GSU Hosts First Doctorate Hooding Ceremony

University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Twenty Governors State University doctoral graduates, the first in the university’s 41-year history, will be honored on June 10 in a historic hooding ceremony that celebrates their academic achievements.   

“We devote a separate ceremony, the first of many, to the ritual of placing the hood, symbolizing the attainment of a doctoral degree. GSU professional doctorates connect the highest standards of practice with the most advanced breakthroughs in research.” said Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, President of Governors State University. At the university’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, June 12, the doctoral candidates will wear their hoods as they march across the stage at Tinley Park Convention Center to receive their degrees.  

The Doctorate in Physical Therapy and Doctorate in Nursing Practice programs elevate graduates to new levels of expertise and qualifications in their respective fields. The professional practice doctorate degree is a credential that is quickly gaining ground as professions adapt to the growth in knowledge in fields like nursing, physical therapy, and education.

“The practice doctorate gives professions the versatility to meet several challenges,” said Dr. Linda Samson, dean of the College of Health Professions. “For example, it will soon be the entry-level degree for physical therapy practice. In nursing, the degree will help put nurse educators in the classroom and assure the skill set of advanced practitioners.”

A practice doctorate differs from traditional Ph.D. The Ph.D. is a degree that advances research. Graduates typically continue that research at universities or research institutes. The professional doctorate focuses primarily on the knowledge graduates need for advanced or entry-level practice. It also allows experts in a given discipline to take on managerial functions and apply systems-based solutions to challenges in the field, or “big picture” solutions that solve problems by making sure seemingly independent functions work well together and offer the best care and utilization of resources.

Candidates at GSU for the Degree of Doctor of Nursing are Shirley Comer of Griffith, Indiana, and Patricia Martin of Frankfort.

Candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy include Tanya Anders  of Crete, Patricia Barker of Orland Hills, Megan Bryce of Willowbrook, Scott Bullard of Tinley Park, Michelle Gibbons of Chicago, Emily Harn of Sauk Village, Kristina Jones of Country Club Hills, Shannon Kleinfelder of Manteno, James Lagoni of Evergreen Park, Andrew Lange of Orland Hills, Cheryl Luif of Lynwood, Cari O’Donnell of Shorewood, Bradley Phillips of Bourbonnais, Megan Schneider of Champaign, Joshua Velarde, of New Lennox, Justin Velarde of New Lennox, Jena Zientek of Oak Lawn, and Gregory Zukowski of Riverdale.

The hooding ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m., in Sherman Hall. A reception will follow immediately. Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois. For more information about the doctorate programs at GSU, call (708) 534-4490.

Additional Commencement Week activities at Governors State University include a presentation by photographic artist Larry Kanfer, author of “Barns of Illinois,” on Tuesday, June 8, at 5:30 p.m., in Engbretson Hall. A reception and book signing will follow at 7 p.m., in E-Lounge.

Honorary degree recipient, Peter Schjeldahl, chief art critic for “The New Yorker,” will present a guest lecture on art on Friday, June 11, at 3:30 p.m., in Engbretson Hall.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (708) 534-7090.