Northeastern Graduates: “What World Do You Want to Live In?”

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies Confers More than 1,100 Degrees

“What world do you want to live in?”

That was the question posed this morning to more than 1,000 graduates at Matthews Arena on Northeastern’s Boston campus by graduation speaker Dr. Fred Frelow, education and scholarship senior program officer at the Ford Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the U.S. driving social change.

Thousands of family members and friends were in attendance, celebrating a total of 1,123 degrees conferred—14 Associate, 235 Bachelor’s, 732 Master’s, 10 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, and 132 Doctoral, one of the largest graduating classes of doctoral graduates to date. On Thursday, May 14, 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.

Frelow, who has dedicated his career to the transformation of education, encouraged all graduates, no matter what degree they earned, that “…whatever field you may work in after graduation, you can have an impact on other people and on the world around you that you may not realize or be able to measure until many years later.”

In addition to one of the largest graduating classes of doctoral graduates, this year’s class included other “firsts” and special guests connected to Northeastern around the world:

First Homeland Security Graduating Class

Eleven students in the Master’s in Homeland Security are the first to graduate since the program’s inception in 2013. They studied intelligence gathering and analysis, emergency planning and management, and social psychology, among other skills. Recently, National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank J. Grass, a four-star general, praised the program’s first-of-its-kind partnership with the National Guard. 

First Graduate from Boston Ballet Program

Sarah Wroth is the first dancer to graduate from the unique program between the Boston Ballet and the College, which allows dancers to pursue their degrees while dancing, preparing them for a career outside of ballet once their dancing careers end. Wroth graduated with her Master’s in Nonprofit Management.

Students from Hong Kong and Vietnam Programs Graduate in Boston

Students in Northeastern’s Doctor of Education program in Hong Kong celebrated as the first graduating cohort of the program. Three of the four graduates traveled to Boston to take part in graduation: Ratanaporn Choklap, Ching Wai Rebecca Ong, and Daya Datwani Choy.

Additionally, the first nine graduates of the College’s joint Master’s in Leadership program with International University, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, marked the first cohort to complete the program, which was established in 2012. The College welcomed one of the students, Quang Phamto graduation.

Exemplary Teaching and Social Impact

During graduation, the College presented the Teaching Excellence Award to two outstanding faculty members: Dr. Joseph McNabb and Cynthia Lynn Beers. The College also awarded the Dean’s Social Impact Award to William A. Lowell, for his lifetime of commitment to providing opportunities in education. Lowell is a trustee of the Lowell Institute, an educational foundation formed by his family in 1836 and one of the oldest continuing foundations in the country. Most recently, the Lowell Institute  awarded $4 million to re-imagine the Lowell Institute School at the College as a first-in-the-nation undergraduate school focused on students completing degrees in science, technology, and engineering in preparation for participation in the innovation economy.

Students Receive Degree of the Highest Honor: Their Doctorate 

Dean’s Medal Winner, Dr. Lyne Archambault-Ezenwa, is hooded by her thesis advisor.

On May 14, doctoral candidates of the Doctor of Education, Doctor of Law and Policy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs received their doctoral hoods from their thesis advisers at the College’s annual hooding ceremony.

At every doctoral hooding ceremony, one student is selected to receive 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.

This year, the Dean’s Medal winner was Dr. Lyne Archambault-Ezenwa for her thesis titled “A Comprehensive Physical Therapy Approach to the Evaluation and Treatment of Constipation—A Case Report,” which addresses a diagnosis not usually considered in the realm of physical therapy treatment. Her thesis advisers note in their nomination that “her work provides education to the consumer and medical community, highlighting the importance of comprehensive evaluation to include a whole body approach.” Dr. Archambault-Ezenwa has her own physical therapy practice and is vice president of E’ssential Health and Wellness, Inc., in Houston.

Dr. Susan Lowe, a faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, was the faculty speaker. A Northeastern faculty member since 1989, Lowe specializes clinically in geriatric physical therapy and has taught the geriatric content for Northeastern’s physical therapy program for more than 25 years.

Lowe described the diverse range of thesis topics the doctoral graduates had researched: Doctor of Education graduates investigated such topics as students coping with parental loss; graduates in the Doctor of Law and Policy program researched the impact of employment laws on domestic violence, renewable energy, climate change, and agriculture in California; and graduates in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program provided new evidence in areas including the relationship between mild traumatic brain injury and foul tips incurred by Major League baseball catchers.

“The combined effective actions of the graduates in this room has resulted in over 175 new pieces of evidence that will positively impact the fields of education, health care, and public policy,” she said.

About Northeastern University College of Professional Studies

Northeastern University College of Professional Studies is one of nine colleges that form the university. Northeastern University is recognized for academic excellence, ranking in the top 50 universities in the United States in U.S. News & World Report, as well as ranking sixth among U.S. universities sought by international students. Northeastern is renowned for experiential education, and the College of Professional Studies incorporates this strength in career-focused professional education at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Degrees reflect business needs, the reality of the present economy, and areas of professional growth and demand.