Five Institute Of Buddhist Studies’ students received their Master Degrees at a commencement ceremony on Friday, May 18, 2012 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley.
The event was chaired by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto. The opening service was conducted by Rev. Kodo Umezu, IBS President and Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America.
Opening remarks were given by Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, and Rev. Marvin Harada, IBS Trustee Interim Chair.
The commencement address was presented by Dr. Franz Aubery Metcalf, Professor at California State University Los Angeles and the IBS Spring Numata Lecturer. He spoke on the subject of “Our Buddhadharma, our Buddhist Dharma.”
IBS graduates were awarded a Masters Degree in Buddhist Studies degree, in joint sponsorship with the Graduate Theological Union. Graduates included:
- Kathryn Bilotti Stark, “Compassionate Awareness and Transformation: The Relevancy of Mindfulness Teaching and Practice in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care,” with thesis committee members Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kiinst, Dr. Payne, and Dr. Gil Fronsdal
- Alex John McDermid, “Gender in Jodo Shinshu Temple Families,” with thesis committee members Dr. Lisa Grumbach and Dr. Matsumoto
- Christina Yanko-Ringle, “Aspects of Yogachara in the Discourse on the Pure Land,” with thesis committee members Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Payne
- Diana Lynne Thompson, “Narratives of Evil: A comparison of the Ajatashtru Story and Batman Graphic Novels,” with thesis committee members Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Payne
- Anne Cottrell Spencer, “Jodo Shinshu in America: A Demographic Survey of the Buddhist Churches of America,” with thesis committee members of Dr. Scott Mitchell and Dr. Kinst
Ven. Nguyen Duong and Kathryn Stark were awarded the Certificate of Buddhist Chaplaincy for their work and course studies under the guidance of Dr. Kinst.
McDermid, Yanko-Ringle, and Duong received their degrees in absentia. All the degrees and certificates where conferred to the recipient by Dean Payne and Rev. Harada.
A reception followed with family and friends.