Master's Celebration


Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
Master's Celebration

Friday, May 13, 2022 • 8:30 a.m. EDT
Charles E. Smith Center


Congratulations to our 2022 graduates! Scroll down to watch the video from the master's ceremony.


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Watch the Master's Ceremony Video



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Celebration Program






Download the 2022 CCAS Master's Celebration program PDF to view digitally, follow along during the ceremony or print at home.


Download Accessible PDF

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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.



Stephanie Riegg Cellini

Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration, and of Economics

Professor Cellini’s research focuses on higher education policy and economics. Her recent work examines the impact of changes to federal student aid policy on students and colleges. She directs the Postsecondary Equity and Economics Research Project, bringing together scholars to conduct research that can inform efforts to enhance equity, accountability, and student success in college. Dr. Cellini is editor of the journal Education Finance and Policy, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is currently serving as a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and previously served as a fellow with the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor. Her work has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other major media outlets. Dr. Cellini earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in public policy from Stanford University.

Maya Thompson

MA '21, American Studies
Distinguished Scholar

Maya Thompson graduated in Fall 2021 with a Master of Arts degree in the field of American Studies with a concentration in Museums and Material Culture. Maya’s scholarly interests concern Black queer aesthetics and performance, as well as Black queer geographies. Topics of her previous research include the #DontMuteDC musical protests and the Washington, D.C., Black lesbian publication Women in the Life magazine. American Studies faculty note that Maya is not only an excellent writer, “thoughtful and consistently sharp,” but also “a generous conversation partner,” who speaks passionately and eloquently about her research. A cultural heritage worker and emerging museum professional, Maya has worked on projects at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. While at GW, she was selected by The Studio Museum in Harlem to participate in a weekly professional development seminar focused on current museum topics. Maya works in the People’s Archive at DC Public Library to preserve and share the local history and culture of Washington, D.C.


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Award for Excellence in Graduate Faculty Mentoring

The Award for Excellence in the Mentoring of Master’s Students is given to a faculty member nominated by master’s students in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. 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. 

  • Kavita Daiya, Professor of English, and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


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Relive the Memories: Past Celebrations


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!