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Commencement, May 2011

At the 245th Commencement in the Rutgers University Stadium on Sunday, May 15th the families and friends of Rutgers’ undergraduate and graduate students came together to celebrate the achievements of the classes of 2011. President Richard McCormick presided over the commencement ceremony and introduced keynote speaker Toni Morrison, one of the most influential prize-winning American novelists.  In 1988 Morrison received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved and also became the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993.  Morrison received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Rutgers during the ceremony. 

Immediately following the university-wide commencement proceedings at the stadium, GSAPP conducted its thirty-sixth graduation reception and hosted its first convocation in the Life Sciences Atrium on Busch campus.  Dean Stanley Messer welcomed families, friends, and faculty to celebrate the hooding ceremony of the thirty-nine newly presented Doctors of Psychology (PsyD).  Dean Messer shared poignant and inspiring tributes from students, faculty, and families about the dedication and commitment shown by the graduates throughout their doctoral program.  Reminding those present to, “Seek a meaningful life,” Dr. Messer emphasized how these graduates are well equipped to go forth, do good, and better the world.   

Kelly Nicole Moore (Clinical) is being presented with the Robert D. Weitz Award by Dean Stanley Messer . This award is presented to the graduating student whose energy, spirit, and enthusiasm evidences a dedication and willingness to work in the interests of professional psychology and the people it serves.

The Cyril Franks Award, which is presented to the graduating student whose doctoral dissertation evidences outstanding scholarship and reflects GSAPP’s standard of excellence, was awarded to Sarah Kowal Alden (Clinical). Sarah’s dissertation entitled “An Exploration of the Impact of Social Institutions and Interpersonal Connections on the Sexual Expression and Identity of Dually Attracted and Bisexual Women”.  Professors Emerti Cyril and Violet Franks were in attendance and were delighted to meet the 2011 Franks Award recipient.  Kowal

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Finally, Dr. Rosalind Dorlen, (Clinical, 1977) President of the GSAPP Alumni Organization, warmly welcomed the newly presented PsyDs as Rutgers alumni.  GSAPP’s Commencement and Convocation celebrated the many accomplishments of the class of 2011, well-trained professionals poised to help children, adolescents, adults, communities, schools, and organizations address mental, emotional, and behavioral health challenges.