Wilson Plaza 9:00am

Commencement Speaker Bio

Karen Baker is a nonprofit and public sector leader, strategist, and community program innovator. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Yolo Food Bank and has served in cabinet positions and agency lead posts under California Governors Schwarzenegger, Brown, and Newsom leading California Volunteers. Prior to her current position, Baker was the architect and co-chair of Listos California, a statewide disaster preparedness campaign aimed to educate diverse and vulnerable populations. Prior to her work in state government, she was a managing partner with Valley Vision in Sacramento and was the director of innovation at Share Our Strength (an anti-hunger national non-profit). Baker also served as a Clinton administration presidential appointee to establish the national service program, AmeriCorps. Baker also led Chrysalis, a nonprofit dedicated to job readiness for individuals experiencing homelessness. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Sociology, she completed a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She now lives in Sacramento with her husband and two children.

What has UCLA meant to you? 

Here at UCLA is where I first experienced the euphoric feeling of learning how I could make a difference in the world. Graduating with a B.A. in sociology exposed me to smart, creative and diverse students who understood the importance of solving complex social problems


What to expect the day of commencement…

Students should arrive in Wilson Plaza by 8am latest. Proceed to student check-in table at the back of Wilson Plaza (near soccer field) to complete name card. Sociology department honors students enrolled in Soc 198C should meet together at the check-in table. Students will need to form 2 lines to walk into the ceremony. Event staff will begin scanning guest tickets at 7:30am. Please advise guests to have electronic tickets ready to scan. There are three points of entry and three separate lines for guests to enter. Plan for event to start at 9am and end around 11am. Restrooms and water fountains will be located in Kaufman Hall and the Student Activities Center. There are designated spaces available for guests in wheelchairs.

Procession of the Class of 2023

Professor Abigail Saguy, Ph.D., Chair

Welcome to the Class of 2023
Professor Jessica Collett, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies

Voices of the Class of 2023
Emil Pacelli, Diana Petrosian, Cassandra Gatica

Departmental Honors
Professor Zsuzsa Berend, Ph.D.

Presentation of the Keynote Speaker
Professor Abigail Saguy, Ph.D., Chair

Keynote Speaker
Karen Baker

Presentation of M.A. Candidates
Professor Wei-Hsin Yu, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

Ph.D. Hooding
Professor Wei-Hsin Yu, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

Presentation of B.A. Candidates
Professor Jessica Collett, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies

Closing Remarks
Professor Abigail Saguy, Ph.D., Chair



College of Letters & Science Commencement Ceremony Info

The College commencement ceremony is open to all students within the College of Letters & Science. This is the larger ceremony in Pauley Pavilion. There are 3 separate times for this ceremony (11am, 3pm, or 7pm). Please check your emails and MyUCLA notices for information about the College ceremony, the Sociology department does not assist in their ceremony arrangements. On May 4, 2023 students will have access to rank their College ceremony options. The deadline to do this will be May 7, 2023.

Sociology Department Commencement Ceremony Info

There is one commencement ceremony for the Sociology department scheduled for Saturday, June 17th at 9am in Wilson Plaza. Ticket orders for the Sociology department ceremony will begin on Friday, May 12, 2023 and will end on Friday, May 26, 2023. It is imperative that you submit your ticket order, seats are not automatically reserved for students. You must reserve your ticket and reserve your 4 free guest tickets during the ticket ordering period. Additional guest tickets are $20 each, but are not guaranteed. We will wait until after May 26, 2023 to consider granting any additional guest tickets to make sure there is enough room for all graduates to attend.

Tickets for all ceremonies will be distributed electronically between Tuesday, May 30th and Thursday, June 15th. The Sociology department does not send tickets out. All tickets will be sent by the Central Ticket Office (CTO) from Please be sure to check that your email account is accurate in MyUCLA, and also check your email account’s SPAM folder frequently, to be sure you do not overlook these important messages.

Ticket ordering should be completed on MyUCLA >> Academics tab >> Commencement link. Full details about commencement ticket ordering is listed here: 

Complete outline of commencement ceremony schedule listed here:

Special Inclusion Petitions

Fall 2023 graduates who wish to participate in the June 2023 commencement ceremony should submit their automatically-approved Special Inclusion Petition through the commencement ticket portal on MyUCLA. Please select your advising/counseling unit below to submit your petition (please check the top right of your Degree Audit to confirm your advising/counseling unit. If you select the wrong unit, your petition will not be processed).  Students may submit their petition once the form opens on May 1, 2023.  The College counseling units will begin reviewing these petitions on May 8th, 2023 – it may take up to 5-10 business days to be reviewed and processed. More info listed here:

General Commencement Planning Information

We encourage graduating students to check their Degree Audit Reports to ensure all degree requirements will be met. We also recommend making sure your graduation term is set correctly on MyUCLA (Academics tab >> Declare Expectancy Term). The College of Letters & Science has information posted on their website for graduating students. We recommend reviewing the Graduation Checklist and all necessary tabs.

If you have any questions about the College of Letters & Science commencement ceremony, the schedule was released here:

Previous Commencement Ceremonies


Jeremi Gorman is chief business officer at Snap Inc., where she is a member of the executive team and is responsible for revenue and revenue operations, leading global sales, creative strategy and Snap’s newest creative studio for augmented reality, Arcadia. She has spent her entire career in tech, with leadership positions at and Yahoo! Prior to joining Snap, she spent nearly seven years at Amazon, where she led global enterprise advertising sales.

Gorman is a proud 1999 graduate of UCLA in sociology. She serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, the board of directors of Samba TV, and the board of Women for Women International. A travel-lover and thrill-seeker, Gorman has traveled to over 50 countries, with a goal to double tha


Although on-campus commencement ceremonies are not possible given current conditions, we in the Sociology Department don’t want to let the quarter end without marking your tremendous achievement!


Bradley Burnam is founder and CEO of Turn Therapeutics™, a $250m+ pharmaceutical organization responsible for multiple standard of care products in chronic wound care and dermatology. In an attempt to treat his own hospital acquired skin infection, he developed PermaFusion™, a revolutionary delivery system based upon a first-of-its-kind fusion of liquid in oil. PermaFusion™ enabled Burnam to create Turn’s first product, Hexagen™ Wound Dressing.

After singlehandedly facilitating Turn’s first two FDA clearances, Burnam brought on a team of physicians and executives from the nation’s top venture firms, pharmaceutical organizations and government agencies to help build the company to its current prominence. Turn has multiple, additional products created by Burnam in clinical trials and is working directly with government agencies and universities to combat resistant microbes on a global scale.

Burnam’s story has been featured on Bloomberg and Fox Business News and in publications like Forbes Magazine. In addition to his UCLA Sociology degree, he holds a master’s degree from Stanford University.


Nancy Hirsch Rubin served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights during the Clinton administration. She has been a teacher, public servant and global champion for human rights, social justice, public service and mental health.

She began her career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District before going into public service. She worked for the Corporation for National and Community Service and helped build AmeriCorps, which has engaged over 800,000 young Americans in public service programs since 1994.

Rubin was a director of the International Human Rights Law Group and chaired election observation for countries making the transition to democracy. She served on the Leadership Council for Amnesty International and chaired the Committee on Women, Law  and Development, which built legal literacy clinics in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She served on the Brookings Institution’s expert committee on UN Human Rights Mechanisms and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rubin is a director of the National Democratic Institute and previously served as Director of Women for Women International. She is a leader in the ongoing effort to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and she represented the U.S. at the NGO Forum of the 1985 and 1995 World Conferences on Women. She founded Community Outreach and was the first chair of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign and served on the board of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.


Overseeing Los Angeles Lakers business-related endeavors and marketing efforts for 16 years, Tim Harris brings more than 26 years of combined experience to the organization, currently serving in a multifaceted role as Chief Operating Officer/SVP, Business Operations/Chief Marketing Officer.  Responsible for the Lakers’ day-to-day business operations, Harris oversees the team’s broadcast, sponsorship, ticketing, community relations, game entertainment and digital media departments.

Furthermore, Harris works closely with team President Jeanie Buss, helping maintain relationships with broadcast and corporate partners while having a hand in all Lakers marketing efforts.
Adding to his extensive scope of responsibilities, Harris serves as a Lakers Alternate Governor, and he represents the club at team president meetings.

Beginning his career working for Dr. Jerry Buss in 1990, Harris was tasked with promoting and marketing the team’s arena at the time, The Great Western Forum.  By 1995, after much success in his role, Harris would become Vice President of Marketing for the building.  Following the sale of the Forum in 1997, Harris was responsible for managing the Lakers transition out of Inglewood to the state-of-the-art STAPLES Center as well as the new team training facility.  At the conclusion of the club’s move, Harris was brought on board to focus his efforts strictly on the Lakers, originally serving as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

A standout soccer player at UCLA, Harris played four seasons as goalkeeper (1980-83), earning second team All-American honors in 1983 and finishing his career ranked third on the school’s career victories list.  He was later named to the UCLA Athletic Department Hall of Fame as one of the school’s 25 all-time greatest athletes.  Harris, who graduated from UCLA with a degree in sociology, went on to play five years professionally (1984-89), including three for the Dr. Buss-owned Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He was also a member of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team in 1985.


Musician, artist and writer Kim Gordon is an alumna of the UCLA Lab School* and studied art at the Otis Art Institute. Born in Rochester, New York, her family moved to Los Angeles when her father joined the faculty of the UCLA Department of Sociology.

Gordon rose to prominence as the bassist, guitarist and vocalist of the New York City-based alternative rock band Sonic Youth, which she formed with Thurston Moore in 1981. She continued to write and release material with Sonic Youth until the breakup of the band in 2011. She is currently a member, with Bill Nace, of the guitar duo Body/Head.

Gordon is the author of two books: Is It My Body? Selected Texts and Girl in a Band. In 2015, her artwork was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Benaki Museum in Athens and 303 Gallery in New York. In January, she curated the Gagosian booth at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair.


Trisha Cardoso is Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, of Showtime Networks, Inc.  She serves as the company’s Chief Press Officer, responsible for all national and international corporate and business press outreach, and is the communications liaison with parent company CBS. She also oversees the development and implementation of national public relations campaigns for all Showtime programming including original series, documentaries, music specials, digital initiatives, comedy shows, and sports.

Additionally, Cardoso is responsible for the company’s talent relations, events, corporate branding, Emmy and Golden Globe award campaigns, and charitable initiatives.  She also oversees public relations initiatives for the Smithsonian Channel.

Before joining Showtime, Cardoso established and led a strategic consulting firm, overseeing crisis communications as well as lifestyle and cause-related marketing for diverse industries including entertainment, fashion, philanthropy and travel.  Previously she was Senior Vice President of Publicity and Advertising for the Paramount Television Group.

A great believer in giving back to the community, Cardoso serves on the California board of UNICEF and on the board of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation.  She is also an active supporter of local charitable causes, including the Saban Free Clinic and One Voice. She resides in Los Angeles with her daughter.


After graduating from UCLA, Susan Kellogg began her fashion career at Macy’s West, where she worked for eight years in several store and buying executive positions. She then moved on to a series of leadership positions with Liz Claiborne Inc. over a nine year period, including from 2004-2007 Susan served as Group President for Bridge and Contemporary Brands with the responsibility for five companies: Juicy Couture, Laundry by Shelli Segal, PrAna, Ellen Tracy and Dana Buchman.

Prior to joining VF, Susan served as CEO of Elie Tahari, Inc., where she significantly increased the contemporary fashion brand’s international and retail business. Currently she is the President of the Contemporary Brands Coalition for VF Corporation, the largest apparel company in the western hemisphere. She is responsible for three brands of the VF portfolio: 7 For All Mankind, Splendid, and Ella Moss (including John Varvatos from ’09-’12). Contemporary Brands Coalition has over 200 retail stores globally and distribution in over 47 countries.

Her personal interests include surfing, skiing, traveling, dogs, horses, and UCLA Basketball/Football. Her favorite charities and organizations are the Marfan Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, Special Olympics, Stuart House, Women In Need, and MidTown Rountable.