UIC celebrates the Class of 2016 during its commencement ceremonies May 4-8. UIC alumna and Smithsonian Institution curator emerita Cheryl R. Ganz will receive an honorary degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
More than 6,600 degrees will be awarded at 14 college ceremonies.
Sheryl Underwood, a 1987 UIC graduate, comedian and co-host of CBS’ “The Talk”; Jesús “Chuy” García, UIC alumnus and Cook County Commissioner; John J. Tracy, chief technology officer of The Boeing Company, and other civic and business leaders will address graduates at various college ceremonies.
May 4, 7 p.m. / UIC Forum
JANETA FONG TANSEY
Board-certified psychiatrist Janeta Fong Tansey is commencement speaker.
She is a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine and board-certified in integrative medicine by the American Board of Physicians and Surgeons.
Tansey practices in integrative psychiatry and is an active scholar and consultant in bioethics and mind-body medicine.
May 5, 1 p.m. / UIC Pavilion
DIANA J. MASON
Commencement speaker is Diana J. Mason, professor of nursing and co-founder and co-director of the Center for Health, Media, and Policy at Hunter College and professor at the City University of New York.
Mason is past president of the American Academy of Nursing and was strategic adviser for the Campaign for Action, an initiative to implement the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report.
Mason is also a journalist who has produced and moderated a weekly New York City radio program on health and health policy for 30 years.
APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES
May 5, 2 p.m. / UIC Forum
Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School, will give the commencement speech.
Girma, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, is dedicated to creating communities, especially online, that are more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Last year, she helped lead a victorious suit against Scribd digital library service, resulting in a federal court finding that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to e-commerce.
Since January, she has been named to both Forbes’ list of “30 Under 30 in Law and Policy” and Pacific-Standard magazine’s list of “30 Top Thinkers Under 30.”
May 5, 6:30 p.m. / UIC Pavilion
Kwame Alexander, poet, educator and author, is commencement speaker.
His book, The Crossover, received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, among other honors.
He uses poetry to inspire and empower young people through his “Page to Stage” writing and publishing program released by Scholastic.
May 5, 7:30 p.m. / UIC Forum
George Riedl, senior VP, president Walmart health and wellness, will give the commencement address.
Riedl received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from UIC. He previously was president of Advanced Marketing & Sales and chief merchant at Walgreens.
He holds his pharmacist license in Illinois.
May 6, 9 a.m. / UIC Pavilion
JESÚS “CHUY” GARCIA
Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García is commencement speaker.
Garcia is the commissioner for the 7th District on the Cook County Board.
In 1992, he ran for Illinois State Senate and became the first Mexican-American elected.He ran for mayor in 2015 and forced the first run-off election for that position.
He received his bachelor’s in political science and master’s in urban planning at UIC.
URBAN PLANNING & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
May 6, 10 a.m. / UIC Forum
Andrew Mooney, former commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, will speak at commencement.
Mooney was commissioner from 2010 to 2015, overseeing affordable housing programs, zoning and land use planning, economic development initiatives, historic preservation and sustainability programs.
He previously was executive director of the Chicago Office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation and managing director of the National Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.
May 6, 2 p.m. / UIC Pavilion
Robert Folberg, founding dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, will make the commencement address.
Folberg previously was professor and head of pathology in the UIC College of Medicine. He was deputy director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center from 2003 to 2005.
He also continues his consultation practice of oph-
thalmic pathology at Beaumont Health in Michigan, where he is William Beaumont Hospital’s chief academic officer.
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
May 6, 3:30 p.m. / UIC Forum
Kimberly Wasserman, director of organizing and strategy at Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, will speak at commencement.
Wasserman is an environmentalist and grassroots leader. She is a recipient of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize for leading the successful lobbying campaign for the passage of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance that resulted in the closing of the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants.
May 7, 9 a.m. / UIC Pavilion
& JOSEPH V. TORTORICE, JR.
Estrada, who received his MBA from UIC in 1997, is president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services.
Tortorice is on the board of directors for MidSouth Bank.
May 7, 10 a.m. / UIC Forum
Clark Stanford, dean of the College of Dentistry, is commencement speaker. Former associate dean for research and professor of prosthodontics at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, he is a researcher whose work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, private foundations and industry.
He is the author of 20 book chapters, 117 published papers and more than 140 research abstracts.
May 7, 2 p.m. / UIC Pavilion
JOHN J. TRACY
John J. Tracy, chief technology officer of The Boeing Company, is commencement speaker.
Tracy’s 35-year career at Boeing includes serving in the dual roles of top technology leader and senior vice president of engineering, operations and technology from 2006 to 2016.
Previously, Tracy was vice president of engineering and mission assurance for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN & THE ARTS
May 7, 7 p.m. / UIC Forum
Contro, who received her MFA from UIC in 1987, serves on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Cultural Advisory Panel and the mayor’s Sculpture Committee; was on Emanuel’s Arts Transition Team, and is on the advisory boards of the Strategic National Art Alumni Project and the Streb Dance Company.
LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES
May 8, 10 a.m. / UIC Pavilion
SHERYL UNDERWOOD & CHERYL R. GANZ
Sheryl Underwood, comedian, UIC graduate and host of CBS daytime show “The Talk,” will give the commencement address.
Cheryl R. Ganz, Smithsonian Institution curator emerita, will receive an honorary degree.
Underwood, a 1987 graduate in communication and theatre, is owner and CEO of Pack Rat Productions.
She is the founder of Pack Rat Foundation for Education, working to support historically black colleges and universities and students in higher education.
Ganz retired as chief curator of philately at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, where she was lead curator of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the world’s largest postage stamp gallery. She is vice-chair on the USPS Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee, the committee that selects subjects and approves designs for U.S. postage stamps.
Ganz received a Ph.D. in U.S. history from UIC.