University Confers More than 675 Post-Baccalaureate Degrees at Commencement

May 30, 2015

The University of Scranton conferred more than 675 post-baccalaureate degrees at a commencement ceremony held May 30 on campus.

The University of Scranton conferred 37 doctor of physical therapy degrees and 642 master’s degrees at its graduate commencement on May 30 in the Byron Recreation Complex.

Graduates represented 37 states and several foreign countries, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and India. The programs with the most graduates at Scranton were the master of business administration, educational administration, curriculum and instruction, occupational therapy and human resources.

Col. James F. Cummings, M.D., ’88, director at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Global Emerging Infection Surveillance and Response Systems, was the principal speaker at the graduate degree commencement. He also received an honorary degree from the University at the ceremony.

Dr. Cummings told graduates to “know yourselves, be true to yourself, follow your passions,” and to “go and set the world on fire.”

“This great concept, from Saint Ignatius, was directed to his Jesuits when going out into the world on their missions,” said Dr. Cummings. “The same charge is given to you today: to go and set the world on fire. Take that fire in your belly, that spark of enthusiasm, that flame of the Holy Spirit, and let it spread like a wild fire throughout the world. Fire jumps gaps, it spreads quickly, and changes whatever it touches. You being ‘The Difference’ will set the world ablaze.”

University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., also addressed the graduates and their guests.

Degrees were conferred by Father Quinn to candidates presented by Patricia Harrington, Ed.D., interim associate provost, institutional effectiveness.

Also at the ceremony, graduate students were honored for outstanding academic achievement in their academic area. Outstanding Academic Awards were presented to Cameron David Afshari of Dickson City for the Doctor of Physical Therapy. Outstanding Academic Awards for master’s level programs were presented to the following graduates in the programs as listed: Feras Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani of Scranton, software engineering; Afaf Saleh Alwadei of Scranton, management information systems; Alexander Michael Ametrano of Harrisburg, chemistry; Connie J. Avery of Memphis, Tennessee, enterprise resource planning; Soumya Kant Babu of India, enterprise resource planning; John Jared Bahnsen of Scranton, biochemistry; John Michael Breiner of Palmerton, accounting; Benjamin Vincent Brust of Stamford, Connecticut, curriculum and instruction; Suzanne N. Crandall of Clayton, New Jersey; human resources; Peter James Frein of Scranton, school counseling; Andrew John Grygo of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, curriculum and instruction; Jamie Christine Jodrey of Puerto Rico, educational administration; Rika Kawahara of Scranton, early and primary teacher education; Eleanor Leigh Snowden Kania of Waynesboro, healthcare management; Allison Lai of Taiwan, secondary education; Darlene Marie Maddy of Dillwyn, Virginia, educational administration; Leena Mallick of Scranton, finance; Henrik Martinell of Chicago, Illinois, international business; Christopher Henry Nebzydoski of Pleasant Mount, health administration; Julieann Ostroski of Harding, family nurse practitioner; James Louis Passaro of Scranton, theology; Logyn Elizabeth Pezak of Jessup, operations management; Nicole M. Piotrowski of Brooklyn, New York, finance; Chelsea Page Riveley of Flemington, New Jersey, general business; Melissa Ann Rooney of Mount Carmel, rehabilitation counseling; Lauren Riochelle Fitzpatrick Shanks of Lexington Park, Maryland, operations management; Gina DH Staller of Philadelphia, marketing; Suzanne Szewczyk of New Haven, Connecticut, chemistry; Michelle Grace Thomas of Scranton, reading education; Jessica Leigh Ward of Flemington, New Jersey, occupational therapy; David Alan White of South Abington Township, international business; and Susan Elizabeth Wilkerson of Clarks Summit, clinical mental health counseling.

Graduates also included the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year. Brian Entler, who earned his master’s in biochemistry this year and his bachelor of science in neuroscience and biology from Scranton in 2013 as a member of the University’s Honors Program, was awarded a Fulbright Academic Award to Australia.

Click for a list of Doctor of Physical Therapy degree recipients, or for a list of master’s degree recipients.

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