UTMB School of Medicine
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Commencement 2021

Congrats to the Class of 2021!

The President, Dean, Faculty
and the
2021 Graduating Class
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
School of Medicine
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
announce the Commencement Ceremony,
during which

Physician Assistant Class of 2021

will be awarded the degree
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Saturday, the twenty-first of August, Two thousand Twenty-one
Ten o’clock in the morning

Galveston, Texas
PAS Commencment photo

PAS-Commencement Day Itenerary

  • Commencement Day Itinerary

    Saturday, August 21, 2021

    • 7 am - Student Rehearsal, Levin Hall
    • 9:30 am - Doors open to guests
    • 10 am - Commencement ceremony begins

    Planning Ahead - Future commencement Dates:

    • Class of 2022 - Saturday, August 20, 2022
    • Class of 2023 – Friday, August 19, 2023
    • *Dates are subject to change
  • Our Speaker


    Janet H. Southerland, DDS, MPH, PhD

    Dr. Southerland is the Vice President of Interprofessional Education, Institutional Effectiveness and Health Education Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Dr. Southerland has spent more than 26 years in academia in roles including Dean, Chair, Division Chief and Senior Chief Executive Officer.

    In her role as the VP of Interprofessional Education, Institutional Effectiveness and Health Education Center, Dr. Southerland oversees UTMB’s brand new Health Education Center (HEC). Opened its doors in June 2019, the center features 160,000 square feet of education space designed to prepare trainees to work in teams. The HEC features a standardized patient and simulation center for students in all health science disciplines, as well as classroom space, conference rooms, educational space and administrative space to accommodate the planned growth of UTMB’s educational programs for the next 15 years.

    In addition to her leadership, Dr. Southerland is an experienced researcher and educator. She has a broad background with training in oral medicine, special needs dentistry and oral and systemic disease with a specific focus on diabetes and periodontal disease. In addition, Dr. Southerland has conducted studies involving other disorders such as HIV, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Oral Cancer. She has been involved in community-based research projects as well as longitudinal, cohort and cross-sectional studies and survey data collection.

    Many of her collaborators hail from diverse backgrounds that include basic scientists, physicians, behavioral scientists, and community collaborators. As Principle Investigator or co-Investigator on NIH and other funded grants, she has laid the groundwork for serving in the role of mentor and collaborator on many research projects/programs by developing effective connections and partnerships with colleagues at other academic institutions nationally.

  • Location

    UTMB Levin Hall 9th & Market St
    Galveston, TX 77550

  • Event Day Parking

    Parking will be available for the Physician Assistant Commencement at Garage #3 (10th and Market Streets – across from Levin Hall)

  • Graduate Checklist

    As an upcoming graduate, here’s what you need to know.

    Students DO NOT apply for graduation. Graduating students are identified by your department.

    ID Badge

    All students should return their ID badge to the Badge Office.

    Location: Rebecca Sealy 2.712

    Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday - 8 am - 5 pm

    Contact Us
    On Campus: ext. 2-0657
    Off Campus: (409) 772-0657

    Order Regalia & Announcements

    • Rental regalia, diploma frames and announcements are available through the UTMB Campus Store.
    • Note: Rental regalia is included in the Graduation Fee in your SOM Student Tuition and Fee. Each graduate is welcome to keep the Cap/Tam & Tassel as a souvenir at no additional charge.
    • The gown and hood must be returned to the UTMB Campus Store the week following the Commencement ceremony for you to avoid paying shipping and handling charges.

    Regalia Ordering Information

    Deadline to Order: July 25, 2021


    • Please use the following link to submit your order for the regalia rental as well as Commencement announcements (under “special gifts” tab), if desired: https://buildagrad.com/utmbpa
    • Please do not hesitate to contact Campus Store for assistance at (409) 772-1939


    • Please use the following link to submit your order for the regalia rental: https://buildagrad.com/utmbpafaculty
    • Please do not hesitate to contact Campus Store for assistance at (409) 772-1939


    Regalia Pick Up

    All rental apparel will be pressed and delivered to the UTMB Campus Store. There will be no need to iron/press. Students may plan to pick up their regalia orders from the UTMB Campus Store the week leading up to commencement. The exact date and time of delivery will be announced at a later date contained in an email announcement. Once delivered, regalia will be kept at the UTMB Campus Store for you to pick up at your convenience.

    Diploma Name Entry

    You do not need to apply for graduation; however, you will need to secure academic regalia, and complete the diploma name information in MyStar.

    • Login to the MyStar portal
    • Under the Personal Information section of your Student Center main page, click the Names link.
    • Click the green Add a New Name button.
    • In the Name drop down, select Diploma.
    • Leave prefix blank.
    • Complete first, middle, and last names - these names must be part of your student record name.
    • Click the green Save button.
    • Diplomas will be mailed to you from the company after Commencement.

    Address Updates

    Be sure to update all your contact information in MyStar for Enrollment Services (include your correct address and a permanent/alternate email address).

    Compliance Training

    It is important to note that students must be up to date on all required compliance training. Failure to do so could prevent you from receiving your diploma at commencement.

    Email and MyStar Deletion

    Students/Alumni will retain their email address and MyStar access for 540 days (18 months) following graduation.

    If the account is not accessed for 60 days, you will need to contact the Help Desk (409) 772-5200. If your account is not accessed for 90 days, it will be disabled and removed. Following this 540 day period, MyStar access will be disabled and normal account disabling and removal processes will apply.

  • Commencement Day Schedule for Graduates
    • 7 am Arrive at Levin Hall
    • 9:30 am Graduates lineup, Levin Hall
    • 10 am Commencement ceremony begins

  • Guest Schedule for Commencement Day
    • 9:30 am Doors open, Levin Hall
    • 10 am Commencement ceremony begin



    Arrival and Seating

    Graduates may attend with two guests, and the number of UTMB faculty and staff attending in person has been limited to invitation only. Wristbands are required for entry and walk-ins will not be accepted. There will be seating available in Room 1.200/1.202 in the Health Education Center (across the street from Levin Hall) where the ceremony will be live streamed. Reservations are required. Please email Angela Donnella (addonnel@utmb.edu) by Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Please include the email address for the persons making reservations for contact tracing purposes.

    ADA Accommodations - Persons with Disabilities

    UTMB strives to ensure that all graduates and guests can participate fully in this program. Therefore, any graduates, family members or guests, who require ADA accommodations are welcome. Those ADA related accommodations are inclusive of but not limited to the following:

    • Wheelchair space/or seating
    • Sign language interpretation
    • Other accommodations, as requested


    Advanced arrangements must be made to confirm early admittance. One family member is permitted to sit with each person requiring seating for mobility-impaired, and they will have assigned seating in a designated place. Other family members and friends will sit in the general assembly. We will make every effort to help those persons needing accommodations without advance accessible seating requests on the day of Commencement; however, accessible seating is limited and advanced planning is highly recommended.

    If you have an accommodation request, email Angela Donnella (addonnel@utmb.edu) no later than Wednesday, August 18.

    When you email your request, please include the name of the guest who needs the ADA related accommodation, the specific accommodation need (wheelchair, walker, sign language interpretation, etc.) and the name of person who will accompany them. Also, include email addresses for both guests for contact tracing purposes.

  • Other Important Information

    Commencement Photography

    All commencement photographs may be ordered online at www.partypics.com using password PA21

    Diploma Frames and Invitations

    Diploma frames:  Please stop by the UTMB Campus Store at the Moody Medical Library or visit their website below.


    Announcements and other gifts for graduates: visit www.cbgrad.balfour.com

    Social Media

    Share the excitement of your favorite commencement moments! Post to FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using this hashtag to share your unique commencement experience: #UTMBgrad
  • Graduation vs. Commencement

    There are important differences between commencement and graduation, and we want you to be comfortable with these common university terms.

    Commencement refers to the ceremony, officiated by the provost of the university, where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the university, president, deans, program directors, faculty, and staff to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree.

    Graduation, on the other hand, is the process of completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations, among a few other audits and assessments. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation. Conferral date is defined as the date on which your degree is officially awarded.