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College of Education Hooding Ceremony Recognizes Graduating Master’s and Doctoral Students

August 12, 2015

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Thirty-four students who graduated with their master’s or doctoral degrees during summer commencement on August 8 were recognized at the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Education Hooding Ceremony, held one day prior in the University Center.

The hooding ceremony highlighted the achievements of graduating students and the role that family, friends and faculty played in their success. Faculty members placed hoods over the graduates’ heads in a symbolic recognition of the transition from student to scholar.

“I’m proud of the students, and I’m very proud to be a part of what it is that they are joining,” said Arthur Hernandez, Dean of the College of Education. “I look forward to the contributions that I know all of them will make to their professions, the people they work with, and to society in general.”

Historically, scholars in higher education settings wore robes as a daily uniform, with hoods for warmth. Over time, the size, shape and lining of the hood came to signify a scholar’s academic rank. Today, the hood’s colors represent a graduate’s university and major. The length of the hood relates to rank: the longer hoods of doctoral students represent their additional years of scholarship. The hooding ceremony has been a favorite tradition in the College of Education since 2002.

 “It feels wonderful to be receiving my master’s degree in counseling,” said Lawrence Nickollof, who previously worked as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and with the Family Night Out program at the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to attend a traditional university, and working and making friends with my fellow students has been rewarding.”

After a welcoming address, each student was individually called to the stage to read brief passages. Two professors of the student’s choice stood on either side of the student and placed the hood over his or her head, welcoming them as a fellow scholar.

The graduates being hooded were:

Master’s in Counseling: Alejia Cain, Amanda Castaneda, Claudia Elizondo, Esther Gonzalez-Powell, Kelsey Hollis, Nickollof Lawrence, Crystal Martinez, Sarah Miller, Sherron Niolet, Laurie Pena, Danielle Pester, Jill Roper

Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction: Joseph Akers, Yanita Alaniz

Master’s in Educational Administration: Meranda Garcia, Carmen Hockmuller, David Kring, Brittany Rubbo

Master’s in Kinesiology: Julie Baker, Jamie Duke, Christopher Garrett, Janel Johnson, Byron Pottorff

Master’s in Reading: Olivia Escochea

Master’s in Special Education: Whitney Bailey, Cynthia Bonifer, Cadeen James-McBride, Sanikan Wattanawongwan, Jennifer Weir

Doctoral in Counselor Education: T. Kizito Nwachukwu, Jose Rogelio Palacios III, Helena Rindone

Doctoral in Educational Leadership: Tiana Zell McCoy Pearce