2018 Spring Commencement
Students who are eligible to graduate between April 17, 2017 – May 6, 2018 are invited to attend Spring Commencement on April 21, 2018 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, FL.
Due to the cancellation of 2017 Fall Commencement from the threat of Hurricane Irma, all graduates who were eligible to attend in the fall are encouraged to participate in Spring Commencement.Watch Livestream
Dr. Jennifer Arnold
UMA Spring 2018 Commencement Keynote Speaker
Top Reasons to Attend
- You’ve Worked Hard to Get Here – This level of accomplishment is worthy of celebration.
- You Get to Wear a Cap and Gown – There are only so many times in your life you get to wear this outfit in front of a crowd who is genuinely happy for you and proud of you.
- Complete Strangers May Congratulate You – Don’t be surprised if people you’ve never met give you a big smile, clap for you and maybe even shed a tear or two.
- It’s Like a Party (Family-Friendly) – You’ll hear whooping, hollering, cheering, clapping and experience overall good vibes. Light refreshments will be served at the Mix & Mingle starting at 8:00 a.m. Other food is available for purchase.
- Meet UMA Staff & Instructors – You already know how much we believe in you. Take this chance to meet the people who work hard for your success. We really want to congratulate you in person.
- April 5, 2018: Deadline to RSVP to attend Commencement and to order your cap, gown and tassel under the special rate.
- April 6 – April 17, 2018: You can still order your cap, gown, tassel order with expedited shipping (expedited shipping charges apply)
- Saturday, April 21, 2018: Commencement Day
Cap, Gown and Tassel Ordering
All orders must be placed by April 5, 2018 to get the special price of $25.95 per cap, gown and tassel set. If you order after this date, you will need to pay expedited shipping, and your order will be shipped one business day after the order is placed. We strongly recommend you to contact Economy Cap and Gown by calling 866-245-0600 to find out the best expedited shipping option according to your needs.
It is our policy that all graduates must wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony.
Already have your cap and gown? Fall 2017 Commencement was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma’s impact on the Tampa Bay area. Some Graduates may have already purchase their cap & gown and will be attending the Spring Commencement. RSVP is required for all Graduates, click here to RSVP if you have your cap & gown
For graduates with limited mobility or who need special assistance during their time at the Sun Dome, please RSVP to attend and order your cap and gown, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-333-1454 to provide more details regarding your needs.
Know Before You Go
Graduating with a second degree or diploma?
Good news! If you already graduated from another program, attended a previous ceremony and have a royal blue cap and gown, you may wear the same blue cap and gown again. Just make sure you RSVP for Commencement using this RSVP form, so we can provide you with a new tassel on the day of Commencement based on your second program.
After you register at the USF Sun Dome on April 21, please stop by the “UMA Cap/Gown Support” table to request your new tassel. If you don’t RSVP, we can’t guarantee we’ll have your new tassel, and you must have one in order to attend the ceremony.
Should I steam or cool-iron my gown at home?
Yes, please get the wrinkles out of your gown before coming to the ceremony. Use a cool iron or a steamer to smooth out the wrinkles. Please do not use a hot iron or you could damage/melt the fabric.
What are the shipping options for my cap and gown?
Your order will ship to your home. Orders are not processed daily and your order may take a few weeks to arrive. If you place an order by the online order shipping deadline, please be assured that it will arrive in time for you to bring your cap/gown to Commencement. If you have any questions, please contact Economy Cap and Gown at 866-245-0600.
May I buy a cap, gown or tassel as a souvenir even if I am not attending the ceremony?
Yes, you may! Just visit the vendor page and answer, “No, I will not be attending commencement.” Then you will be able to place your order.
What if there is a problem with my cap, gown or tassel order?
Please contact the vendor, Economy Cap and Gown. As the providers of the cap and gown set, they will be able to work on resolving your issue. Their customer service number is 866-245-0600.
Honor Cords, Tassels and Stoles
If you received a gold or silver honors cord in the mail, bring it to the ceremony. A limited number of honors cords will be available when you check-in, but we cannot guarantee to have extras if you forget yours.
Ambassadors and ABK members will receive their items upon check-in at the Corral.
Please refrain from wearing any non-UMA issued regalia. You will be asked to remove these items prior to being seated for the ceremony.
UMA Cords and Stole
- Gold Cord: High Honors (4.0 CGPA)
- Silver Cord: Honors (3.5 – 3.99 CGPA)
- White Cord: Perfect Attendance (Ground Campus Only)
- Red/Blue Cord: Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society
- Red Stole: Student Ambassadors
The color of your tassel signifies your degree or diploma. All associate degree graduates wear a black tassel. Diploma graduates wear differing colors based on their program.
- Associate of Science in Health and Human Services (Black)
- Associate of Science in Health Information Technology (Black)
- Associate of Science in Health Sciences (Black)
- Associate of Science in Health Healthcare Management (Black)
- Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding (Black)
- Associate of Science in Nursing (Black)
- Diploma Basic X-Ray with Medical Office Procedures (Green)
- Diploma Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions (Purple)
- Diploma Healthcare Technology & Systems (Orange)
- Diploma Medical Administrative Assistant (Light Blue)
- Diploma Medical Assistant (Light Blue)
- Diploma Medical Billing and Coding (Burgundy)
- Diploma Medical/Clinical Laboratory Assistant (Teal)
- Diploma Medical Office and Billing Specialist (Burgundy)
- Diploma Nursing Assistant (Navy)
- Diploma Patient Care Technician (Navy)
- Diploma Pharmacy Technician (Champagne)
- Diploma Phlebotomy Technician (Navy)
Note: If you are graduating from a second program, attended a previous ceremony and/or have a royal blue cap and gown, you can wear it again in this ceremony. Please make sure to stop by the “UMA Cap/Gown Support” table to request your new tassel based on your second program (the one you are attending this Commencement for).
Pre-ceremony activities start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m. We highly recommend you arrive at the Sun Dome at 8:00 a.m. in order to fit in all of the pre-ceremony activities. Lines do get long.
- Mix & Mingle is a special opportunity for graduates to socialize in the USF Sun Dome’s Alumni Club (Level 2) with fellow students and UMA staff. Beverages and light refreshments are served and guests are welcome. There is no need to RSVP for the Mix & Mingle, but please check-in at the entrance of the Alumni Club (Level 2) before entering (look for the Mix & Mingle registration table).
- Complimentary photo booths, interactive selfie stations and other photo opportunities will be available for the graduates at no cost!
- A professional photographer will be available prior the ceremony to take graduate portraits in the Alumni Club (Payment will be collected at that time). For pre-registration and to receive a special discount, please click here
- A Graduate Resource area will be available to help you join the Alumni Association and more!
- Visit the UMA Fan Shop, where you can buy your favorite UMA merchandise.
Dr. Jennifer Arnold is originally from Orlando, FL. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology at the University of Miami before making a big move to the north. She moved to Baltimore, MD where she earned her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a graduate of the Class of 2000. She then attended a Pediatric Residency Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. During her fellowship in neonatology, she obtained a Master’s of Science in Medical Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is Board Certified in both Pediatric and Neonatal Medicine.
She has spoken both nationally and internationally at venues such as the Texas Conference for Women, Shiners Hospital, March of Dimes and many more. She has received numerous awards including the Ray E. Helfer Award for innovation in medical education from the Academic Pediatric Association, Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2010/2011 and Patients’ Choice Award for 2008-2012 and Top Ten Doctors 2012 awards from Vitals.com. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, Society for Simulation in Healthcare and is on the council for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.
Dr. Arnold is currently the Medical Director of the Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
She is the daughter of David & Judy Arnold, sister to David E. Arnold and a proud mom to her son William Ri Jin and daughter Zoey Nidhi and now a cancer survivor too! In her ‘nearly non-existent’ free time, Jen enjoys going to the beach, travel, painting, fishing and spending time with family & friends.
In order to participate in the commencement ceremony, graduates must be in academic apparel (wearing cap, gown and tassel) We would also like to see you wearing your best interview attire underneath the gown.
Etiquette | How to properly wear a graduation cap and gown:
Royal blue cap and gown must be worn by graduates, with limited quantities for sale the day of the ceremony. We strongly recommend that you order your cap/gown/tassel set in advance to guarantee that you will be able to participate in commencement. Order online
Men: It is recommended that men wear dark trousers or khakis, dark socks, shoes, and a neatly-pressed, light-colored dress shirt with dark tie underneath an academic gown. Jeans and shorts, sandals and tennis shoes should be avoided. The cap is worn flat on the head. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle. Tassels are worn on the right side and shifted to the left when graduates receive their diplomas. Men should remove their caps during National Anthem.
Women: Women graduates should wear dark slacks, dress, or skirt, and a light-colored dress blouse with dark shoes. High heels are not recommended for reasons of safety and comfort; flats or pumps are suggested. Sandals, open shoes, heels and tennis shoes should not be worn. The cap is worn flat on the head. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle. Tassels are worn on the right side and shifted to the left when graduates receive their diplomas. Women are allowed to keep their caps on during the National Anthem.
Seating for Ceremony
There is no graduate processional, so you are welcome to access the ground floor by using the stairs near to Gate D at 9:30 a.m. There will be two seating sections in the arena. Due to limited seating, there is no option to select your seat, so please follow staff directions to the seat you will occupy during the ceremony. If you want to sit with a friend(s) during the ceremony, you must enter the arena floor at the same time, since you won’t be able to reserve seats for anyone and staff will make sure every seat is occupied.
Please fill in every seat in your row. The commencement staff will assist. All graduates are required to be seated by 10:45 a.m., so plan accordingly. Your cooperation in following these instructions will help us get the exciting commencement ceremony underway!
Seating for Ceremony - Graduates with Special Needs
We are happy to accommodate our students with special needs. We request that graduates with special needs or limited mobility (wheelchairs, etc.) arrive on the ground floor by 10:30 a.m. to avoid walking traffic from other graduates. You can access the ground floor by using the elevator located near Gate D. We have reserved space for our special needs graduates in the first rows of the right-hand section of the arena, so that they can access the stage via the ramp.
For graduates with limited mobility or who need special assistance during their time at the Sun Dome, please RSVP to attend, order cap and gown, then contact email@example.com or call 888-333-1454 to provide more details regarding your needs the day of Commencement.
The commencement ceremony program begins promptly at 10:30 a.m. with the processional of the UMA Leadership and Faculty.
During the reading of graduate names, we ask graduates and their guests to be considerate in their applause and celebration so that all names are heard clearly and the ceremony is not disrupted.
We also ask that if you decide to attend the Commencement ceremony, you remain in your seat for the entire event. Only in rare instances will an usher allow a grad to leave their seat. Please make post-Commencement plans with the understanding that you are expected to attend the ceremony in its entirety. The ceremony is approximately 2 hours, and we want to afford all graduating students and their families the same respect and honor.
Talking on the phone and texting is highly discouraged during the ceremony to avoid disturbing other graduates. Selfies are not allowed on stage. Please silence your phones.
A stage photographer will be taking pictures of graduates as they receive this diploma covers at the stage, and two more pictures will be taken after graduates leave the stage.
Eligibility to Walk
Any UMA graduate completing their program between April 17, 2017 and May 6, 2018 will be honored at the Spring 2018 ceremony. If your graduation date falls after May 6, 2018, you are eligible for the Fall 2018 Commencement. You may attend the Spring 2018 ceremony, walk the stage and have your name called. However, your name will only be included in the program and on livestream for the ceremony in which you were eligible.
As with any other graduate, you are responsible for RSVPing and purchasing your cap and gown set for the ceremony. Please note, at the commencement ceremony, each graduate receives a diploma cover. The actual diploma is mailed to the address provided by the student once all degree requirements have been met and all UMA financial obligations have been satisfied.
Name Reading and Awarding of Degrees
A graduate must be in attendance and walk across the stage to have their name read at a ceremony. Names of all graduates, in attendance or not, are printed in the program. Please note, your name will only be included in the program and on livestream for the ceremony in which you were eligible.
Graduates will rise one row of each section at a time to be presented with the diploma cover. The staff will direct the movement to the stage. People with special assistance needs will proceed first to the stage towards the right hand side where the accessibility ramp is located.
When it is your time to advance toward the stage, follow the other candidates closely and walk up to the stage. Present your card to the staff member and continue walking. PLEASE DO NOT STOP as your name is being read, you will immediately be ushered to stand next to a Leadership member who will present you with your diploma cover. Follow the instructions of staff in order to pose for a picture with leadership, and then proceed down the stage for two more pictures before returning to your seat.
The reading of the names will go quickly; please follow instructions of the commencement staff.
Graduate with Disabilities
Graduates with physical disabilities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-333-1454 as soon as possible after RSVP/Ordering Cap and gown set. We work hard to accommodate all graduates for the Commencement ceremony, and would like to work with you on your particular needs.
Guests are invited to sit in any area of the Arena that is not designated as reserved for Graduates or VIPs.
There is available seating for family members with limited mobility in Level 1. Please ask a representative to find the area.
Out of respect to the graduates, everyone should be seated at 10:15 a.m. before the Ceremony starts.
Graduates – please park in the lots labeled Student, Faculty & Staff and mention to the attendant that you are a graduate to receive complimentary parking.
Guests – please park in the lot labeled General Admission. There is a $10 per vehicle fee for guests (vehicles without a graduate).Download a parking map
UMA is pleased to announce that the commencement ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet. So if you or your family cannot join us in Tampa, you can still feel part of your special day! There is no cost to attend the virtual ceremony.
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