UMSL celebrates 2020 and 2021 graduates with six in-person launch ceremonies this weekend – UMSL Daily


The UMSL will hold its first in-person launch ceremonies in two years on Saturday and Sunday at the Mark Twain Athletic Center. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri-St. Louis will confer nearly 1,000 degrees this weekend as he holds his first in person opening ceremonies in two years.

UMSL has invited students who graduated in 2020 and spring and summer 2021 to return to participate in the festivities in person – something they haven’t had the opportunity to do over the past few years. past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For some of you, those preparing for the start and all that will follow, this is a real turning point – a time to celebrate, take a deep breath and feel both pride and excitement,” said declared the chancellor. Kristin Sobolik wrote in a letter to students last week. “I hope you stop and understand everything. You have earned it. In fact, considering how unique and trying the last times have been, I would say you more than deserved it, and I want you to know how proud and impressed I am with your courage. Know that not everything you have accomplished is easy. You have done something extraordinary during extraordinary times.

Start weekend will feature six ceremonies – three Saturdays and three Sundays – at the Mark Twain Sports Center.

UMSL will begin honoring its graduates with two ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences.

The first ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday will celebrate graduates of the arts, humanities, math and science. Toni Douaihy, the vice-president and deputy general counsel of Macy’s Inc., will provide the address.

Douaihy, UMSL graduate with a license in the story and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1991, began her career as an attorney with the legal counsel’s office at May Department Stores after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis in 1994. Initially her legal practice understood the areas of employment, operations, real estate, corporate law and litigation. After the merger of The May Department Stores Company with Macy’s in 2005, Douaihy became a member of Macy’s legal department, and she was promoted to vice president and legal assistant in 2009. She is responsible for managing employment law functions. and corporate benefits, which cover the business in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and internationally. Douaihy was a member of Board of Directors of the UMSL Alumni Association since 2018 and is currently its president. She is also a past president and current member of the board of directors of the St. Louis branch of the Association of Corporate Counsel and a member of the St. Louis Forum, which brings together women executives and professionals who have distinguished themselves through significant accomplishments. in their fields of predilection.

The second ceremony at 1 p.m. will recognize graduates in Social Sciences, General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies. Marcela manjarrez hawn, Senior Vice-President and Director of Communications at Centene Company, will provide the address.

Hawn oversees all strategic communications, media and corporate public relations and acts as the primary media spokesperson. It also manages the Centene Charitable Foundation. Prior to joining Centene, she was Vice President of Public Affairs for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Hawn received a BA in Economics from UMSL and an MA in economy from the University of Washington. She sits on the boards of directors or as an advisory board member of many local and national organizations. She has also been recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the most influential businesswomen and a diverse business leader. Latino Leaders magazine recognized her as one of the Top Latino Executives in Corporate America, one of the Top Latinos in C-Suite and one of the Top Latinos in Corporate America.

The final ceremony on Saturday at 6 p.m. will honor the graduates of the College of Nurses, School of Social Work and the UMSL / Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program. Missouri State Senator Brian Williams will provide the address.

Missouri Senator Brian WilliamsWilliams was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2018 and represents the 14th Senate District in St. Louis County. He grew up in Ferguson, Missouri, and is the first black man to serve in the Missouri Senate in two decades. The study of government and public health policies led Williams to pursue a career in public service. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in public administration and legal studies from Washington University, he worked for several years in the United States Congress as a member of Congress. He oversaw the rollout of the Affordable Care Act Marketplace in Missouri as the ACA coordinator in Congress. Williams sits on the boards of directors and advisory boards of many local institutions. He is also proud to be a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

On Sunday there will be two ceremonies to recognize the graduates of the College of Business Administration. The first ceremony, at 8:30 a.m., will celebrate undergraduates, and Akeem Shannon, the founder and CEO of Flipstik, will provide the address.

Akeem ShannonShannon, a native of St. Louis, became a top seller at several Fortune 500 companies after losing his scholarship to Howard University and returning home. He had saved nearly $ 100,000 in five years after leaving school, but decided to quit his job in the fall of 2017 to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. This led to the creation and development of Flipstik, an accessory that attaches to the back of a cell phone and allows it to stick to almost any flat surface, allowing the user to watch or capture content. hands-free. Shannon appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and was a member of the First Cohort of UMSL acceleration‘s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accelerator, receiving a $ 50,000 non-dilutive capital injection and business training that will help make Flipstik available in major retailers starting in 2022.

The second ceremony, at 1 p.m., will honor the masters and doctoral graduates of the College of Business Administration. Opal Jones, President and CEO of DOORS, will provide the address.

Opal JonesJones has served on several state and local advisory committees, including the Missouri Housing Trust Fund and the St. Louis Regional Health Commission since joining DOORWAYS, a nonprofit interfaith organization in St. Louis that provides housing. and related support services for people living with HIV. /AIDS. She is also the past president of the National AIDS Housing Coalition in Washington, DC Jones is a two-time graduate of UMSL, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management and organizational behavior in 2000 and a MBA in 2017. She received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 and was honored with the C-Suite, 40 Under 40 and Diverse Business Leaders awards from the St. Louis Business Journal. She also received the Spirit of Justice Award from the St. Louis Bar Association.

The weekend’s final ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. and reward the graduates of the College of Education. Brittany Hogan, head of the Human Service Leadership Center at Delmar DivINE, will provide the address.

Brittany HoganHogan, originally from Chicago, is an award-winning educator with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hampton University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington. In his current role, Hogan helps create a vibrant, innovative and collaborative community that enhances the value of colocation for tenants and the community as a whole. Previously, she was Education Equity and Diversity Director for the Rockwood School District. In this capacity, she led the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation program, managed district social workers and socio-emotional behavior specialists, and created the district equity plan, “The Beloved Community”. Hogan has developed and supported district and school initiatives for staff and students around educational equity, inclusion and social justice.

All graduates and their guests are required to wear masks when attending this weekend’s launch ceremonies at the Mark Twain Athletic Center.

Early fall calendar 2021

Saturday, December 18, 2021:

8:30 am – College of Arts and Sciences I – Arts, Letters, Mathematics and Sciences
1:00 p.m. – College of Arts and Sciences II – BGS, BIS, BLS and Social Sciences
6 p.m. – College of Nursing, School of Social Work, Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program

Sunday December 19, 2021:

8:30 am – College of Business I – Undergraduate degrees
1:00 p.m. – College of Business II – Higher Diplomas (Master and Doctorate)
6:00 p.m. – College of Education

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