Los Angeles cohort celebrate completion of their Master's degree

The Los Angeles Cohort Recognition Ceremony was held on Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Glendale Public Central Library Auditorium located at 222 East Harvard Street, Glendale, CA 91205.  18 students participated in the ceremony, and the entire auditorium that seats 200 was full with supportive family and friends of the graduates.

The speaker was Yolanda DeRamus, Chief Deputy County Librarian for County of Los Angeles Public Library. Yolanda presented a remarkably powerful call for leadership to our graduates.  Her speech was dynamic and inspiring. The marshal was Juan Garcia, Immigration Services and Instruction Librarian for Glendale Public Library.  Dr. Michelle Villagran, Lecturer in the IS Department and also a UNT graduate, along with Mindy Kittay, Library Director at Altadena Library District and 2006 UNT graduate, did the honor of hooding the graduates. The two student elected speakers were Gaio Baker, who has already been promoted before completing her degree to the position of Strategic Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Southern California Libraries, and Erin Fletcher Singley who is the Local History Room Librarian at Whittier Public Library. While completing her degree, Giao was the recipient of the OCLC/LITA scholarship, awarded by ALA, and was also an ALA 2016-2017 Spectrum scholarship recipient.

There were two very special reasons for celebration at this year’s ceremony. Firstly, every participant in the program was a UNT master’s degree graduate who has achieved success after graduating from the program. Secondly, while each graduate has their own special story, that of Tim Anderson’s stood out for most. Tim was the son of Mary T. Anderson, who was a library administrator for many years at the County of Los Angeles libraries.  For many years, she hoped that her son Tim would go to graduate school. She eventually got her wish when Tim enrolled in our program in 2015.  Shortly after, she was diagnosed with cancer.  One evening, Tim’s mother accompanied him to an advising session with Dr. Yvonne Chandler, Director of the Greater Los Angeles Cohort. She stayed for the entire evening, helping to advise and talking with the students.  Sadly, she passed late last year.  This graduation was very special because our speaker, Yolanda DeRamus, was actually Tim’s mother’s boss.  When Yolanda shook Tim’s hand after he received his diploma folder, she gave him a big hug and they both thought of his Mom, and how very proud she would have been in that moment. This story alone added to a very special graduation celebration for this cohort. 

A reception was held after the ceremony in honor of the graduates and their families.

For photos from the event, visit our Flickr page . 

To view clips from the event:

Giao speech - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Ad8ipE1obPQ1RhRnpRWmZSRHM/view?usp=sharing

Erin speech - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Ad8ipE1obPSTZ6TXc2NWdWRmM/view?usp=sharing

Yolanda speech - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Ad8ipE1obPS3ZwX2FWLW1uY0k/view?usp=sharing

Conferring degrees - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Ad8ipE1obPcGZQR29QbHdGTzA/view?usp=sharing

Closing - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Ad8ipE1obPTE02NTBtX3B4WlU/view?usp=sharing