Mother congratulates daughter at Cal U Commencement.Mother congratulates daughter at Cal U Commencement.

EMINENT ALUMNI TO ADDRESS WINTER GRADUATES

Tweet about Commencement, before and after the ceremony, with the #calucomm hashtag.

Commencement will be held for the first time in the new Convocation Center on Dec. 16 and 17.

Graduate students will receive their master’s degrees and be vested in their academic hoods at 7 p.m. Friday.

Undergraduates will be awarded their diplomas at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Both ceremonies will take place in the arena of the new Convocation Center, which offers comfortable seating for family members and guests. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. Friday and at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Free parking is available on campus for graduating students and their guests. University Police will direct traffic, and Student Ambassadors will be on hand to guide visitors through the new building.

Cal U’s 173rd Commencement recognizes students who completed their studies in August and December.

Nearly 720 undergraduates and more than 730 graduate students will receive their degrees, although not all will attend the ceremonies.

Commencement details for students and families.

CUTV will air live coverage of undergraduate Commencement at the new Convocation Center starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Undergraduate ceremonies will be re-broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday on CUTV.

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Barbara Chandler-Wright ’88

Portrait of Dr. Barbara Chandler-Wright '88A longtime educator with a background in social work and counseling, Dr. Barbara Chandler-Wright ’88 volunteers with a nonprofit organization that coordinates services for criminal offenders as they return to the community.

Dr. Chandler-Wright is the former executive director of East End United Community Center, which provides homework assistance and a safe, educationally stimulating environment for children and teens in Uniontown, Pa. The community center also offers programming for seniors and a Caring Corner for grieving children, adolescents and their families.

Before joining the community center in 2008, Dr. Chandler-Wright was director of Library and Learning Services at Community College of Allegheny County. In that role she managed the operation, faculty and staff of CCAC’s 200,000-volume library and a Learning Assistance Center that provided some 4,000 tutorial sessions to more than 600 students each year.

Dr. Chandler-Wright also has been director of the Learning Assistance Center and Advisement Center at CCAC, and an admissions coordinator at Westmoreland County Community College. She began her professional career as a case manager at Fayette County Mental Health/Mental Retardation and later at Goodwill Industries of Fayette County.

In addition to teaching at the community colleges, Dr. Chandler-Wright has taught graduate-level courses at Carlow University, in Pittsburgh, and at California University of Pennsylvania.

Her professional affiliations include membership in the American Association of University Women, the National Association of College Advisors, and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. A lifetime member of the NAACP, she has been a member and facilitator with the Black Conference on Higher Education since 1995.

Dr. Chandler-Wright earned both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and teaching certification in secondary English and language arts at Marietta College, Ohio. She holds a Master of Social Work from West Virginia University, a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Cal U, and a Doctor of Education in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Teri Gass ’77

Portrait of Teri GassAn insurance industry specialist for more than 25 years, Teri Gass ’77 is a director at Aon Global Risk Consulting in Atlanta, Ga.

As a member of the Aon Global Risk Consulting Business Development team, she is responsible for developing pre- and post-loss mitigation strategies for major corporations. She manages partnerships that bring a return on investment to the client, and she is actively involved in project and account management in relation to risk control and claims.

Ms. Gass brings a financial focus to her work with clients. She has multi-line claims experience and special expertise in Workers’ Compensation issues.

During her career Ms. Gass has worked in marketing and as a manager of customer service for insurance accounts throughout the southeastern United States, including 40 nationally ranked accounts.

She has managed critical relationships with external clients and between departments within her firm. A certified teacher of motivational and coaching courses for supervisors and front-line workers, she has developed improvement plans and audited both technical proficiency and interpersonal skills for employees.

Ms. Gass is a native of South Heights, Pa. Before moving to Atlanta in 1981 she worked as a child advocate for Beaver County Children and Youth Services, then entered the insurance industry as a multi-line claims adjuster for a major carrier.

Ms. Gass earned executive secretarial certification at Bradford Business School in Pittsburgh before enrolling at Cal U, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in political science and sociology. She also served as president of Cal U’s chapter of the Delta Zeta sorority.

A licensed broker and counselor in Georgia, Ms. Gass has been a chartered property and casualty underwriter (CPCU) since 1990. She and her husband, Jim, have a daughter, Dina, who is a sophomore at Louisiana State University.