Graduate Commencement
2:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13
McKenzie Arena
Parking is available in any UTC parking lot.


Speaker: Christine Barakat-Bennett, Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology 2007; Senior Instructional Designer for Learning and Development at the Home Depot

Christine Barakat-Bennett creates learning and development programs for more than 400,000 employees and leadership with Home Depot. She joined the company as a leadership development consultant in 2007.

After receiving a Bachelor of Psychology from Boston College, Barakat-Bennett worked for the March of Dimes and in the Office of Admission at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

As a UTC graduate student, she completed internships and other work experience with Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, Inc.; Valtera Corp.; the Personnel Board of Jefferson County, Ala.; Shaw Industries Group, Inc. and playground equipment supplier PlayCore.

Barakat-Bennett is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association for Talent Development.




Undergraduate Commencement
9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14
McKenzie Arena
Parking is available in any UTC parking lot.


Speaker: Dr. Le Andrea Ware, Executive Principal at The Howard School, Chattanooga

Dr. Le Andrea Ware is a two-time graduate of UTC, earning a master’s degree in school leadership in 2003, and a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary education in 1995. She has a second master’s degree in strategic leadership and an education specialist degree in instructional leadership–both from Tennessee Tech University; and she has a doctorate in education and leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Ware is 2019-2020 Tennessee Principal of the Year, an honor bestowed less than two years after she returned to her high school alma mater to serve as its leader. For her leadership at Howard, she also was named 2019-2020 Hamilton County Schools Principal of the Year and the 2019 Ruby Hurley Image Awards Educator of the Year.

She has held various leadership roles over her 25 years with the Hamilton County Department of Education. While principal at East Lake Academy, she won the Distinguished Principal of the Year Award and the Hamilton County Excellence in Administration Award.

Over her career, Ware has been a frequent presenter to professional groups and associations, including the Hamilton County School System, the Tennessee LEAD Conference and the National Youth At-Risk Conference on topics from school improvement to teacher recruitment and leading change to establish a purposeful community.



Media Relations Contacts: Email UTC Media Relations or call 423-425-5119.
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5 Comments » for Commencement ceremonies set for Friday-Saturday, Dec. 13-14
  1. cesar says:

    For graduating students ourselves, where do we meet on Sat? I do not think I received enough information about the run down for Saturday . Thank you

  2. Kate says:

    How long is the graduate ceremony expected to last on Friday?

  3. Martha Jane Wold says:

    How long does Saturday December 14th 9am Graduation last approximately?
    Also, how early can we arrive at UTC Saturday morning to get a good seat?

    • Gina Stafford says:

      Mrs. Wold, Commencement is typically about a 90-minute event. McKenzie Arena’s doors will open at 7 a.m., and arriving anytime between then and about 8:15 a.m. should result in good seating options. Congratulations on having a new graduate tomorrow!