On Friday, May 1st, the social work faculty at Ohio University Chillicothe hosted a virtual recognition ceremony for the 2020 social work grads on the Chillicothe campus. Stacey Saunders-Adams, Assistant Professor, and Mary Brown, Lecturer, prepared a virtual program and certificates of excellence for each student. They also delivered a graduation cap and 2020 citron tassel, the program, and certificate to each student during the days prior to the event. The event began at 5 p.m.
All students logged in to Zoom and were displayed on the “brady bunch” style screen. The ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook so the students could have as many family and friends watching as they wanted. Interim Dean Nicely joined the event and provided opening remarks and conferred degrees at the conclusion.
During the ceremony, the faculty recognized the two outstanding social work graduates, Andrea Mitchel and Khadija Ibrahim, and called the names of every social work program senior. Two of the social work grads, Andrea Mitchel and Jensyn Cousins, were nominated as commencement speakers, in which they both delivered their proposed commencement speeches to their fellow graduates during the virtual ceremony. Brown delivered comments and Saunders-Adams prepared a video to honor her, as this was Brown’s last graduation ceremony with OHIO Chillicothe. Saunders-Adams also provided comments following the video.
Saunders-Adams remarked, “All in all, it was a perfect way to celebrate our graduates during these uncertain times. All but one of our seniors attended, and last I checked we had over 1.2K views of our video on Facebook. So many of our students’ friends and families watched and made beautiful comments to our seniors.”
She continued, “Graduation is emotional for everyone. For those who are graduating, it’s a wonderful celebration of an incredible accomplishment, and, at times, a scary beginning. For those of us who had a part in the process, it’s a proud moment, but also bittersweet because we have so many wonderful people who we care greatly about that are going into the world, unprotected by us. Our students are so important to us and we want nothing but to see them succeed.”
Mitchel, who was also selected as this year’s graduating class student speaker, is very grateful for caring faculty like Saunders-Adams and Brown. She shared, “It was pure kindness for Stacey and Mary to do this for us. They truly care about each and every one of us and it’s shown through their acts of kindness throughout this past year. I personally can’t thank them enough for everything they did for me.”