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Educator, Board of Regents chair and GBI director to speak at Georgia Southern’s Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies

Cherie Dennis, Sachin Shailendra and Vic Reynolds will serve as speakers for Georgia Southern University’s Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 11, 13 and 14.

Georgia Southern University will hold three commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students from each of the University’s 10 colleges. The commencement ceremony on Dec. 11 will be held at the Savannah Convention Center at 3 p.m. for undergraduate and graduate students from each of the University’s three campuses who wish to graduate in Savannah. The remaining two ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students from specific colleges will take place at Allen E. Paulson Stadium on the Statesboro Campus on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. on both days.

Each ceremony will be live-streamed to the commencement page on University’s website and Facebook page

Cherie Dennis

Saturday, Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
Ceremony in Savannah for undergraduate and graduate students in all University colleges

Georgia’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Cherie Dennis (Armstrong ‘10), will address graduates at the Dec. 11 ceremony in Savannah. Dennis teaches English to Speakers of Other Languages at Hesse K-8 School in Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. She teaches with an unwavering commitment to creating classrooms founded on loving-kindness, empathy and positivity, guiding her students toward intellectual independence, creativity, tenacity and boldness.

Dennis, a steadfast advocate for her students, has been with the school system in Savannah for 12 years and has held key roles as a grade-level lead, site-based induction specialist, professional learning liaison and school council member. She also serves on the leadership team and chairs the school-wide writing team. 

Before fulfilling her dream to teach, she began a career in advertising for Toyota at Saatchi & Saatchi and Clorox at DDB.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Japanese with a teaching minor from Georgetown University. She went on to achieve a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Stanford University. Following her move to Savannah, she received her Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Most recently, she’s earned an education specialist degree from Mercer University. She also holds gifted, ESOL and coaching endorsements.

Sachin Shailendra

Monday, Dec. 13, 2 p.m.
Ceremony in Statesboro for undergraduate and graduate students in the Parker College of Business, Waters College of Health Professions, College of Education, and the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Sachin Shailendra, chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, will speak to graduates at the first Fall 2021 Commencement ceremony in Statesboro. 

As president of SG Contracting, Inc., Shailendra has responsibility for the company in its entirety, governing its activities and providing the direction to smoothly and efficiently match people and projects to deliver successful outcomes.

Shailendra is known for his integrity, honesty and commitment to client satisfaction. His extensive portfolio of construction experience and his ability to solve problems and effectively communicate plans and processes at all levels make him a valuable leader to assist owners, subcontractors, architects and designers with new projects and renovation projects alike.

Shailendra is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and an alumnus of Woodward Academy, where he has also served as a former president of the alumni association and member of the school’s advisory council. 

He also serves as chairman of the Rowen Foundation and trustee of the Georgia Research Alliance. He is a board member of both the Georgia REACH Foundation and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Sports Network. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Atlanta Police Foundation, Carter Center Board of Councilors and Atlanta Speech School. 

Vic Reynolds

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m.
Ceremony in Statesboro for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Arts and Humanities, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing, and the College of Science and Mathematics

Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Director Vic Reynolds (‘79) will address graduates at the second ceremony in Statesboro. 

Reynolds was appointed as the GBI director, where he leads an agency of more than 900 employees, by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019. He was formerly elected twice as the Cobb County district attorney. He has served as a police officer, former chief magistrate judge for Cobb County, and partner in the law firm of Berry and Reynolds. He’s been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Georgia Southern and his law degree from Georgia State College of Law. 

For more information on Georgia Southern’s Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies visit: GeorgiaSouthern.edu/commencement.

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