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Fall Commencement Information

December 18, 2014

7:00 PM

Hiller Building

Emily Thomas standing outdoors, holding a bird

Speaker:  Ms. Emily Thomas

The December 2014 commencement speaker is Emily Thomas, an instructor in Wildlife Technology.  Ms. Thomas was recognized by the DuBois Educational Foundation  as its 2013-2014 Educator of the Year. The award  is given annually by the DuBois Educational Foundation to recognize outstanding teaching.

Ms. Thomas earned an Associate in Science from the Wildlife Technology program in 2007 and then went on to Penn State University Park to earn a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in 2009 and a Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in 2011.

Ms. Thomas has been an Instructor in Wildlife Technology since August 2012.  She oversees a student-run songbird banding station and runs a public MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird banding station at the Jamestown Audubon Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY.  She also monitors American Kestrel nest boxes in  Warren County, PA and Chautauqua County, NY and participates in the monitoring of the Northern Goshawk population in Pennsylvania.  Professionally, she is the Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Wildlife Society and serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology.


Instructions for Graduates

Follow these steps to be included in the December 2014 Commencement Ceremony:
Declare your intent to graduate – Check your degree audit with your academic advisor to ensure that all graduation requirements have been met. Activate your intent to graduate on eLion.  If the deadline has passed, contact the Registrar’s office for help completing this process. Check your address on eLion:  Make sure your home and local mailing addresses are correct by selecting the “Address Information” tab.  You will be receiving important graduation information by mail.  If you do not attend the ceremony, your diploma will be mailed to your home address, so it is very important that the university has your correct address on file.

R.S.V.P.:  Complete and return the Commencement Participation Sheet enclosed in the mailing to Lisa Taylor’s mailbox in the upper level of the Hiller Building or electronically complete the online Registration Form 


There is no limit to the number of guests that you may bring to the ceremony.

Disability Accommodations:

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  If you are a graduating student with a disability that requires assistance at commencement, please let Lisa Taylor know (375-4705) or ljt2@psu.edu as soon as possible.

Ordering Your Cap and Gown:

All participants must wear the proper academic regalia (traditional cap and gown) to participate in the graduation ceremonies. All caps and gowns (for both baccalaureate and associate degrees) will be blue with a white tassel and are eco-friendly, made of a wood-based fabric from renewable, managed forests.  Graduates and potential graduates who are participating in the Commencement ceremonies can purchase a cap/gown/tassel set from a University bookstore for $40.   Please contact the campus bookstore to give them your size. Honors cords will be provided for those students by the Chancellor’s Office for those designated as graduating with honors.  For class ring and graduation announcement orders, see Josten’s website.


Graduation with Distinction:

Honors cords will be provided for those students by the Chancellor’s Office for those designated as graduating with honors.  The registrar’s site lists by college the requirements for the “distinction” designation.


Graduation Day Lineup: 

Graduates and members of the graduation party will assemble in the Lions Den Café in the Hiller Building by 6:30 pm. The University is requesting that graduates and guests conduct themselves with the proper decorum and respect that Commencement should receive.  Improper displays will not be tolerated.

Reception Following Commencement: 

A reception for graduates and guests will be held in the Lion's Den Cafe, Hiller Building, immediately following the graduation exercises.