“Live a Life of Fulfillment and Accomplishment”

Graduates and Families Celebrate Goals Reached and Look to the Future

May 11, 2018 - “Take what you’ve learned at this fine institution and combine it with your values to live a life of fulfillment and accomplishment in order to leave a legacy that you, your family and Northeastern can be proud of.”

This was the message offered by graduation speaker Peter Roby, educator, athletic director, and advocate for social change through sport, who served as Northeastern’s athletic director from 2007–2018, and is a faculty member in the College of Professional Studies. He set his remarks in the context of the ethical issues of the day from sexual assault scandals in Hollywood to college athletics programs that place winning above everything, to controversies in professional football.

In his remarks, Roby also celebrated the multiple attributes he shared with many College of Professional Studies graduates: first generation collegian, pursuing higher education while balancing marriage, parenting and working, pursuing a degree in order to advance in a career, and serving as a role model for embracing higher education in his community.  By show of hands among graduates, almost everyone identified with one or more of these roles.

Thousands of family members and friends from around the globe attended the ceremony at Matthews Arena on the Boston campus, celebrating a total of 2,177 degrees  conferred— 313 Bachelor’s, 1,657 Master’s and 200 Doctoral.

Faculty Recognized for Teaching Excellence Award

During the ceremony, the College presented the Excellence in Teaching Award to two outstanding faculty members: Tom Koperniak, PhD and Chris Unger, EdD.

Dr. Tom Koperniak is described as a person with a passion for teaching and love for his profession. Students in the Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics, and Medical Devices program praised his approachability, his engaging lectures, and the many ways he shares current information so that students are aware of important changes in the ever-evolving field. “His enthusiasm and love for the subject is clearly visible,” wrote one student.

Nominated by students in the Doctor of Education program, Dr. Chris Unger is described by his students as dedicated and compassionate. One student wrote that he is “incredibly devoted to his role in this program and cares so much for the success of his students.” Another student commented: “He is compassionate, experienced, and wonderful to work with. He breathes so much life into the Doctor of Education program."

Doctoral Candidates Earn Symbol of Academic Achievement

On May 10, the College hosted a Doctoral Hooding Ceremony for candidates in the Doctor of EducationDoctor of Law and Policy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs symbolizing their transition from student to scholar-practitioner. Candidates received their doctoral hoods from their thesis advisers at this annual ceremony.

Once each year, one doctoral student is awarded the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work, the highest honor awarded by the College to a doctoral graduate. The award was established to acknowledge exemplary academic achievement and to recognize demonstrated creativity and writing quality.

This year, the Dean’s Medal winner was French Caldwell Jr., a graduate of the Doctor of Law and Policy program, for his thesis, “Tweeting Dystopia: The Impact of Cybermediaries on the Process of Making Public Policy.”  Caldwell studied the role of social media in the disintermediation of public policy, focusing on the Scottish independence referendum. Dr. Caldwell, who is the Chief Evangelist and global head of marketing at governance, risk and compliance software company MetricStream and a member of the executive leadership team, completed a career as a nuclear submarine officer, and he has directed special congressional projects for the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense.

About Northeastern University College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is one of nine colleges of Northeastern University, a nationally ranked private research university in Boston, MA. Founded in 1960, the College teaches undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students on campus and online in more than 70 degree programs and is part of The Lifelong Learning Network.

About the Lifelong Learning Network

The Northeastern University Lifelong Learning Network helps professionals participate in dynamic, experiential learning opportunities, earn degrees and certificates, build connections, and keep pace with the rapidly evolving business world—now and in the years to come. This is achieved through real-world experiences and rigorous curriculums, a supportive learning environment, and comprehensive academic and career coaching—all powered by an extensive network of alumni and employer partners. The Lifelong Learning Network is an innovative approach to lifelong learning, offering access to over 200 distinctive, high-quality educational programs, degrees, certificates, and boot camps.