GW Celebration 2021

Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
Master's Celebration

Thursday, May 13, 2021 • 7 p.m. EDT


Class of 2021 graduates, along with families, friends and the entire Columbian College community, can participate in their graduation celebration here via livestream. You can also view the livestream on Facebook and join the conversation on social media using #CCASOnward. If you are unable to watch the livestreams, full videos will also be available after the celebration.


The CCAS Master's Ceremony will be livestreamed in this space on Thursday, May 13. Stay tuned!


Watch the 2020 Celebration


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Celebration Program

The CCAS Undergraduate Celebration program will be available soon. You will be able to download a PDF to view digitally. Stay tuned!


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Our Speakers

Paul Wahlbeck



Paul Wahlbeck
Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science

Paul Wahlbeck came to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 1993 as a faculty member in the top-ranked Political Science Department after receiving his PhD from Washington University. In 2011, he became chair of department and, in 2016, he joined the college’s leadership team as a vice dean for programs and research. In 2020, he was named dean of the college, after serving as interim dean for two years.

Wahlbeck’s scholarship centers on Supreme Court decision making, especially strategic interaction among justices. His co-authored book, Crafting Law on the Supreme Court: The Collegial Game, was awarded the 2017 Lasting Contribution Award from the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. His work has been published in many noteworthy journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics and Political Research Quarterly. A holder of a JD from the University of Illinois, he served as an attorney for the Illinois General Assembly and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation earlier in his career. He also served as director of the Law and Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation from 2001 to 2003 and, in 2006, served as director of NSF’s Political Science Program.


Marsha Reeves



Marsha Reeves, BA '91
Executive Director, KIPP Baltimore

In September 2016, the Board of Directors of KIPP Baltimore, the nonprofit organization that operates KIPP Harmony Academy and KIPP Ujima Academy, named Marsha Reeves to the executive director role. Previously, she served as the chief growth and operations officer for KIPP Baltimore. As executive director, she provides ultimate guidance and oversight of the organization and its budget.

Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from George Washington University and a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. She began her career as an associate at Latham & Watkins and served as associate general counsel for the Technology and e-Commerce Practice group at Fannie Mae. She was then the vice president and general counsel for Bill Me Later, and successfully led their sale to PayPal, where she continued to lead the legal team until departing the organization in June 2014.


Fran Buntman



Fran Buntman
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Director of Sociology's Graduate Studies Program

Fran Buntman received her MA and PhD in government from the University of Texas at Austin. She has a master’s in management of human services from Brandeis University and her undergraduate degrees are from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Her research focuses on prisons, law, power and resistance, with the goal to both understand and redress inequities and injustice. These themes are core to her book, Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid (Cambridge, 2003) and her recent journal article “Prison and Law, Repression and Resistance: Colonialism and Beyond” (2019).

In addition to serving as the GW Department of Sociology’s director of graduate studies, she directs the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in law and society, which she helped create. She integrates theory and practice in her teaching and mentoring of students and is currently engaged in research projects that examine prison’s consequences on the children of incarcerated parents, prisoner reentry and the manifestos of mass shooters.


Tatiana Ruiz



Tatiana Ruiz, MA '21
Distinguished Scholar

Tatiana Ruiz is graduating with a Master of Arts in Public Policy with a Concentration in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). Her master's thesis uses a feminist and postcolonial theoretical framework to examine the impact of transnational women's movements that address violence against women and femicide on legislation and public policy in Chile — a topic to which she was drawn after observing a demonstration by Chilean feminist activists protesting violence against women. According to the WGSS faculty members who nominated her for this award, her thesis is a "tour de force," which they expect to be published and widely read and discussed.

While at GW, Ruiz has been active in movements and events targeting violence against women, has worked to promote the WGSS program to prospective students and was awarded the program's prestigious 2020 Nicole Paul Endowed Prize and the 2021 Women's Studies Endowment Award for her commitment to activism and feminist scholarship. She was also the recipient of a Federal Sector Social Science Research Fellowship, which provided her with an opportunity to work at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.





This year GW is celebrating more than 300 students who are the first in their family to graduate from college. Congratulations to all the first-generation graduates in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences. 

Read more on GW Today

Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring

The Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring is given to a faculty member nominated by graduate students. Mentoring and advising are crucial to the intellectual life and career trajectories of graduate students across the arts, sciences and professions. A good mentor is a source of wisdom and expertise, an inspiring role model, a compassionate critic, a sounding board, an advocate and a career counselor.

2021 Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring Awardee

Matt Wilson

Matthew Wilson

Associate Professor of Theater






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Get Ready to Celebrate

Share a Message With Your Graduating Class

Share a Video Message

Share your well wishes through a video message to the Class of 2021. Find instructions on how to upload your video and see sample messages for inspiration.

#CCASOnward, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Follow #CCASOnward

Share your congratulations, excitement and memories from your time at Columbian College. Tag #CCASOnward on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.




Hail Alma Mater
To thy spirit guiding,
Knowledge thy closest friend
In its strength abiding,
Pledge we fidelity
Ne'er its place resigning,
Hail thee George Washington!

Relive the Memories: Past Celebrations