Commencement Speakers

Ceremony Address

Christopher SpanChristopher M. Span, PhD, received his PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2001. He is a Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership and Chief of Staff and Associate Chancellor for Administration and PreK-12 Initiatives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the past decade, he served as an Associate Dean in the College of Education and the Faculty Athletics Representative for Illinois and the Big Ten. He is a historian of education who specializes in the educational history of African Americans in the 19th century. He is the author of From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875, co-editor of Using Past as Prologue: Contemporary Perspectives on African American Educational History, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on the educational history of African Americans. He is the past Vice President of Division F (History of American Education) for the American Educational Research Association and past President of the History of Education Society. 

Undergraduate Student Speaker

Allison MascioAllison Mascio is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the School of Education’s Applied Developmental Psychology program. She also earned a minor in Gender Studies and Women’s Studies from The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Allison is also a School of Education Student Ambassador and enjoys helping out the department in their community, alumni, and fundraising efforts. In the future, she would like to become a licensed clinical psychologist, earn her doctorate, and go on to work with adolescents and their families.

Graduate Student Speaker

Tasha Jordan

Tasha Jordan is graduating with her Doctor of Education (EdD) in STEM Education. She served as the EdD Representative for the Council for Graduate School in the School Education (CGSE) for three years, and is also a Center for Urban Education Student Fellow. Tasha’s research focuses on the representation of Black girls in science curriculum and how Black girls see themselves as scientists as a result of culturally relevant teaching and pedagogy. She is passionate about helping to support students in realizing their potential and empowering them to be the best possible version of themselves. Tasha currently works as an 8th grade science teacher in the Ferguson Florissant School District in Missouri. In 2022, she was named a 2022 National STEM Scholar, one of ten middle school teachers from eight states selected to participate in the National STEM scholar program. Tasha is the 2023 Ferguson Florissant School District Teacher of the Year and the 2024 St. Louis Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Tasha earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Chatham University and a Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a proud member of the Eta Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are unable to attend in person, the graduation ceremony will be available to watch via livestream on YouTube.

Watch on YouTube

  • Academic regalia is required for graduating students in order for them to be able to participate in the ceremony.
  • Only students in full academic regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and hood) will be permitted to participate. The only exception is for graduates in military uniform.
  • Students may order their academic regalia through the University Store on Fifth. Visit the store website for more information. Undergraduate students may also visit the University commencement website for additional information.

  • Students should arrive for the ceremony between 5:00 – 5:15 p.m. Please do not arrive before 5 p.m.
  • They should enter through the main entrance of the Fitzgerald Field House.
  • Students should arrive already dressed in their academic regalia.

  • Once the student arrives, they should report to the line-up area and check in with their marshal (the staff or faculty member assigned to organize the students).
  • The student will receive their name card (for name announcing) in a bag on each graduate’s seats.

  • Guests should arrive at 5:30 p.m.
  • After arriving, guests should proceed to the bleachers area of the Fitzgerald Field House.

  • When the student completes their RSVP for the ceremony, they should indicate if any accommodations are required for individuals with disabilities.
  • Wheelchairs will be available on site.
  • There will be an ASL interpreter during the main ceremony.

  • Paid parking is available at the OC Lots across the street from the Fitzgerald Field House. There are also a limited number of metered parking spots on the street.
  • Additional parking is available at various lots on the Pitt campus.

  • There will be a photographer on site who will take pictures of the graduating students.
  • The graduating students will be emailed a link to the main picture gallery where they can download pictures.

The University holds a central ceremony for undergraduate students. However, there is not a University-wide ceremony for graduate students.

The date of that ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 28th at the Petersen Events Center. For more information regarding the undergraduate ceremony, please visit the University of Pittsburgh Commencement site.

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