On Friday, May 9, 2014, the faculty and staff of Jones International University were pleased to welcome the 2014 Doctoral Graduates to the Denver, Colorado area for their Hooding Ceremony. This ceremony, the Investiture of Doctoral Degree Hoods, marks the culmination in these students’ academic career as they have successfully completed all coursework and dissertations required to earn their doctoral degrees.
The 2014 ceremony was held at the Inverness Hotel in Englewood, Colorado. Graduates, their friends and family, plus members of the faculty and staff of JIU gathered for the ceremony led by Dr. Lisa Braverman, Chief Academic Officer at JIU. After a warm welcome and opening remarks from JIU Chancellor, Dr. Milt Goldberg, Dr. Braverman gave an inspiring speech to the graduating class on the “Power of Imagination.”
Dr. Braverman next introduced the commencement speaker, Dr. Mark David Milliron. Dr. Milliron is best known for being an energetic champion for educational opportunity and a catalyst for conversations on innovation and the future of higher education. A well-known, award-winning leader, author, speaker, past college Chancellor and consultant, Doctor Milliron served as the founding chancellor Western Governor’s University Texas, as Deputy Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more recently Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of the student success and analytics innovator, Civitas Learning. Dr. Milliron delivered an inspirational speech in which he motivated the graduates to encourage and support others in their educational journeys.
Following Dr. Milliron’s commencement address, Dr. Braverman announced the Dissertation of the Year awards. Each year at JIU, the Society of Scholars reviews and selects two doctoral graduates from each the School of Business and the School of Education whose dissertations exceed expectations of excellence and who are selected to receive the Dissertation of the Year award. These two dissertations are also recognized as the “Gold Standard” in the JIU library. The 2014 Dissertation of the Year award winner from the School of Business is Carolyn Noreen Wilson from Hampton, Georgia for her dissertation entitled “The Glass Ceiling Phenomenon: Measuring Cultural Advancement.” The 2014 Dissertation of the Year award winner from the School of Education is Erik Shefsky, from Arden, North Carolina, for his dissertation entitled “Online University Stop-out Correlations: A Quantitative Parametric Study Investigating Master’s Level Graduate Student Demographic Factors Impacting Retention Behavior.” Congratulations to both Erik and Carolyn on their outstanding work.
Following the dissertation awards, Dr. Errin Heyman, Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. William Loendorf, Dean of the School of Business, joined Dr. Braverman for the Presentation of Hoods. Each graduate was recognized individually for their achievement and received their degree and hood, signifying their doctoral status.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates were invited to enjoy the traditional celebratory “champagne and strawberries” reception. Dr. Milton Goldberg led a special toast in which he recognized the momentous achievements of the graduates. Following the reception, graduates and their families were joined by JIU faculty and staff for a dinner reception and celebration.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014!