West Virginia University will honor December graduates at its annual convocation ceremony, scheduled for Sunday (Dec. 12).

More than 1,500 students are expected to graduate in December. The convocation ceremony will be held in the WVU Coliseum at 1:30 p.m.

Ruth Kershner, professor, registered nurse and nationally credentialed health education specialist, will address graduates at the ceremony.

Known for her exceptional teaching, Kershner teaches both undergraduate and graduate programs in school and public health. She is affiliated with WVU’s Department of Community Medicine.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to speak with our students as they leave our school for the next path in their journey,” Kershner said. “I know I speak on behalf of all our faculty and staff when I say how privileged we are to have been part of their lives these past few years. There is no doubt that students have a great impact on educators and, indeed, keep us motivated to provide them with opportunities in education, research and service.”

She was recognized as West Virginia’s professor of the year in 2009 as the recipient of the West Virginia Carnegie Award for Teaching. She has also been honored as West Virginia Health Education Teacher of the Year, and she received the Robert C. Byrd School of Medicine Distinguished Teacher Award, West Virginia Health Education Council Innovative Health Programming Award, PATCH Health Advocacy Award and others.

Kershner has presented health-relation topics, in particular violence in the lives of women, at local, state, national and international conferences. She has twice been recognized as one of Monongalia County’s Most Influential People.

Nursing Associate Professor Kari Sand-Jecklin will serve as the grand marshal to begin the ceremony.

Information for graduates, guests

While not a formal commencement, the convocation honors those students who complete their degree requirements midyear.

The ceremony provides them with an opportunity to walk across the stage as their names are read, shake hands with WVU’s president and other administrators, and receive a letter of congratulations.

Diplomas will be mailed in January after grades are confirmed with the Office of the University Registrar. Degrees will be conferred on Dec. 29.

A live webcast of the convocation will be available on the event Web site (http://decemberconvocation.wvu.edu). The link will be made available 15 minutes prior to the convocation start time. Users must have an updated version of the Flash plugin to view the webcast.

All students participating in the ceremony are asked to register online at http://decemberconvocation.wvu.edu/registration . The deadline to register is Dec. 8. An estimated 700 students are expected to participate in this year’s event.

All degree candidates should wear caps, gowns and hoods, if appropriate. Official regalia are available at the WVU Bookstore, 304-293-7467.

Special seating is available for guests with physical limitations, as well as guests requiring the services of the interpreters on the platform.

Call the Office of Disability Services at 304-293-6700 by noon on Dec. 10 to reserve special seating.

Most University parking and the Mountainlair garage downtown will be free and open to visitors after 5 p.m. Dec. 10 (no permits will be necessary). Parking is available at the WVU Coliseum, and the Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT, will run Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Some schools, colleges and departments host their own events surrounding December Convocation. These are listed at http://decemberconvocation.wvu.edu/ , which will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

At the same site, students and their families can find lodging information, directions and important links that will help them as they are making their plans.

Updates are also available on the WVU Graduation Facebook page.

Note: GradImages has been contracted to provide quality graduation photos for each student. Proofs will be e-mailed to graduates following the ceremony (within 24 hours), and prints will be mailed in the days following the event. Check http://decemberconvocation.wvu.edu/ for ordering information.



CONTACT: Stephanie Ballard Conrad, University Events
304-293-4674, Stephanie.Ballard-Conrad@mail.wvu.edu