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Graduate Commencement

Speakers

Commencement Speaker 2016: Kevin Kumashiro

Kevin K. Kumashiro, Ph.D., is currently the dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. (View the Chronicle of Higher Education’s profile here.) He is a leading expert on educational policy, school reform, teacher preparation, and educational equity and social justice, with a wide-ranging list of accomplishments nationally and internationally as a scholar, educator, leader, and advocate. He has taught in schools and colleges across the United States and abroad, and has served as a consultant for school districts, organizations, and state and federal agencies.

Dr. Kumashiro came to the University of San Francisco from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he served as professor and coordinator of Asian American Studies, Chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies, and Interim Co-Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy. He was also the primary investigator and project director of the UIC AANAPISI Initiative, which was funded by over $4 million from the U.S. Department of Education grants to support the recruitment, retention, and academic success of Asian American, Pacific Islander, and English-language learner students in higher education.

Dr. Kumashiro is an award-winning author and editor of ten books on education and social justice. In 2012-2014 he served as president of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). He is also a founding member of the Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE), which produces research briefs and organizes public events that aim to reframe the debate on public-school reforms in Chicago. His recent awards include the 2013 Mid-Career Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Teaching and Teacher Education Division, the 2014 Engaged Scholar Award from the Association for Asian American Studies, the 2014 Distinguished Scholar Award from the AERA Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans SIG, the 2015 Charles DeGarmo Lecture Award from the Society of Professors of Education, and the 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award from the AERA Scholars of Color.

 

Student Speaker 2016: Renee Ulrich

Professional Mental Health Counseling and Addictions, M.A. ’16

Renee Ulrich, Professional Mental Health and Addictions, M.A. '16Renee Ulrich, Professional Mental Health and Addictions, M.A. '16Originally from Arizona, Renee has called the Pacific Northwest home for the past 16 years. She has been involved in volunteer work and service for much of her life, spending summers working with persons with severe intellectual disabilities and later volunteering with the aging and elderly in a nursing home’s activities department. As a counselor, she has worked mostly in the public, non-profit sector in Portland, spending many years working with homeless and addicted populations who often also have mental health symptoms or chronic medical conditions. 

In 2008 she earned her first degree—an A.A.S. in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Portland Community College—and became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This would be the first in a long string of academic accomplishments; Renee went on to receive a B.A. in Human and Behavioral Studies from George Fox in 2012, and in 2013 was accepted into the Professional Mental Health and Addictions M.A. program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

“It seemed natural to continue my education and obtain a Masters degree. I chose Lewis & Clark for its emphasis on social change and justice as well as having the Professional Mental Health AND Addictions track,” she explains. “I wholeheartedly believe that integration of care is where the health and mental health professions are heading and I wanted to be as prepared as possible to be a part of integrated teams.”

Renee is a mother of three (eight if you count their dogs), and although she doesn’t get a lot of time to herself, enjoys reading, playing the piano, writing music, going to concerts, writing, trying to learn how to paint using you tube videos, video games, good food, and going on various trips with friends and family. She is looking forward to enjoying some down-time post graduation, and then continuing the career that she says chose her—serving those who just need a little extra care.