Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies Confers 821 Degrees

First Doctor of Education Graduates Receive Diplomas and Charge to Transform the Field


The College of Professional Studies celebrates its Fall 2011 Graduation Ceremony.


BOSTON, MA — Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies celebrated Fall 2011 Graduation on Saturday, September 17, conferring 821 degrees, including the first Doctor of Education (EdD) degrees awarded by the College. Northeastern University last conferred a Doctorate of Education in 1997.

Interim Dean John LaBrie, EdD welcomed an assembled group of more than 2,200 people comprised of graduates, family members and friends, faculty, administration leaders, and staff at the Westin Copley Place, Boston to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the fall class of 2011.

In his speech, LaBrie called on graduates to be a strong voice for the importance of education in a difficult economy:

“Your credential earned today and the education you have received will certainly benefit you. But, it will also benefit many people around you in ways that we can measure and in ways we cannot. Nevertheless, today education is frequently described as a private good, one that benefits only the individual who is able to afford an education.

In part, because of this view, and the priorities in funding that result from it, there are cracks in our educational system that need to be addressed … When education is reduced to a consumable in our public discourse, speak up and let your community and leaders know that this is an investment that benefits all of us.”

Doctoral Celebration

On Friday, September 16, the College of Professional Studies honored its 42 doctoral candidates in a hooding ceremony, marking the transition of students from doctoral candidates to the community of scholar-practitioners in their fields. Doctoral candidates received their hoods from their advisors, a traditional symbol of academic achievement to be worn over their academic gowns.

Among the doctoral candidates were 14 students who had completed the College’s Doctor of Education program and are the program’s first graduates. The program is designed for professionals working in the field who desire to effect transformational change in their practice.

Director of the Doctoral Program in Education, Mya M. Mangawang, PhD describes the experience of the EdD candidates: “As a program, we aim to provide a high quality learning experience that is available to a broad spectrum of students including full-time professionals. We are nimble in our delivery of courses in order to be able to engage scholar-practitioners from across the U.S. in a vibrant learning community. While in our program, students are therefore able to remain primarily embedded within their own organizations, institutions, and school districts while developing the requisite skills and dispositions to be leaders in the field.”

Dean’s Medal

At the doctoral hooding ceremony, Interim Dean LaBrie announced the inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work, Dr. Eugene Pavone, for his work entitled “Vestibular Rehabilitation in a Patient with Labyrinthitis: A Case Report.”

Dr. Pavone came to the College of Professional Studies with 30 years of experience as a physical therapist and throughout that career has demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning. Pavone has published 19 book reviews and 50 article abstracts in the journal Physical Therapy.

The nomination of Dr. Pavone reads, in part, “The paper is one that a practicing physical therapist could read and apply the next day in practice … it presents an excellent application of the theory and clearly demonstrated … understanding of the field of vestibular dysfunction.”

More about graduation

To read about the CPS Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, visit The ‘culmination of a long-term promise’.

To read Interim Dean John LaBrie’s graduation speech, visit Interim Dean John LaBrie delivers graduation address.

To read about graduates’ experiences at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS), plans after graduation, and advice to current CPS students working towards their degrees, visit We Learned from Each Other’s Life Experience: Voices from Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies Fall 2011 Graduation.   

The College of Professional Studies celebrates two graduations, fall and spring, in keeping with the College’s flexible approach to education offering an array of options to students including part-time and full-time studies, Fast-Track, online, and hybrid formats. Graduates earned diplomas in 61 different degree programs at the associate, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels.

To learn more about graduation, visit:

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Northeastern University is a global university with a tradition of partnership and engagement that creates an innovative, distinctive approach to education and research. Northeastern integrates classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities in 70 countries, and pursues use-inspired research with a focus on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability.