Outstanding 2023 Grads of Simmons School of Education & Human Development chosen as graduation ceremony speakers

Hannah Lawrence and Elizabeth Parrot
Hannah Lawrence and Teresa Valerio Parrot

Teresa Valerio Parrot is graduating with her EdD in higher education. Her dissertation title is “Presidential and Board Governance of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics: How the Players, the Rules, and the Game are Influenced by Temples, Prestige, and Positioning.

With over two decades of work in higher education, Parrot’s career has focused on making higher education relatable and understandable. She is the founder and owner of TVP Communications and serves as founding co-editor and contributor to the Inside Higher Ed blog, Call to Action, which focuses on marketing and communications topics in higher education.

Parrot’s expertise has been featured in numerous publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, U.S. News & World Report, The Chicago Tribune, and Huffington Post.

Hannah Lawrence is receiving her Master of Education with Teacher Preparation degree. She joined the Simmons Teaching and Learning graduate program in 2021. Faculty and staff describe her as “absolutely exceptional, a thoughtful student who produces excellent work.” Department leaders say she is one of the strongest new teachers they have ever seen in the field.

Lawrence is a STEM teacher at Donald Elementary School in the Lewisville Independent School District in Lewisville, Texas. She says she is thrilled to be able to inspire the next generation of learners through hands-on, project-based lessons, while building children up in their unique passions. She also looks forward to continuing to learn from her students.

Courtney Harbour and Elizabeth Klevana
Courtney Harbour and Elizabeth Klevana

Courtney Harbour  known to many as “CC,” began her Doctor of Liberal Studies journey in the fall of 2018. Her DLS studies led to a career change last year. Harbour moved from an Executive Dean role at Dallas College’s Eastfield Campus, overseeing fine arts and humanities to Broadway Dallas (formerly known as Dallas Summer Musicals).

In that new role she leads interdisciplinary educational programming for K-12 performing arts students and teachers in the DFW area. One of her signature programs includes hosting 3, 400 theater and dance students and teachers for a dedicated Broadway performance followed by a S.T.E.A.M. project inspired by the show to bring STEM to life through the arts.

Her DLS dissertation is titled: Remixing a Revolution: Embodied Politics, Identities, and the Transfiguration of Hip Hop Culture.

Elizabeth Klevana is receiving a B.S. in Applied Physiology & Sport Management with a concentration in Sport Performance Leadership.

Klevana is a faculty-appointed Simmons Ambassador, an indication that she has excelled at SMU as a student and a leader among her peers. Faculty and staff in the Department of  Applied Physiology and Sport Management say that Klevana’s optimism, drive, and humility set her apart, providing her classmates and faculty with a selfless commitment to ensuring everyone’s success. They believe she embodies the values of a world changer and a top scholar, which is why she has the prestigious honor of being one of the Simmons commencement speakers.

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