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Commencement Ceremony

Welcome all students, family members, guests and faculty to SBMI's commencement ceremony webpage!

The commencement ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Location
The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University

Stude Concert Hall
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Dean’s Reception to follow immediately after ceremony.

Speaker

John Zerwas, MD

John Zerwas, MD
Texas House of Representatives

Representative John Zerwas, M.D. is serving his sixth legislative term in the Texas House of Representatives. He proudly serves the citizens of Texas House District 28, which encompasses northwestern Fort Bend County and is currently one of the fastest growing regions in the State of Texas.

In 2017, Representative Zerwas was named Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee by Speaker Joe Straus. Previously, Representative Zerwas served eight years on the House Appropriations Committee, four of which he served as chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services. Zerwas is a member of the Legislative Budget Board, is past chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education, and a past member of the House Committee on Public Health.

In the 84th Legislative Session, Representative Zerwas served as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. This was his first term to serve as the chair of this committee. Chairman Zerwas is an advocate for increasing access to higher education and growing opportunities for graduate medical education. Since 2009, Zerwas has also served on the Committee on Public Health, where he brings firsthand experience and knowledge of health care systems and policy to the committee.

A physician for more than 30 years, Representative Zerwas is one of four doctors in the Texas House of Representatives. His perspective is important at a time when health and human services is one of the fastest-growing areas of state spending. Dr. Zerwas is past-president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. More than a decade ago, Dr. Zerwas co-founded a Houston area group practice which recently became part of US Anesthesia Partners, and he remains active in the operations of the partnership. He has previously served as the President of the Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers and Chief Medical Officer of the Memorial Hermann Hospital System.

Representative Zerwas has earned numerous accolades for his dedication to public service including being twice named one of the "Ten Best Legislators" by Texas Monthly. In 2015, the Biotechnology Industry Organization provided Dr. Zerwas with national recognition as "BIO Legislator of the Year" for writing critical legislation that will preserve patient access to innovative and cost-effective biologic medicines in Texas. He has earned numerous accolades for his dedication to public service, which include the 2014 Coalition for Texans with Disabilities Award and the 2014 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Award.

John graduated from Bellaire High School in 1973, and in 1978, he married his late wife Cindy Hughes. After graduating from the University of Houston, he earned his Doctorate in Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in 1980.
John and his wife Sylvia reside in Richmond, and together have six children and six grandchildren: Isabella, Matthew, Dashel, Oliver, Beatrice, and Tinley.

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The 2018 UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics commencement ceremony promises to be an exciting time as we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates. By recognizing and acknowledging the excellence of our students and faculty, we spotlight SBMI tradition.

This commencement celebration will be a culminating experience for graduates, families, and friends. Join us for this memorable and happy occasion.

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Expected Arrival for Graduates

Graduates should plan to arrive at the venue by 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the ceremony to ensure that they will be dressed in their regalia and lined up in the correct order. SBMI staff will be available to assist you, your family, friends, visitors, and faculty alike.

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Graduation Checkout Procedures

SBMI graduates who completed all the requirements for their degrees in the summer 2017 term, the fall 2017 term, or will complete them in the spring 2018 term may “walk/participate” in the ceremony. If you plan to graduate in the spring 2018 term and participate in this year’s ceremony, you must complete all requirements for the degree by the end of the workday, May 4, 2018. The graduation checkout procedures for MS and PhD students can be found below.

“All requirements” mean submission of all of the following documents to the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs (713-500-3591) by close of business on Friday, May 4, 2018:

  1. Student Clearance Forms (Please note forms must be downloaded)

Students living in the greater Houston area will need to go to various offices to confirm that their records are clear, i.e. no outstanding fines, loans, library late fees or graduation fees, etc. These include the offices of Student Loan Collections, Bursar and Registrar, all of which are located on the 22nd floor of UCT. Then, bring the form to SBMI’s Office of Academic Affairs located on the 6th floor. 

Distance Education Students:

Please fill out the clearance form and email it to studentloancollections@uth.tmc.edu. The form will then be cleared by Student Loan Collections, the Bursar’s Office and the Registrar. You will receive an email with the completed form that includes signatures from those offices. Please email the form with the signatures from those offices to the Office of Academic Affairs to be completed.

  1. Student Information Exit Survey
  2. Good Academic Standing Form
  3. Diploma Release Form
  4. All titles for State of the Science Paper, Capstone Reports and Dissertations must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs via email by Friday, April 6, 2018 to ensure timely printing of the commencement program.
  5. Submit an electronic copy of your approved State of the Science paper (M.S. students)/ dissertation (Ph.D. students) to SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu by Friday, May 4, 2018.
  6. Ph.D. graduates only: Complete the SED (Survey of Earned Doctorates).


Submit to the Office of Academic Affairs your signed cover page for your State of the Science paper or dissertation by Friday, May 4, 2018. Cover page format for M.S. can be found here. Cover page for Ph.D. can be found here.

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Email Accounts

Your UTHealth email account ending in @uth.tmc.edu will be deleted 90 days from the end of your final term of enrollment.

If you will be transitioning within these 90 days to employee status or registering for the upcoming Summer/Fall semester or pursuing another degree at UTHealth, then your email account will remain active.

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Alumni Emails 

An email will be sent to your UTH email address approximately one week prior to the last day of class which will contain your UTH Alumni email address and password. Additional instructions are listed below:

UTHealth Alumni Email Login and Change Password Instructions
UTHealth Lifetime Email Forwarding Instructions

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Graduation Announcements &  Invitations 

Don’t forget to order graduation announcements and invitations! Graduation Affairs will be handling the graduation invitations and announcements and they can be ordered here. Invitations are not required for entry into the ceremony, and thus you are not required to purchase them.

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Diploma Frames

USA Diploma Frames offers custom diploma frames for purchase which can be ordered online here.

Diploma Frames

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Regalia Rental

Official regalia, must be ordered through Graduate Affairs only, this is necessary if you wish to ‘walk’ in the ceremony.  To rent regalia for the ceremony, please complete the online regalia request form and payment through the Graduate Affairs website located here for Masters graduates and here for PhD graduates.

The deadline for ordering regalia is March 30, 2018. We encourage you to submit in your order as early as possible. Any order received after this date will be charged a late fee of $25.

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Regalia Purchase

If you prefer to purchase your regalia instead of renting regalia, please see the information on the Graduate Affairs website.

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Regalia Distribution 

Student gowns and tams (for Ph.D.) or caps and tassels (for M.S.) will be distributed on the day of the ceremony, May 9 from 2:00-3:40pm. Please arrive in enough time to dress and take any pictures, if you desire.

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Return of Regalia

Students and faculty should return their regalia rental package immediately after the graduation ceremony. Unreturned regalia will be charged to you at its equivalent purchase amount.

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Photographs

There will be a professional photographer on site to take pictures of the graduates. These photos will be posted on SBMI’s Flickr account two months following the commencement ceremony. You can bring your own camera for any additional photo opportunities. If you choose to take photos as the graduate walks across the stage, please take the photos and then return to your seats quickly, enabling others to do likewise. Our goal is to allow you to document this momentous occasion, but maintain a clear view of the stage for the rest of the audience. Please remember to maintain the reverence of this memorable event for our graduates. 

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Driving Directions & Parking Rates

For driving directions to the Shepherd School of Music and maps of the university, click here. Parking rates for Rice University can be found here. The closest lot to the Shepherd School is West Lot 4.

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The SBMI staff welcomes all families and guests to partake in this momentous occasion to celebrate the successful culmination of years of training for our students. Watching our students achieve this goal and celebrating it with them, their families, and their friends is a gratifying experience. We hope that you will find the ceremony enjoyable and memorable.

Below are some general guidelines for the commencement ceremony:

  1. Photographs: There will be a professional photographer on site to take pictures of the graduates. These photos will be posted on SBMI’s Flickr account two months following the commencement ceremony. You can bring your own camera for any additional photo opportunities. If you choose to take photos as the graduate walks across the stage, please take the photos and then return to your seats quickly, enabling others to do likewise. Our goal is to allow you to document this momentous occasion, but maintain a clear view of the stage for the rest of the audience. Please remember to maintain the reverence of this memorable event for our graduates.
  2. Special guest from the university and the community will be present and will be directed by the staff to the front rows of the room.
  3. Staff will assist any persons needing special access.
  4. Staff will direct unruly children and their family members to a quiet location.
  5. After the ceremony, please permit the faculty and graduates to exit first.

Immediately following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to enjoy a reception at the venue.

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Traveling and Lodging

The 2018 Commencement ceremony of the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Location
The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
Stude Concert Hall
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Lodging is available at the Houston Marriott Courtyard at the Texas Medical Center:

7702 Main Street
Houston, TX 77030
713-668-4500

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Attire

The SBMI Commencement ceremony is a formal, yet personal event, for each graduate. As a participant in these exercises, we ask that you dress in “business casual” attire. For women: dresses, suits, or pant suits are appropriate. For men: suits or slacks and coats with open shirts are welcome. Jeans and flip-flops are not appropriate for this event.

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All faculty members are cordially invited to attend this memorable day for our students. Please notify the Office of Academic Affairs whether or not you are attending no later than April 27, 2018.

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Expected Arrival for Faculty

Faculty should plan to arrive at the venue by 2:00 pm the afternoon of the ceremony. SBMI staff will have your regalia onsite and be available to assist you.

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Regalia Purchases for Faculty

All faculty that are participating in the commencement ceremony who may need to purchase regalia, please contact The Office of Academic Affairs (SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu) or at 713-500-3591. They will assist you in making your regalia purchase.

Please note that it will take up to 8 weeks to get your regalia ordered and shipped on time. Therefore, it is imperative that you purchase your regalia no later than February 28, 2018.

Faculty who purchase regalia after February 28, 2018 will be given a complimentary regalia rental. Please note that the rental regalia will not have a tam, but a mortar instead. If you prefer to wear a tam, there will be an additional fee associated. 

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Walking Directions & Parking Rates

For driving directions to the Shepherd School of Music and maps of the university, click here. Parking rates for Rice University can be found West Lot 4.

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