Congratulations to Our December 2018 Graduates!

Last Friday, 14 December 2018, Roosevelt University hosted its commencement ceremonies in the historic Auditorium Theatre at its downtown Chicago Campus. The Department of Sociology, Sustainability, and Community Development warmly congratulates all of our graduates who earned BAs in Sociology and Sustainability Studies as well as MAs in Sociology. Our department was brilliantly represented by Samantha (BA’ 18) and Katia Martinez (BA ’18), twin sisters and sociology majors who were selected to give the student commencement address — the first time in Roosevelt’s history that the event featured two student speakers. (You can listen to their speech in the video below.)

Samantha and Katia weren’t the only dynamic duo graduating, though. Also crossing the stage together were Michelle Giles (BA ’18 Sustainability Studies) and her husband Corey Giles (BA ’18 International Studies), who both graduated with honors in their respective programs — a rare and joyous example of spouses celebrating their simultaneous graduations. Michelle also served this fall as the president of the student environmental organization, RU Green. Here’s a photo of Michelle, Corey, Michelle’s parents, and SUST Profs. Graham Pickren and Mike Bryson at our post-commencement reception. (We used the stairs to get everyone’s head on the same plane except for Michelle, that rebel.)

Our list of proud Sustainability Studies graduates also included Darlene Buibas, Matthew Harlovic, Brittany Janney, Melissa Tate, and Nick Waskowski. Graduating with BAs in Sociology were Cara Connaghan, Emma Harmon, Angelica Lopen-Terres, Katia and Samantha Martinez, Julian Taylor, Kelly Travers, and Timothy White. Last, but not least, earning their MAs in Sociology were Casie Alexander, Erika Garcia, and Frank Massolini.

Mr. Massolini merits special mention: as noted in this remarkable profile on the RU website, he began his graduate studies in sociology in 1973, living in the Herman Crown Center and meeting his future wife in statistics class. Though successful in his academic work that year, he ran out of funds before he could finish his degree. Despite the setback to his educational goals, Mr. Massolini embarked upon four decades of work, travel, and volunteerism. As he puts it, “I secured a great job with an international shipping company and traveled to Southeast Asia 35 times. I volunteered for both the PROMISE (Partnership to Rescue Our Minors from Sexual Exploitation) Program with the Salvation Army, and for Anne’s House, Illinois’ first privately funded long-term trauma-based residential home for child sex trafficking victims.”

In a full-circle journey back to the Roosevelt community, Mr. Massolini resumed his sociology studies this summer and finished his remaining credits to earn his MA degree — literally a lifelong goal for a person whose journey seems to be embody the ethos of RU’s social justice mission. Congratulations to Frank Massolini and to all our December 2018 graduates!

Brittany Janney (BA ’18) with her parents at SUST profs Graham Pickren and Mike Bryson (14 Dec 2018)

Matt Harlovic (BA ’18) with SUST prof Mike Bryson

Samantha & Katia Martinez (BA’ 18)

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