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At Second Master's Ceremony, Grandin Urges Education to Embrace Non-Traditional Thinkers

At Second Master's Ceremony, Grandin Urges Education to Embrace Non-Traditional Thinkers
Graduates in Behavioral Sciences, Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Education Policy and Social Analysis and Health and Behavior Studies filled St. John’s Cathedral for TC’s second master’s degree ceremony on Tuesday morning. President Susan Fuhrman spoke about two graduates: Rebecca Chad, (Clinical Psychology), who studied the impact of popular social media on the developing minds and emotions of adolescents; and Carly Lagrotteria (Politics and Education) who plans to start a public-relations firm to give a voice to educational organizations that can’t afford full-priced services.

To Chad, an aspiring therapist whom she quoted as professing a love for psychoanalysis because it “takes its time,” Fuhrman said, “Rebecca, those are refreshing words in this day and age. May your journey lead to wonderful discoveries for you and those whose lives you touch.”

Fuhrman said that Lagrotteria had “merged her passions for public education and politics” in TC’s Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis.

“Carly says TC has given her the strategies and tools to make positive change,” she said. “And, she adds, ‘I’m coming away with some very smart people on speed dial.’”

Colorado State University professor Temple Grandin, the world-renowned authority on animal behavior and an advocate for the rights of those with autism, received TC’s Medal for Distinguished Service. Grandin issued a sharp plea to American schools and universities to welcome back into the classroom often ostracized creative, nontraditional thinkers who invent and make useful things. “Who do you think built this cathedral?” she asked rhetorically. “I’m going to bet you the cathedrals were built by a lot of kids that are in special ed today. The dyslexic kids, the ADHD kids, the mildly autistic kids.”

Student speaker Dana Daugherty (Psychological Counseling) said she had grown “in, up and out” during her two years at TC, through interaction with her peers, her professors, and her profession. Daugherty said she had taken to heart something a professor and mentor once told her: “Don’t ask yourself, ‘what do I want to do’? Instead, ask, who do you want to be like?” She urged her fellow graduates to “be willing to learn from those around you; teach and be willing to be taught; and leave your legacy wherever you go.”

Read At First Master's Ceremony, Nieto Urges Graduates to "Start Where Students Are At"

Published Thursday, May. 22, 2014