College of Professional Studies

2023 School Celebration

Undergraduate & Graduate Celebration
Saturday, May 20, 2023
7:00 p.m. EDT
Charles E. Smith Center

GW Commencement on the National Mall - Sunday, May 21, 2023

Join Us for the Celebration Livestream

Saturday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m.




Celebration 2023 College of Professional Studies, graduates in caps and gowns


Celebration Program

Graduates, and their families and friends, are invited to download the 2023 program. You can view the PDF digitally and follow along with the ceremony, or print at home. 

Download Program (PDF)


What to Expect: 2023 School Celebration

Order of Exercises (program will run approximately 1.5 hours)

Lead by Toni Marsh, Associate Professor and Program Director, Paralegal Studies and College Marshal

Mark S. Wrighton, President of the University 
Liesl Riddle, Dean and Faculty, Administration and Distinguished Guests

Dean Liesl Riddle and President Mark S. Wrighton

Lourdes Tiglao, 
Executive Director, Center for Women Veterans Department of Veterans Affairs


Dr. Richard F. Southby Police Science Prize 
Presented by Jeff Delinski, Program Director, Homeland Security B.P.S. 
and Dr. Richard F. Southby, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Global Health

Founding Dean Arterton Award
Presented by Luis Raul Matos 
Program Director, Political Communication and Strategic Governance

Mark and Debbie Kennedy Frontiers of Freedom Award 
Presented by Todd Belt 
Program Director, Political Management

Undergraduate Distinguished Scholar 
Presented by Tierney Pitzer 
Program Director, Information Technology

Graduate Distinguished Scholar 
Presented by John Warren 
Program Director, Publishing

College of Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award
Presented by John Warren 
Program Director, Publishing

Kristian Maldonado 
Sustainable Urban Planning

Toni Marsh

Dean Liesl Riddle

Marissa A. Works 
Strategic Public Relations 


Presentation of Graduates

Bachelor’s Degree | Cybersecurity
Program Director Scott White

Bachelor’s Degree | Information Technology
Program Director Tierney Pitzer

Bachelor’s Degree | Homeland Security / Police and Security Studies
Program Director Jeff Delinksi

Master’s Degree | Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management
Program Director Connie Uthoff

Master’s Degree | Homeland Security
Program Director Elaine Lammert

Master’s Degree | Legislative Affairs
Program Director Casey Burgat

Master’s Degree | Paralegal Studies
Program Director Toni Marsh

Master’s Degree | Political Communication and Strategic Governance
Program Director Luis Raul Matos

Master’s Degree | Political Management
Program Director Todd Belt

Master’s Degree | Publishing
Program Director John Warren

Master’s Degree | Strategic Public Relations
Program Director Larry Parnell

Master’s Degree | Sustainable Urban Planning
Program Director Sandra Whitehead

Ticket Information

Q: How many guests can each graduate bring to the CPS 2023 School Celebration? 

Each graduate is allowed to bring a maxiumum of eight (8) guests.

Q: How many guests can each graduate bring to the University-wide Commencement on the National Mall?

A: Each graduate is allowed to bring a maximum of six (6) guests.

More questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us for help. 

Distinguished Speaker 

Lourdes Tiglao

Ms. Lourdes Tiglao

Director, Center for Women Veterans, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

We are excited to welcome Ms. Lourdes Tiglao, a GW alumna and Biden appointee, as this year’s Distinguished Speaker addressing the Class of 2023 at our College’s Celebration on May 20. Graduates will be inspired by her professional story and unique mindset.

Currently the director of the Center for Women Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Lourdes is a U.S. Air Force veteran and an accomplished business, nonprofit management, advocacy and healthcare professional with extensive experience in leadership roles in the military, healthcare, nonprofit and tech sectors.

More information about her


Student Speaker 

Kristian Maldonado




Kristian Maldonado, M.P.S. '23

Derived from a multicultural Latino and LGBT+ background, Kristian Maldonado aspires to contribute to the betterment of global society through his work in urban planning. After completing his B.A. in Geography with minors in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Nevada-Reno, he will be completing his M.P.S. in Sustainable Urban Planning at The George Washington University this summer.

Born in South Lake Tahoe, CA and raised in Reno, NV, his work towards developing sustainable solutions in transportation planning and community engagement have elevated communities of color in Washington, D.C. While working passionately to understand the needs of residents, he ultimately aims to bring equitable change to those who need it most.

Currently, he serves as President of the Sustainable Urban Planning Student Organization (SUPSO) and works as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Office of the Dean at GW’s College of Professional Studies.

More information about Kristian



More Information about the Awards and Awardees


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