating, nurturing and sustaining an educational program conducive to student learning and professional growth. He is committed to serving communities impacted by poverty and has served the district in schools that have continually fought failure around student achievement. In addition, Dr. Curry is a certified NAESP Principal Mentor and Gallup Strengthfinders coach. He currently serves as an Instructional Director in PGCPS where he supports schools as a principal supervisor.
Undergraduate Student Speaker
Michelle Sauer graduates with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a double major in English Language and Literature and Secondary Education. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she has been very active in the campus community. Ms. Sauer worked in the UMD Writing Center as a tutor and served as a resident assistant for two years in Oakland Hall, handling everything from roommate conflicts to events on physical and emotional health, diversity and academic success. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, and won the 2016 UMD Library Award for Undergraduate Research for an essay on identity in Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel “Passing.” This past year, Ms. Sauer was a teaching intern at William H. Farquhar Middle School in Olney, Md., writing lesson plans, grading papers and passing along a love of reading to seventh graders. She is excited about mentoring the next generation of students and looks forward to working as a middle school English teacher in Maryland starting in the fall.