Making history one cap at a time

MARIETTA - James Clinton Stockton made history this week when he was granted the first doctoral…

Georgia (Aug 18, 2010) — MARIETTA - James Clinton Stockton made history this week when he was granted the first doctoral degree in Kennesaw State University's 47-year history.


Link To Article

Stockton is among thousands of students graduating from Cobb colleges and universities this week during summer commencement ceremonies. Today, Southern Polytechnic State University will confer 243 degrees, and more than 1,100 students graduated in two ceremonies at KSU on Wednesday and Thursday.

Stockton, 35, of Woodstock, was among them. A calculus teacher at Kennesaw Mountain High School, he said he sought a doctorate, with a concentration in adolescent education, to improve the education experience of his students.

"As a teacher of advanced mathematics students, I feel a certain responsibility to continuously improve both my content- and instruction-based skills," said Stockton, who is married with three children.

Becoming the first KSU doctoral graduate is an honor, Stockton said. He said he will continue teaching mathematics and perhaps one day teach at the university level.

In 2007, KSU began offering the new doctorate in education. It added a doctorate of business administration in 2008, a doctorate of nursing science in 2009 and a new doctor of philosophy degree in international conflict management this year.

Over at SPSU, Isaiah and Dedra Waindi of Acworth are married and graduating together. It was an adjustment with both attending graduate school and then finding quality time with one another, the couple said, but they managed to get it done.

"It has been a little bit of a challenge balancing school, work and home life, but because Dedra was also in school, she understood the commitments and it made it easier," said Isaiah Waindi, 31, a Kenyan native.

Dedra Waindi, 30, a 1998 South Cobb High School graduate, will receive a master's degree in business administration. Her husband, a federal government engineer, will receive a master's in systems engineering. SPSU's first master's degree in accounting will be awarded at the ceremony.

After today's graduation, the couple plan to take a much-needed vacation and start planning to have a child, they said.

Shawn and Stacey Moore of Acworth will travel to Athens to see one of their three children graduate from college.

Simone Moore, 20, is likely to be one of the youngest students to receive her bachelor's degree in biology and walk across the stage today at Stegeman Coliseum on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

But Moore is already a graduation veteran. She and her identical twin sister, Kaitlynn Moore, were already college graduates with associate degrees from Middle Georgia College in Cochran, when they graduated two weeks later from North Cobb High School in 2008.

The twins participated in MGC's Georgia Academy of Math, Engineering and Science program for high school juniors and seniors. The early college entrance program allows its graduates to enter a four-year university with junior standing.

"It was pretty cool," said Simone Moore of her atypical academic journey. "It's definitely been a long road … but it was worth it. I didn't sacrifice too much, I don't think."

Simone Moore said her sister plans to graduate next spring with bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from Mercer University. As for her own future, Simone Moore will start her full-time job in August, working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Atlanta.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit