Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College holds first winter commencement

November 30th, 2012 | SMWC

SMWC diploma

For the first time in the College’s 172-year history, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) graduates will turn their tassels and receive their degrees during the institution's first ever winter commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be held Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 1:15 p.m., in Cecilian Auditorium.  During the ceremony, nearly 80 students from 10 states are expected to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. The addition of the winter commencement is largely due to the increased number of graduates and their families at the spring commencement.

“It is very important for us to accommodate as many of the graduates’ families and friends who want to share this milestone,” said Dottie King, Ph.D., president of SMWC.

Additionally, students who complete their degrees in the fall won’t have to wait until the May commencement. “In the past, many students who completed their graduation requirements in December have been hard-pressed to return to campus in May,” explained Janet Clark, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs. “This is a great opportunity to give our graduates more options to celebrate their achievement with friends and family.”

Commencement Address: Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D.

Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D.

Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D., professor of business at SMWC will deliver the commencement address. Mitchell earned her Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction and media technology from Indiana State University and holds advanced professional credentials as a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.

In her 26th year at The Woods, Mitchell has contributed much to the legacy of the College through leadership. She delivered The Woods’ first accounting course over the Internet in 1996. The course included weekly text-chat sessions, discussion boards and a shared white board, all over a 14.4 kb modem. She led the faculty team that established the Master of Leadership Development program, the Master of Education program, the 8-week Woods Online program and the quality review process for all online courses. Her learning objects have been used in several studies, demonstrating a 33 percent increase in student learning when compared to traditional learning from a textbook. She has authored numerous white papers, book chapters and various student resource projects for Pearson Publishing including Microsoft Excel student files and QuickBooks files. 

Awarded more than a dozen grants, Mitchell most recently received funding from the Ball Venture Fund and Motorola Mobility. The Baccalaureate/Masters Leadership/Technology Grant from Ball Venture Fund enables SMWC to introduce a new 3+1 Leadership program that allows high-achieving students to earn an undergraduate degree and a Master of Leadership Development in just four years. The Mobile Museum Developers Grant from Motorola Mobility Empowerment provides an opportunity for students to create iPhone and Android apps and interactive content for the bee exhibit at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, as well as to the 280-member museum consortium.  

Mitchell’s dedication and passion for teaching has earned her several prestigious awards and recognition:

  • All three of the SMWC Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Awards – for service, scholarship and teaching, the highest recognition for faculty,
  • Desire2Learn Exemplary Award for Auditing,
  • SMWC Alumnae Leadership Award,
  • Named to Who’s Who in Higher Education and
  • Recipient of numerous awards for working with small businesses and not-for-profits.

She lives in Brazil, Ind., with her husband, Ken. They have two children, Diana Aselage, and Daniel Mitchell. 

Commencement Details

Baccalaureate Celebration
10:30 a.m.
Sacred Heart Chapel, Le Fer Hall

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Ballroom, Le Fer Hall
Guest Price: $7.75 per person, payable at the door

1:15 p.m.
Cecilian Auditorium

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