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CHSS Celebrates the Class of 2022

Posted in: Homepage News and Events

photo is taken looking towards the stage. student's graduation caps fill the image, some are decorated

Following a large University-wide Commencement ceremony at MetLife Stadium, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences continued the celebration of our graduates’ achievements with two Convocation ceremonies held on campus on Friday, June 3.

Distinguished Alumni Speaker, Tracy Doyle ’87

Messages from the CHSS Class of 2022

Distinguished Alumni Speaker, Tracy Doyle ’87

photo of Tracy Doyle '87 in cap and gown from Jun 3, 2022 Convocation ceremony

Tracy Doyle ’87 graduated from Montclair State with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Counseling and a passion for understanding human relations born out of active listening and an appreciation for working with others.  Her road began working in retail sales at Macy’s, then onto pharmaceuticals sales before settling into the area where she has made her mark – medical communications.

Recognizing the combined power of science and technology, she founded and led the Phoenix Marketing Solutions, LLC team in the development of technologically advanced solutions that addressed unmet industry regulatory and compliance needs. Her efforts have led to industry-wide recognition, including the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Healthcare Solutions and Services category. Phoenix is the proud winner of numerous growth and excellence awards in New Jersey and the business community.

In 2019, Phoenix merged with Telesto Digital to form eNOVA – a pioneer transforming stakeholder engagement for Life Sciences. eNOVA is addressing the industry need for unified engagement strategy and cohesive planning and execution across live, virtual, and digital channels with the first and only medical communications unified communications and collaboration (UCC) platform, Radius Direct®.

Beyond her bio, Doyle’s journey as a first-generation college student is inspiring. It’s this message of courage, determination, entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to give back that Doyle delivered to the 2022 CHSS graduates.

“Our life experiences shape our thinking, and what I mean by this is our attitudes and beliefs about the world and our thinking about ourselves, our experiences and our struggles, no matter what they
are, build us into who we are and, most importantly, who we become,” Doyle said.

“You have all proven to yourselves that you have the talent, you have the resilience, and you have what it takes to succeed. As you embark on your new endeavors and you experience the  twists and the turns in the road, reflect on the words of Frederick Douglass, the famous  abolitionist, who said, ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’  When things get hard, don’t focus on what you lack, focus on what you have — your skills, your strengths.”

Messages from the CHSS Class of 2022

Danielle McDonald, MA Law and Governance

“I’d like to say that all of our hard work is finally done but that’s not true because we all have a purpose yet to be fulfilled,” said graduate student speaker Danielle McDonald, who earned her Master of Arts degree in Law and Governance.

Photo of graduate Danielle McDonald in a red cap and gow. She stands behind the podium, delivering a speech as the graduate student speaker
Danielle McDonald, who earned her Master of Arts degree in Law and Governance, addresses the Class of 2022. Her research focused on the ability of governments in developing nations to address their socioeconomic issues, especially for women and children.

“To me, purpose is your essence of being,” said McDonald, whose home is in the Bahamas. “It is unique to every individual but also requires you to be intentional in everything you do. Purpose is not a destination. Rather, it is a journey where your struggles can be turned into power and joy.” Watch Danielle’s Commencement address to the class of 2022.

Radwa Elzokm, BA Political Science and Jurisprudence, Law and Society

Seated among the rows of graduating Red Hawks on the football field was Radwa Elzokm, who in three years completed degree requirements for two majors, Political Science and Jurisprudence, Law and Society and a minor in Global Security and Diplomacy by taking classes year-round with summer and winter sessions. She’s been accepted into Montclair’s Law and Governance graduate program for fall 2022 and recently completed a U.S. Senate internship.

“Montclair gave me the starting step for having a successful career,” she said. “It allowed me to gain experience while learning. Being a first-generation college student, Montclair allowed me to catch up with my peers,” said Elzokm, who immigrated to America from Egypt. “The inclusivity at Montclair helped me access different perspectives, it allowed me to be knowledgeable on different cultures.”

Dior Cleaves: Finding a Purpose

photo of student Dior Cleaves in the crowd of graduates. He's wearing a cap and gown and looking forward in the direction of the stage.
Dior Cleaves, his eyes set to the stage, recalls this moment listening to the graduate student speaker giving voice to the theme of purpose: “Purpose is not a destination. Rather, it is a journey where your struggles can be turned into power and joy,” Danielle McDonald told the Class of 2022.

The speech resonated. “I was in the moment, paying attention deeply,” says Cleaves, the first male in his family to graduate. His mother, Ladrunda Gary, is a Montclair alumna and she motivated him to earn a degree in Sociology with minors in Social Work and Business. “I’m definitely trying to find a way to find a purpose – for myself and my family.”

Kevin Bernard: Inspired to Serve

in a large crowd, Kiana Bernard celebrates her brother, Kevin with a large sign
Kiana Bernard celebrates her brother, Kevin.

“As I walked into the stadium, my family was near the entrance, and I kept hearing my name. I turned to my right and there was my sister Kiana holding a giant poster, ‘Congrats Grad.’ It was a surprise for me and my family’s way to celebrate the moment itself.”

Bernard earned a degree in Political Science with minors in African Studies and Sociology. “The thing I remember most about the ceremony were remarks about going back into our communities. I’m from Newark and I have a fixation with Newark, its history and its impact on me. I took the words to heart and the day after the ceremony I went to City Hall looking for volunteer work.” He’s committed to working on civic engagement in the city, building financial literacy with student athletes, and encouraging voter registration.

Video Messages from Outstanding Students

In video salutes to classmates, graduates selected as “Outstanding Students” by each of the University’s schools and colleges, said opportunities to do meaningful work through social action, public service, education, research, the arts, sciences and the humanities enhanced their time at Montclair.

Brandon Wilde, MS Computational Linguistics

Ebony Herald, BA Linguistics