Dr. Seria Chatters ‘00 to Speak at Midland University Commencement
Midland University is pleased to announce Dr. Seria Chatters ‘00 as its keynote speaker for the 2021 Commencement ceremony on May 8th at 10 a.m. at the Wikert Event Center.
Dr. Chatters is the Director of Equity and Inclusivity of the State College Area School District in State College, Pennsylvania. Dr. Chatters also holds a faculty position in the Counselor Education Program at Pennsylvania State University. She chairs several college-wide committees and continues to teach and supervise graduate students in clinical mental health programs. Dr. Chatters also serves on the boards of the Centre Foundation, State College Food Bank, and Camp Kessam, a camp that provides free summer camp experiences for children who have parents/caregivers fighting cancer.
Dr. Chatters was recently awarded the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Climate Enhancement Award from the College of Education at Penn State University and the Individual Impact Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in Centre County from the Community Diversity Group.
Dr. Chatters is the sister of Dr. Lawrence Chatters, Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Midland. She said she is looking forward to the opportunity to return to her alma mater and connect with not only the graduates but many family and friends. “I’m so happy to be a part of this,” Chatters said. “Lawrence and I are very close, and I’m so excited for the current role he is in. I cannot wait for the chance to speak to these graduates.”
During her time at Midland, Dr. Chatters served as Vice President of Student Government, President of Delta Tau, was a member of the Midland dance team, and co-founder of the Midland Force Dance Team. She graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Midland University President, Jody Horner, said the university is thrilled to welcome back one of its own for Commencement. “Dr. Chatters has made an impact on so many lives, both during her time here at Midland and throughout her professional career,” Horner said. “Dr. Chatters has worked hard during her career to create, cultivate, and sustain more diverse, inclusive, and equitable spaces. We are proud of the diversity on our campus and it is important for us to create those same experiences for our students.”
It’s a graduating class that has endured its share of challenges over the past several years. From flooding throughout the Fremont area in the spring of 2019, to a pandemic and social unrest in 2020, Chatters realizes this group has shown a great deal of fortitude to reach this final destination on their collegiate journey. “These graduates have been through historic moments in their lives,” she said. “I want them to understand the impact they have made, and I hope I can create words they can carry with them.”
Chatters worked through adversity in her own way as a student. Legally blind, she needed special accommodations during her time at Midland and wants to impart to the graduates that although obstacles may get in your way, you can’t let them stop you. “I want them to recognize that they have endured many inconveniences due to the pandemic, and they have helped spark change,” she said. “As they go out into the world, they can capitalize on these changes.”
She is looking forward to challenging graduates to look beyond what they think they are capable of. “I want them to dream big about what they want to do,” she said. “I never dreamed I would be in the role I am today. Keep your options open and never place limitations on yourself because you never know where you might end up.”
Dr. Chatters and her husband, Gary, have three children: Sons, Adaunis (15) and Aneaus (14), and a daughter, WinterRose (6).