University Communications

More than 1,450 eligible to graduate from USI May 2, 3

April 22, 2014 | John Farless
John Farless
Director of University Communications University Communications 812-228-5157
Article Photo
Photo Credit: USI Photo Services

The University of Southern Indiana’s Spring Commencement will be held during five ceremonies over two days, May 2 and 3, in the Physical Activities Center (PAC). A reception in University Center East will follow each ceremony.

More than 1,450 students are eligible to participate in Commencement, including 24 summa cum laude graduates, 126 magna cum laude graduates, 137 cum laude graduates, and 50 University Honors Scholars. Nearly 20 percent of the 2014 graduating class earned a grade point average of 3.6 or better.

Undergraduates will participate in four ceremonies on Saturday, May 3. The College of Nursing and Health Professions ceremony will be held at 9 a.m.; Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education at noon; College of Liberal Arts at 3 p.m.; and Romain College of Business and Division of Outreach and Engagement at 6 p.m. The doors to the PAC will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony. A ceremony for graduate students will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 2.

Speakers at each Commencement ceremony will be USI alumni who have excelled in their professional lives. They will come from across Indiana.

Honorary degrees will be presented to Christa C. Thurman Sala and to Dr. Robert L. Reid at the graduate ceremony. An honorary degree from USI is the highest form of recognition granted by the institution. Individuals selected to receive an honorary degree exemplify the highest ideals of integrity, service, and dedication to learning.

FRIDAY

Dr. Jill M. Chonody, associate professor with the School of Social Work at Indiana University Northwest, will deliver the Commencement address during the evening ceremony for graduate students.  She is a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work. She also holds a doctorate in social work from Florida State University. Starting her career in social work and mental health, Chonody worked as an outpatient psychotherapist with individuals, couples, and families. She also worked at Evansville Psychiatric Associates and Deaconess Cross Pointe and as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Indiana, Oakland City University, and Ivy Tech Community College. During this ceremony, Honorary Degrees will be presented to Christa C. Thurman Sala and to Dr. Robert L. Reid. Read more about the Commencement ceremony for graduate students.

SATURDAY

Tonya Heim will be the speaker at the 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Nursing and Health Professions.  She is vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer for Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, Indiana, where she also is leading a nursing and administrative team in pursuit of Magnet designation. Most recently, she completed LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Heim earned three degrees from the University of Southern Indiana: a master’s degree in health administration, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and a master’s degree in nursing. Prior to attending USI, she earned a diploma in nursing from Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in 1969 and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Oakland City University in 2001. During this ceremony, nursing graduate Jordan K. Morrison will accept the President’s Medal, the highest honor presented to a USI graduate. Read more about the Commencement ceremony for the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Dr. Cathlin S. Gray will address graduates in the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education at noon. She is currently the associate superintendent for Family, School, and Community Partnerships with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC), the third largest school district in Indiana. A native of Detroit, Michigan, she holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Southern Indiana. She also earned a master’s degree in education in 1990, an education specialist degree in 2000, and a doctorate in educational administration in 2006, all from Indiana State University. She holds a kindergarten through sixth-grade teaching license and a superintendent and school administrator’s license. Dr. Kent Scheller, associate professor of physics, will receive the 2014 Distinguished Professor Award during this ceremony. Read more about the Commencement ceremony for the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.

College of Liberal Arts graduates will hear Michael L. Good during the 3 p.m. ceremony. Good earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from USI, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Anderson University. Good is vice president of strategic accounts and business development for Walker Information in Indianapolis, Indiana, where, over the last seven years, he has focused on strategic customer consulting initiatives with industry leading clients. He also is an adjunct professor at Anderson University, teaching both marketing strategies and business plan development in the MBA Program. Read more about the Commencement ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts.

Donald R. Breivogel, Jr. will be the speaker for the Romain College of Business and Division of Outreach and Engagement ceremony at 6 p.m. In 2013, he became senior vice president and chief financial officer at Atlas World Group, Incorporated, after serving in the same position at Springleaf Financial for 11 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern Indiana. At USI he has been a member of the Romain College of Business Board of Advisors, a charter member of the Accounting Circle, and he established a scholarship for accounting students. Read more about the Commencement ceremony for Romain College of Business and the Division of Outreach and Engagement.

Guests of graduates participating in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and College of Liberal Arts ceremonies require tickets to attend. For more information about all ceremonies, as well as links to other Commencement information, go to http://www.usi.edu/commencement.

Live video of each ceremony will be streamed in the University Center East Conference Center (Rooms 2217-2220).

You also can view ceremonies via a livestream online. Instructions are available at http://www.usi.edu/it/commencement.

University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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