Class of 2016 Graduation Reception Dinner and Commencement Ceremony

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL (MAT – TESOL) online programs visited the University of Southern California campus May 12-13 to celebrate and participate in the USC Rossier Class of 2016 commencement ceremony. 

The festivities started the day before commencement with a reception at Border Grill in downtown Los Angeles. Graduates and their guests mingled with their peers and professors, indulged at a make-your-own taco bar, and danced alongside a DJ playing tunes on the terrace.


From left: Rossier graduates Allison Ross, Charlie Ng, and Assistant Professor Dr. Susanne Foulk.


From left: MAT graduates Megan Blom, Brittany Coe, Jamie Buffkin, and Sarah Vendal.

From left: Rossier graduates Laura Perkowski, Brent Abelson, and Barnaby Butterfield.


MAT and MAT – TESOL chairman Dr. John Pascarella, and adjunct assistant professor Dr. Marie Gironda, take a moment to catch up with each other. Pascarella is based at the USC campus in Los Angeles while Gironda is based in New York.

While completing their programs online, many students developed strong connections with faculty and staff. MAT graduate Sheila Skemp shares a moment of celebration with her student support advisor Jason Zimpfer. While they have formed a strong bond, this was the first time they met face to face.

The terrace at the Border Grill was the setting for many celebratory toasts for graduates and their favorite professors and faculty members.

From left: MAT graduate Shaina Philpot and Associate Professor Dr. Kimberly Ferrario.

The Rossier School of Education commencement ceremony was held May 13 on McCarthy Quad at the USC campus in downtown Los Angeles. The online graduates joined their on-campus peers to confer more than 600 degrees.

Karen Symms Gallagher, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, USC Rossier School of Education 

Michelle King, the newest superintendent of the second largest school district in the country, offered three challenges to the USC Rossier Class of 2016 at the commencement ceremony: Be entrepreneurial, be flexible, and redefine the public’s perception of urban education.

Michelle King, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent, USC Rossier Commencement Guest Speaker

Learn more about USC Rossier Online.