GSEHD Commencement 2023


The Graduate School of Education and Human Development

2023 Commencement Celebration



Thank you to everyone that joined us in celebrating the Class of 2023. Review event recordings and programs below.





Schedule of Events


doctoral graduate is hooded on stage during celebration

GSEHD Doctoral Hooding

Friday, May 19, 2023
10:30 a.m. EDT
Lisner Auditorium

Dean Feuer addresses the audience at the GSEHD School Celebration

GSEHD School Celebration

Saturday, May 20, 2023
8:30 a.m. EDT
Charles E. Smith Center



Watch the recording of the GSEHD School Celebration




Watch the recording of the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony












Maranda Ward headshot

2023 GSEHD Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maranda Ward (EdD '17)

Dr. Maranda C. Ward is an Assistant Professor and Director of Equity in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In this role, she designs, evaluates, and teaches health equity curriculum for undergraduate students that integrates her #EquityMatters podcast. Her teaching excellence was recognized with the highest teaching honor at GW - the 2021 Morton A. Bender Teaching Award.

Read More About Dr. Ward

Dr. Ward is an expert in advancing anti-racism efforts within health sciences education and in designing curricula to enable students and faculty to competently promote health and racial equity in practice. Her research focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and antiracism educational interventions as well as stakeholder-engaged community-focused studies on HIV, Black women's health, and youth identity. As a member of the D.C. Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR), she is the principal investigator on Two in One: HIV and COVID Screening & Testing Model that allows her to lead national research-based educational intervention for primary care practitioners to routinize screening and testing HIV, PrEP, and the COVID vaccine. This research will lead to a set of policy recommendations for overall practice-based changes and culturally responsive messaging for racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minoritized patients. She is also skilled in the application of participatory action research methods.

As an affiliate faculty for the GW Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, she translated her participatory action research on youth identity into a youth-led canvas-based mural on preserving D.C. legacy. Dr. Ward's research is further converted into practice as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Promising Futures - a youth development pipeline for D.C. youth ages 11-24 that integrates a social justice approach to positive youth development using ;edu-tainment to invite youth to explore their civic and social identities, social inequities, and health seeking behaviors. When she is not teaching or serving on-campus, she is engaged in D.C. in a range of capacities. For instance, she is on the board of trustees for the Washington School for Girls and founding board member of Girls Rock D.C. She also serves on the Sibley Memorial Hospital & Johns Hopkins Medicine advisory board for wellness projects in wards 7 and 8. The D.C. Mayor, Muriel Bowser, appointed her to fill an advisory board seat on the Mayor's Commission on Health Equity.

When asked, she describes herself as a community educator, curriculum developer, and youth builder. She has strong commitments to service-learning, equity, community legacy, youth development, and honoring youth voice. Maranda earned the 2023 GW Black Alumni Impact award, the 2022 Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement Award by Transform Mid-Atlantic, and the 2020-2021 GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Award. She received the 2021 Stigma Warrior Award during the 12th Annual International Conference on Stigma at Howard University for going above and beyond in her field to fight discrimination among historically marginalized populations. She has been consulted by, Rolling Out Magazine, DCist, and the Washington Post for her research on HIV disparities and featured on a live segment of Good Morning Washington, NPR’s Morning Edition, and the KevinMD podcast for her health equity expertise.

Maranda earned her Doctorate in Education from GW, her Master's in Public Health from Tulane University, and her Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from Spelman College. She enjoys learning from youth, traveling, and brunch.

For more information, visit





Yasmeen Richards headshot

2023 GSEHD Graduation Student Speaker

Yasmeen Richards

Yasmeen is a 2023 graduate of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, specializing in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She is passionate about ensuring access to quality mental healthcare for individuals and families experiencing the transition to parenthood, as well as advocating for safer birthing outcomes and paid parental leave. Yasmeen places a strong focus on supporting first generation Americans through the intricacies of parenting "between" cultures. She previously earned a master's degree in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and was the 2022 recipient of the Dr. Chris Erickson Mental Health Service Advocacy Award.






Kendall Isadore headshot

2023 Dean's Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award

Kendall N. Isadore (MA '19)

Kendall Nicole Isadore is an educator, violinist, vocalist, pianist, and songwriter. She's originally from Houston, Texas, and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area.

Kendall earned a Master of Arts in Education Policy and Administration in 2019 at GW. Matriculating through GW’s program was truly a highlight in her educational journey, and it solidified her passion for ensuring that every child everywhere receives the world class education they deserve - no matter what and by any means.

Read More About Kendall

After finishing her Bachelor of Science degree (in Biology) at Howard University in 2011, she began teaching middle school science. In 2014, she was invited to found one of KIPP DC’s middle schools (Northeast Academy) as the inaugural Orchestra Director. There, she created a strings program that prioritized excellence, character building, creative expression, and commitment through the vehicle of music - specifically string orchestra. She later became a vice principal at the school and was an instructional coach to the science, math, and electives teachers. Though she loved managing and coaching adults, Kendall longed for the classroom and later transitioned to another KIPP DC campus where she founded a second strings program. After 4 years, Kendall made the tough choice to transition out of the teaching profession to shift into a brand new role. She currently serves as the Director of Enrollment Management at Bishop McNamara High School, a private school in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

When Kendall isn’t serving the students in her community, she spends a great deal of time with her string trio, The String Queens (founded in 2017). The String Queens (TSQ) is a dynamic string trio that is committed to creating musical experiences that inspire diverse audiences to love, hope, think, and imagine. The trio has performed all over the world and has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center to name a few. Education is at the forefront of TSQ’s mission, and the group travels the world both performing and imparting teaching strategies, first-hand experience, curriculum design and pedagogy to arts teachers, schools, and students all over the world. TSQ is currently in partnership with the Save the Music Foundation and together, they provide professional development in the areas of string pedagogy, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed teaching in the arts classroom.

Kendall understands that with God, all things are possible, and above all, she seeks to bring Him glory in everything she does. She lives by her family’s motto: “Keep trying, never give up, until you succeed.”