Almost 600 graduates, along with 4,300 expected guests, attended Walden University’s 49th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. They are part of a graduating class of more than 3,700 students, representing 50 U.S. states and 42 countries, who have completed their bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and education specialist degree programs at Walden during the past six months. Thousands more participated via live webcast at www.WaldenU.edu.
Dr. Tererai Trent, scholar, motivator and global humanitarian, addressed graduates and guests as the keynote speaker. A well-known inspirational speaker and founder of the nonprofit organization Tinogona, Dr. Trent has dedicated her life to bringing educational opportunities to people around the world. Dr. Trent has twice appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she reached millions with her powerful messages on the importance of education, women’s empowerment and never giving up on your dreams. Winfrey chose Dr. Trent as her “all-time favorite guest.”
At commencement, degree programs with first-time graduates include the M.S. in Clinical Psychology and M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management.
Several individuals were also honored at commencement, including:
- Piroska Bisits Bullen, Ph.D. in Public Health graduate from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, who received the 2013 Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for her dissertation, The Positive Deviance Approach in Community Health: A Multiple Case Study Analysis Using the Theory of Diffusion of Innovations. This award is presented to the Walden graduate whose dissertation meets the highest university standards of academic excellence.
- Dr. Michael Schwab, core faculty member in the Ph.D. in Public Health program in Walden’s School of Health Sciences, who received the 2013 Bernard L. Turner Award, which is presented to the faculty chair who oversees the dissertation of the recipient of the Harold L. Hodgkinson Award.
- Faculty members Dr. Gary Kelsey from the School of Public Policy and Administration and Dr. Karen Ouzts from the School of Nursing, who each received the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence, which is presented to Walden faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the university.
The Walden University community gathers to honor its graduating students twice a year at summer and winter commencement ceremonies. An archived version of the 2013 winter commencement will be available at www.WaldenU.edu following the ceremony.