by Claire Miller
Doctoral graduate Stephanie Eberts knew she wanted to teach in a counseling department when she applied to the Counselor Education and Practice Program in Georgia State University’s College of Education.
She wanted to work with Joanna White, chair of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, and other faculty members in preparing for this career path, and her time in the department has afforded her many learning experiences that shaped the way she views school counseling.
“This program was not what I expected, but in a really great way,” Eberts explained. “I’ve had the opportunity to do incredible work and my learning growth was exponential.”
After four years of hard work, Eberts walked across the stage at the College of Education’s Fall Convocation Dec. 14, celebrating the culmination of her degree program with other Summer and Fall 2010 graduates.
“It’s amazing that we’ve made it here,” said Eberts, an August 2010 graduate who now works as an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology at Texas State University – San Marcos. “My professors truly prepared me to work in this field.”
Approximately 350 people attended the ceremony and watched as 119 of the college’s graduates walked across the stage in the Peachtree Ballroom at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta.
Some traveled from out of town to see their friends and relatives graduate, like LaToya Belton’s brother, who flew in that day from Daytona Beach, Fla., to join Belton’s mother and other family members in celebrating the completion of her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree.
“It’s surreal,” she said of graduation. “While you’re in school, you think, ‘I’m going to graduate one day,’ but that day seems so far away. And now it’s here.”
In addition to receiving recognition for their accomplishments, the graduates also heard from guest speaker Cynthia Kuhlman, the College of Education’s 2010 Distinguished Alumnus.
Kuhlman (M.Ed. ’74, Ph.D. ’80), who currently serves as director of educational achievement for the Cousins Family Foundation, Inc., gave the graduates a glimpse into her career in education and offered them three pieces of advice to consider as they make their next steps into the working world.
“First, confirm a vision that all children can learn at the highest levels,” she said. “My second challenge to you is to continue your education and professional development throughout your life. Remember that those who dare to teach must never cease to learn. And finally, I want to quote Gandhi, who said, ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’”
As graduates of the college of education, these students are now members of the college’s Alumni Club, which brings with it the opportunity to network with other educators and continue their professional development.
“We have a diverse group of members, from teachers in schools to faculty and staff in the college,” said Curtis Douglass (M.Ed. ’99), assistant principal at Shiloh High School and a member of the COE Alumni Club. “It’s one of the most fulfilling experiences to be a part of an alumni club because it helped me transition into teaching.”
Following the ceremony, graduates and their families and friends enjoyed desserts at a light reception in their honor.
To view photos from the ceremony, click here.
To view video of the ceremony, click here.