Virtual Convocation 2015 and the iSchool’s Amazing Graduates

iStudent Blog

Published: May 21, 2015

This year, the SJSU School of Information held its first virtual convocation, an online graduation ceremony for an online school. The convocation website gives you the chance to get to know iSchool graduates through graduate profiles, listen to distinguished speakers, and be a part of the celebration.

Convocation, which took place on Saturday, May 16, featured messages from graduate Darren Ilett, winner of the 2015 Ken Haycock Award for Exceptional Professional Promise, iSchool Director Dr. Sandra Hirsh, the dean of the SJSU College of Applied Sciences and Arts Dr. Alice Hines, and Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association Center for the Future of Libraries.

Each message is around ten minutes long, so you can listen and be inspired a little bit here or a little bit there or take in a full, awesome dose of inspiration and encouragement. Click on each person’s name in the paragraph above to take you directly to each speaker’s message, as well as being able to read a nice note from them (or a short bio in the case of Ilett and Figueroa).

Illet, who spoke from Albuquerque, New Mexico, shared his excitement and awe about the ability to gather in a virtual space to celebrate, though he acknowledged the awkward combination of his headset and his “poufy” graduation cap. On both Illet and our school director, it is a proud and endearing ensemble.

Illet paid homage to the graduating class and the task that each information professional has, no matter their environment or technological medium, of “honoring the past while shaping the future.”

He shared his personal experience and the decision to enter the program and pursue librarianship while acknowledging the diversity of each graduate student’s unique challenges. His description of the vast array of accomplishments by the graduating class was astonishing and overwhelming, but as he ran through the list, I kept thinking, “Yeah, I want to do that to!”

The graduating class has so much to be proud of— what they’ve done within their courses as well as what they had to juggle and manage outside of their coursework to earn their degrees.

A few of our great graduates include Julia Chambers, who was the first student writer for this blog. She covered New Student Blog topics (before it turned into the iStudent Blog), including financial support, students’ favorite blogs, as well as staff. During her graduate studies she also spent time as treasurer of the ALASC during the 2013–2014 academic year. Chambers is looking forward to working in a school library and continuing to study “how students conduct research and find books they love to read.” She is also looking forward to getting more involved in professional organizations—another benefit to having been involved in a student chapter while at the iSchool.

Eddy Hamelin has been featured on our blog as a peer mentor, or as Debbie Faires, director of online learning describes him, “the peer mentor of LIBR 203 peer mentors!” He plans to continue with his passion for history and archiving of military records at California’s Fort Ord, and starting his own information services business. Look for lots of great tips for new students in this post about peer mentors.

Graduate Desiree Lynn Wallen, who represents the iSchool’s MARA program, hopes to further her opportunities in the field of digital preservation. While in the program, Wallen enjoyed “seeing everyone’s different experiences in order to learn how to solve particular problems, as well as having the creative freedom to apply what I learned to a variety of projects.”

Be sure to check out the social media celebration page and chatter away your congrats with fellow students, catch up with former classmates and see what iSchool instructors have to say as they send off the grads of 2015. The graduate profiles are another great way to find your fellow classmates and write them a personal note of congratulations.

For related content on the blog and the iSchool website, check out:
Your Final Experience in the MLIS Program—E-Portfolio and Thesis Options

Great Class Options at the iSchool for the Summer and Fall

Career Changer Darren Ilett Builds a Model for Success

Graduating Students Recognized for Top Academic Performance and Exceptional Promise

graduation cap image courtesy of: David Castillo Dominici

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