GSE honors 2011 graduates


Over 250 GSE students participated in the 2011 annual hooding ceremony held Friday, June 10 at the Peter Stott Center. GSE students comprised the largest pool of graduate-level degrees on campus. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was PSU President Wim Wiewel.

Five GSE students will take home exceptional university honors.

  • Stephanie (Blackman) Stokamer, EdD – President’s Commendation Award
  • Tyler Green, BTP, MEd – President’s Excellence Award and President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Charles Huff, GTEP, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Denissia Withers, LECL, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Kjerstin Brinton, GTEP, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

Stephanie Stokamer, a doctoral graduate in the Educational Leadership program, has earned a University Commendation Award. She is recognized by the university for academic excellence, and for “engagement in successful scholarly activities.” Dr. Stokamer has worked in higher education at the community college level and also at PSU, where for the last three years she taught in and assisted with development of a Graduate Certificate in Service-Learning and Community-Based Learning for the Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) department. Her colleagues in the GSE describe her as ‘brilliant.’ “Indeed, in my twelve years at PSU, Stephanie is the most outstanding doctoral student to ever graduate from the postsecondary education specialization,” says Chair Christine Cress chairperson for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. “Her intelligence and critical thinking, teaching and advising capabilities, and passionate commitment to campus-community learning and improvement are unparalleled.”

Tyler Green collected three distinguished awards, including the university-wide President’s Excellence Award, naming him the top winner for the master’s category. Previous accomplishments include a PSU Laurels Award and an Ames Scholarship. He entered the PSU program through the Bilingual Teacher Pathway (BTP) program, a school district partnership that identifies bilingual classroom assistants as potential teachers. His experience as a classroom assistant in the David Douglas School District in English as a second language and special education made him a highly qualified candidate for the PSU program. He has a strong background in East Asian culture, and learned to speak Nepali in order to assist the Portland Nepalese community. He also volunteers to help Bhutanese immigrants and has been an active supporter of their community in Portland. He was nominated by Professor Esperanza De La Vega, coordinator of the BTP program. “In my book, ‘community engagement’ is the people-to-people connections, working to make the world a better place,” she says. “Tyler is doing just that in the classroom and out in the community.”

In addition to the GSE graduates, this spring saw the largest PSU graduating class ever with approximately 5,920 degrees awarded, including 3,825 bachelor’s degrees, 1,735 master’s degrees and 60 doctoral degrees. The undergraduate graduating class has more than doubled since 1993-94, when 1,750 bachelor’s degrees were awarded.

We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these candidates and we wish all our graduates the best of luck as they begin their careers as teachers, counselors, and adult educators.

2011 Academic Hooding Ceremony program; insert

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