Saint Joseph’ University is proud to announce the Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree recipients for the Commencement Ceremonies on May 11, 2013:
The Commencement Speaker for the Graduate, Doctoral, and College of Professional and Liberal Studies 9AM Graduation Ceremony will be John W. O’Malley, S.J. Father O’Malley, a University professor in the Department of Theology from Georgetown University, will be an Honorary degree recipient.
The Commencement Speaker for the 3 PM Undergraduate Day Ceremony will be Elisabeth A. Hagen, M.D. '91 (B.S.) Dr. Hagan, the Under Secretary for Food Safety for the US Department of Agriculture, will be an Honorary degree recipient.
In addition, Ambroise Dorino Gabriel, S.J., Director of Foi et Joie: Haiti, and Rafael García Mora, S.J., the National Director of Fe y Alegria: Bolivia, will both receive honorary degrees during the Undergraduate Ceremony.
John W. O'Malley, S.J., University Professor in the Department of THeology, Georgetown University
Fr. O'Malley will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters and is an award winning author and consummate historian and theologian, he has lectured widely in North America and Europe to both professional and general audiences. Fr. O'Malley's academic specialty is the religious culture of early modern Europe, especially Italy. He has received best-book prizes from the American Historical Association, the American Philosophical Society, the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, and from the Alpha Sigma Nu fraternity. His best-known books are The First Jesuits (Harvard University Press, 1993), which has been translated into ten languages, and What Happened at Vatican II (Harvard, 2008). He has edited or co-edited a number of volumes, including three in the Collected Works of Erasmusseries, Univeristy of Toronto Press. Of special significance is The Jesuits and the Arts, which was published by our own Saint Joseph's University Press in 2005.
Fr. O'Malley has held a number of fellowships, including one from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is past president of the Renaissance Society of America and of the American Catholic Hisotrical Association. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Accademia di san Carlo,Ambrosian Library, Milan, Italy. He holds the Johannes Quasten Medal from The Catholic University of America for distinguished achievement award from the Society for Italian Historical Studies, and in 2005 the corresponding award from the Renaissance Society of America.
Elisabeth A. Hagen, M.D. '91 (B.S.), under-secretary for food safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Dr. Hagen will receive the Doctor of Public Service and is a model scientist, physician and public servant, whose primary concern is protecting public health through food safety. An alumna of our biology program, she exemplifies what is best about a Saint Joseph's education. Before entering public service, Dr. Hagen taught and practiced medicine in both private and academic sectors. Since joining the federal government in 2006, she has advanced a science-based, public health agenda at USDA, direct federal government in 2006, she has advanced a science-based, public health agenda at USDA, directed mission-critical outbreak and consumer complaint investigations, overseen agency risk assessments and regulatory testing programs, and led key policy development efforts for emerging public health issues as a senior executive in the Food Safety and Infection Services (FSIS) Office of Public Health Science, most recently as deputy assistant administrator.
Prior to her appointment in 2010 as under-secretary, Dr. Hagen served as the USDA's chief medical officer, advising the FSIS and other USDA mission areas on a range of human health issues, such as food safety, nutrition and zoonotic diseases. As under-secretary, she oversees the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the USDA's public health regulatory agency that ensures that the nation's commercial meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged. She also chairs the U.S. Codex Steering Committee, which provided guidance to U.S. delegations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
In addition to several hospital and university appointments, Dr. Hagen's background includes research and publications in infectious diseases and providing medical care to underserved populations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree fro mSaint Joseph's Univeristy and a M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed specialty medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Pennsylvania and is board certified in infectious diseases.
Ambroise Dorino Gabriel, S.J., the director of Foi et Joie: Haiti, will receive an honorary Doctor of Education at the undergraduate ceremony. Foi et Joie, meaning “Faith and Joy” (in French), is an international educational system dedicated to building schools and developing educational infrastructure. Fr. Gabriel is working to create a new education system in Haiti, which requires him to build schools, seek out and hire teachers, develop curricula and finance all aspects of the schools. Since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the organization started 17 grammar schools throughout the country. Inspired by these efforts, a group of Saint Joseph’s faculty, administrators and staff, as well as a group from Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., chose to help Foi et Joie: Haiti by forming SJU Project Haiti and entering into a partnership, committing intellectual and fundraising resources to improve pedagogy in the schools.
Fr. Gabriel is a quadra-lingual Jesuit who has received a Master’s in Theology, a Licentiate in Philosophy, and has pursued doctoral studies in anthropology at Laval University in Québec, Canada. He is the author of an important work on Voodoo and religion, entitled La Cérémonie du Bois-Caïman et le sens du vodou dans les luttes identitaire, religieuse et politique du people haïtien (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Henri Deschamps, 2011).
Rafael García Mora, S.J., the national director of Fe y Alegria: Bolivia, will also receive an honorary Doctor of Education at the undergraduate ceremony. Fey y Alegria, which also means “Faith and Joy” (in Spanish), is an international education program founded in Jesuit philosophy to serve the poor and marginalized. In Bolivia, Fr. García Mora has provided leadership for a national, regional and local staff who work in some 400 schools, transforming the lives of more than 160,000 students. Fr. García Mora leads his staff with ingenuity and devotion to academic excellence. Celebrating 10 years of collaboration, the SJU and Fe y Alegria: Bolivia partnership is best known for its faculty and staff immersion experience, but it also includes joint research projects and training opportunities, among other initiatives. Fr. García Mora is a biologist who earned a doctorate from the University of Barcelona. He also holds degrees in ecology and the environment from the University of Nottingham, England.