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First Nursing Doctorates Highlight College Ceremonies

Inaugural Grads Are First Fruits of New Degree Programs in Nursing, Statistics

May 17, 2014

Group of grads in caps and gowns toss mortarboards into the air.

Members of the Class of 2014 celebrate May 17 by tossing their mortarboards aloft.

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Highlights of individual graduation exercises held by the university's colleges and departments after the main ceremony on Saturday, May 17, included the first graduating classes from new degree programs in nursing practice and statistics.

The inaugural class of 28 doctoral candidates in the Southern California CSU Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Consortium are the first fruits of a doctoral program launched in 2012 to educate nurses for advanced practice.

State legislation adopted in 2010 authorized the CSU to offer the degree program to help fill the need for nursing faculty members and practicing nurses nationwide.

D.N.P. graduate Myriam Boutary gave the graduation speech during the commencement exercise for those graduating with nursing degrees, acknowledging the spouses, children and parents who helped make their dream of earning a doctorate possible.

“You are our unsung heroes who made sure our coffee was ready before we left for campus, that the laundry and dishes were done while we intensely wrote papers over the entire weekend,” Boutary said. “Thank you for cooking us meals, reminding us to take much needed breaks, and staying up late with us even though you did not know what was so critical about all those critical appraisals.”

Then she spoke directly to the D.N.P. graduates: “We are an incredible group of professionals that refuse to just live in the world before us,” she said. “We want to transform the world and let it transform us. We now speak and think differently; this will help us lead the transformation of health care and improve the care we give our patients.”

The graduating class includes Rachel McClanahan, named the Outstanding Graduate Student of 2014 by the Alumni Association. McClanahan said being part of this first class of D.N.P. students has been "challenging, rigorous and a wonderful experience.

"It is exciting to be part of this graduating class," she said, " and a total honor to be named the Outstanding Graduate Student. I'm still in shock when I look at the award letter."

Another First

Elsewhere on campus, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics celebrated the nine students graduating this year with CSUF's new master of science in statistics. This fully online graduate program is helping to meet the growing demand for professionals with knowledge and training in data science and quantitative analysis.

In his remarks, David D. Bowman, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, described the graduating seniors and master's candidates as an "extraordinary group of individuals" who are graduating from one of the "most noteworthy universities in the West," adding, "and besides, where else can you get to take a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy? Which reminds me, excuse me for a second …" Then Bowman, echoing a moment from the college's recent "Explorations in Citizen Science" symposium, snapped a selfie with those in caps and gowns, amid cheers and whoops. "That will go on Facebook later," he said.

Words of Wisdom

"Spend your life as if you were writing your eulogy," said William Briggs, dean of the College of Communications, in his address to members of the Class of 2014 gathered in Titan Stadium.

"Love your family and friends. Respect your health … except for tonight. Treat every human being with respect and dignity. Work for social justice and tolerance. Treat the planet well. And read the Constitution periodically. Pay special attention to the First Amendment. And remember these words from the Dalai Lama: "To achieve nirvana, you sometimes need to break the rules.'"

At a nearby ceremony, Anil Puri, dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, also addressed members of  the graduating class: "Today, you join the ranks of 55,000 Mihaylo College alumni who began their professional careers just as you are doing today — with hard-earned business degrees and high aspirations for their future," Puri said. "With a foundation of business principles, an understanding of leadership and the determination to work toward excellence, many of our alumni have become CEOs, presidents, partners, attorneys and owners of their own businesses."

He continued: "Ready to Work. Ready to Lead. This is the Mihaylo College mantra. … Like your family and friends, we are proud of your hard work and your success. You have met challenges, and you are ready to take the next step in your career."

Thoughts from Graduating Students

"As we sit out here, … please remember that we are all part of a select few individuals in this world to have the privilege of receiving such an exceptional education," said Jennifer Barber, Saturday's Mihaylo College student speaker. "… and now we are unstoppable. Our opportunities are endless and we have the ability to do absolutely remarkable things."


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