| About | Academic Convocation
Tuesday, September 4, 2018*Sullivan Auditorium
Worcester State University’s Academic Convocation officially welcomes new students into our academic community and fosters a sense of belonging.
During the ceremony, three guests will be invited to speak, they are Student Government Association President, Ms. Maribel
Mateo, Class of 2020, alumnus Derek Canton, Class of 2015, and faculty member Dr. Francis Olive, of the Worcester State Department of Criminal
Derek graduated cum laude from Worcester State University in 2015, with a Bachelor of Business Administration; minors in Economics and Communication; and a double concentration in Management and International Business.
During his time as a student, Derek won the university’s first annual Next Big Idea Competition – an entrepreneurial competition open each year to all Worcester State University students, with cash prizes awarded. This experience was the catalyst to his falling in love with the world of entrepreneurship. As a result of the competition, Derek received funding for a life-style clothing brand and learned the ins-and-outs of running a company, leading a board of investors, developing marketing plans, managing budgets and business development, and engaging potential customers. Derek also received the Charles and Esther Golub Scholarship to help finance his education.
After graduation, after three years in the elite Dell EMC Marketing Development Rotational Program, Derek left to pursue his own entrepreneurial vision. At the age of 25, Derek successfully launched and received funding for multiple ventures. He is currently CEO and founder at paerpay, a mobile payment company that is securely making dining and dashing legal. This latest venture came out of Derek’s win in October 2016 of the world’s largest financial technology hack-a-thon, Money 20/20. At this event, he and his team competed against 400 of the world’s best developers to build a financial technology product, which evolved into paerpay.
Demonstrating a collaborative spirit, a key Worcester State value, Derek partnered with Worcester-based restaurant giant Niche Hospitality and Worcester digital services provider ten24 to develop and implement the mobile device app, which puts restaurant customers’ bills right at their fingertips.
Derek is passionate about giving back. He is very engaged with his alma mater here at Worcester State University, serving on a Worcester State Foundation board sub-committee. He also is the youngest member on the Framingham State University Foundation Board. In his spare time, Derek volunteers as the marketing and media director at Liberty Churches in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
Dr. Olive earned the Bachelor of Social Work from Our Lady of the Elms College, in Chicopee, Massachusetts; a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, in New York; and the doctorate from the University of New Haven, in Connecticut.
Over his career, Dr. Olive has served on the front lines of his field, as a corrections counselor and corrections officer in the Hamden County Sheriff’s Office.
He teaches a variety of courses in Criminal Justice, including Theories of Crime, Introduction to Corrections, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Research Methods, and Gangs. Dr. Olive serves as the co-advisor to the Criminal Justice Honor Society.
His research interests include Ethics, Youth Justice, and Community Criminal Justice.
2:20 p.m. - Students check in at the Wellness Center, Multipurpose Gym on 2nd floor
3:45/4 p.m. - Light refreshments will be served on the lawn outside the Sullivan Auditorium.
* If there is rain, there will be no outdoor procession. Students will line up in the Sullivan Academic center and faculty and staff will gather in the Woo Café at 2:30 p.m. If you are unsure about the weather, check this page for up-to-date event information.