SIT resumes in-person commencement

Announcement Date: August 12, 2021

39 set to graduate during Aug 21 ceremony

BRATTLEBORO – For the first time in more than two years, graduates will cross the stage at School for International Training on Saturday, Aug. 21, during SIT’s 55th commencement ceremony.

Thirty-seven master’s degree students from around the world will be awarded diplomas during an event that will blend in-person and online participation. Two others will receive graduate-level certificates. The students completed programs in a wide range of international focus areas, including climate change, international education, sustainable development, and peace and justice leadership.

This 55th commencement ceremony is a welcome celebration of the resilience and success of our students during — and despite — immense global challenges.

“This 55th commencement ceremony is a welcome celebration of the resilience and success of our students during — and despite — immense global challenges. It’s also a poignant reminder of the critical global issues they have been inspired to address through these life-changing degree programs,” said SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett.

Danielle Purvis

Danielle Purvis, this year’s student speaker, said SIT’s climate change program gave her the opportunity “to work at the human-environment interface and to advocate for the most vulnerable populations of our time — ecosystems.”

Purvis is set to graduate with an MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability. Over the past year, she and others in her SIT cohort spent one semester each in Iceland and Tanzania and a third semester working with organizations around the world. Purvis completed her practicum on a field crew with the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment and conducted research for her capstone on the impact of human activities on seagrasses in Zanzibar.

Aicha Naomi Cooper

The keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony is Aicha Naomi Cooper, an international development professional at the World Bank and an alumna of SIT Graduate Institute. Last year, she joined the board of World Learning, Inc., the parent organization of SIT and The Experiment in International Living.

Cooper, who is Liberian American, draws on her experience living through a civil war in Liberia to support efforts to improve the lives of marginalized people around the world. She shares her personal refugee story to raise awareness about the global refugee crises and highlight the impact of civil conflict on women and children.

Throughout the pandemic, SIT Graduate Institute has continued to offer courses online and in person at its global centers around the world. The last in-person commencement on the Brattleboro campus was May 11, 2019. A virtual ceremony was held in August 2020 and several of those graduates have opted to participate in person this year.

Each of the graduates will have completed one of SIT’s one-year global MA programs or earned their master’s degree over two years in part-time hybrid programs that normally include brief residencies on the SIT campus in Brattleboro. Those residencies were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

SIT offers MA programs in: Climate Change and Global Sustainability; Development Practice; Diplomacy and International Relations; Global Health; Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management; Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management; International Education; Peace and Justice Leadership; Sustainable Development; and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

This year, SIT launched its first EdD, in Global Education.