Student address highlights Commencement 2017 ceremonies

Dominican celebrated Commencement 2017 on Saturday, May 13, conferring degrees on more than 500 students, including 378 undergraduates and 139 graduates.

Janet Brown, Executive Director of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree and delivered the keynote address. Tegist Worku and Hawi Awash delivered the undergraduate student address. Molly Gamble delivered the graduate student address.

Tegist and Hawi’s speech was accompanied by African drums to represent the interconnectedness and interdependence in human relationships.

“We stand before you today as a testament of how a rhythm works, through the molding of different sounds a beautiful melody is created,” Tegist said. “As women born in Ethiopia a world far different from where we stand today, the experiences that we have had is what have allowed us to be the individuals that we are, proud of the multiplicity of our world and the uniqueness we bring to it.”

In her address, Molly noted that Dominican has been a part of her family history for many generations. Both her mother and her grandmother attended Dominican.  As a child, Molly attended The Garden School, located on the first floor of Dominican’s Edgehill Mansion, where she studied under the watchful eye of late Sister Patricia Lyons, O.P.

In her keynote address, Janet Brown praised the work of College Debate 2016 at Dominican and the achievements of its students.

“The motto of the 2017 Class Shield is `Embrace Illumination.’ Your record at Dominican shows that is exactly what you have done,” Brown said. “Your teachers and coaches have opened windows and doors to learning and you have taken full advantage, mastering new skills and exercising them for the good of others. You have created images that tell stories of your family’s medical challenges or of their journeys to freedom. You studied viruses in Nicaragua, served alongside medical students in rural Mexico, and helped Syrian refugees in Greece. You’ve research the potential use of pine needles as biomass for fuel and of sea sponges for improved pain killers. You’ve volunteered with border patrols, introduced presidential candidates, and met ambassadors. And you made it possible for a boy named Alessio to meet Mickey Mouse in Hawaii. You are surrounded by learning opportunities on this campus. It would have been impossible to avoid them. Going forward remember the motto from your shield and practice it.”

Communications major Melissa Stoakley was named the Outstanding Student. Business Administration major Carly Holboke received the Veritas Cup, an award presented annually to a student considered “a friend of the class.”

James Tapia (Barowsky School of Business), Robyn Dabora (School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences), Kimberly Lloyd (School of Education and Counseling Psychology), and Sarah Yoder (School of Health and Natural Sciences) were named Outstanding Graduate Students of the Year.

Shad St. Louis, assistant professor in Occupational Therapy, was Teacher of the Year.

The entire ceremony was broadcast live over Penguin Radio. Visit its website to hear a replay of Commencement 2017.


May 15, 2017