(Worcester, Mass.) – Worcester State University will celebrate its 2012 Undergraduate Commencement, Saturday May 12 at the DCU Center at 12:00 noon. The WSU Graduate School Commencement and Hooding Ceremony was held Sunday, May 6.
There are expected to be 954 undergraduate students receiving bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees and 201 students received graduate degrees and certificates last Sunday. The University will celebrate it Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m. in the Sullivan Auditorium. President Barry M. Maloney, who will be celebrating his first commencement serving as the university’s 11th president, said, “I could not be more proud of this year’s class. They are engaged in research, scholarship and are giving back to the greater community here at home as well as around the world.”
This year’s graduates have conducted internships, research or service projects in New Orleans, Peru, Ecuador, with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Trial Court, the Department of Revenue, our local k-12 schools, Neighbor Works Homeownership Center, the Department of Public Works and Parks, Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, UMass Medical School, the Junior League of Worcester, the Worcester Department of Public Health, and many other community groups and businesses.
Dr. Imo Aisiku '92 who will serve as the undergraduate commencement speaker, serves as vice-chair and chief of critical care in the neurosurgery department of the University of Texas Medical School at Memorial-Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. He is part of the team that provided care for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
After earning a bachelor's degree in biology from WSU, he earned a medical degree from the UMass School of Medicine, a master’s degree in clinical research from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and an MBA from Emory’s Goizueta School of Business. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine and completed fellowships in Critical Care and Neurocritical Care and was recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a sickle cell research scholar in 2008. When he was accepted into UMass Medical School, Aisiku was concerned that coming from a small state college might be a disadvantage. “Many of my classmates were from places like Harvard and Boston College,” he explains. “I soon realized that I was very well prepared for the medical program.”
Aisiku, whose father is a professor emeritus in WSU’s Education Department and whose mother was a special education teacher at Burncoat Middle School, moved with his family to Auburn, Massachusetts from Brooklyn, New York when he was in high school. Worcester State University will award an honorary doctoral degree to Dr. Aisiku as part of the commencement ceremony. The University will also present Urban Studies Professor Steven H. Corey, Ph.D., and Chair of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing Stephanie Chalupka, Ed.D., with the 2012 George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Dr. Elaine G. Tateronis ’63 and ’74, served as the keynote speaker at the Graduate School Commencement on Sunday. She urged the graduates to savor their accomplishment. “This is your time to mark a major milestone in your lives.” She noted that they shared this achievement with only about eight to 10 percent of U.S. citizens and only three to five percent world-wide who hold graduate degrees. Dr. Tateronis, along with Dr. Nancy Brewer, were presented with graduate medallions and certificates of recognition from President Maloney and WSU Board of Trustees Chair John Brissette, in recognition for their service as they prepare to retire.
The graduate commencement ceremony student speaker, Christine M. Cappabianca said the graduates owe a debt of gratitude to their families, “For your love and sacrifice and for understanding the missed family vacations and date nights while we studied and finished that research paper. To our loved ones on behalf of my fellow graduates, ‘thank you.’”
Graduate Commencement Student Marshals were Gina Marie Fleury and Michele Merrick. Graduate Medallion recipients were Nancy G. Duffy, Bertha Elena Rojas Lima, Stephanie Ann Racicot, Courtney M. Bachand, Ilia Vasili, Lisa A. Healey, Mariel L. Calnan, Jaclyn M. Scott Couture, Kristen L. Cross, Damian C. Sarrette, Brandon M. Thompson, Anna Levin, Alice D. Painter, James Alfred Mournighan, Christine M. Cappabianca, Genesis Burke, Michele Merrick, Gina Marie Fleury, Bet Key Wong, Diane M. Saad, Michael Jesse Garcia, Angela Doucette, and Diana H. Malkin.
For more information on commencement, visit: www.worcester.edu/commencement