College of Education graduates join ranks of 38,881 proud college alumni

College of Education graduates join ranks of 38,881 proud college alumni

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College of Education graduates were all smiles as they celebrated Commencement on the University Green.

Three hundred and sixty-one Rowan University joined the ranks of 38,881 College of Education alumni on Wednesday, May 9, as they accepted their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees during the college’s annual Commencement ceremony on the University Green.

“Our hope is that during your time in the College of Education you have engaged in transformative social justice and equity work that will result in positive, equitable educational opportunities for all you will serve,” Dean Monika Shealey told the graduates.

“This is the right time—and you are the right professionals—to bring about the renewal we so desperately need in public education.

(To view photos of the ceremony and all Commencement activities this week, check out Rowan on Facebook.) 

In congratulating the graduates, Shealey noted that the senior class spent roughly 201,040 hours working in the field this academic year.

“That,” Shealey said, “is something to celebrate.”

Commencement speaker Marilyn Gonyo ’65, who worked in higher education as a professor teaching graduate courses in learning disabilities and special education and served as an education program specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education, reminisced about her own graduation from the University 53 years ago as she addressed the Class of 2018.

Her parents, she recalled, held factory jobs and she was not sure that her dream of working as a teacher was within her reach. She proved it was, she told the graduates, emphasizing that their ambitions also can be realized.

“Dream your dreams. Work toward your goals. And value your education. Everything is possible,” Gonyo said.

Gonyo will receive the Rowan University Alumni Association Lifetime Service Award next month in recognition of her dedicated, distinguished service to the University, the teaching profession and her community.

Also during the ceremony, two retiring faculty members were recognized for distinguished service to the college.

Richard Fopeano, program coordinator for the Bachelor of Arts in Education with specialization in Teacher Certification in Health & Physical Education, is retiring after 25 years with Rowan. Former dean Burt Sisco,the program coordinator for the Master’s in Higher Education Program, is retiring after a 20-year career in the college.

The Class of 2018 included 37 students who received their doctoral hoods as they earned their Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. This year, the program, which graduated 37 doctoral students at Commencement, celebrated its 20th anniversary. It also joined the Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate, a distinguished consortium that promotes excellence in the Education Doctorate.