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2020 Virtual Celebration Honors Doctoral Graduates

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 10:30am

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, a virtual doctoral celebration honored the accomplishments of participating doctoral candidates. A formal hooding ceremony will take place at a later date, when the Lehigh community can gather together safely again. 

The event began with a slideshow of student photos accompanied by music from the Lehigh University Wind Ensemble’s album, followed by a live webinar on Zoom featuring brief reflections by President John D. Simon; Provost Pat Farrell; Alan Snyder, vice president and associate provost for research and graduate studies; Beth Dolan, deputy provost for graduate education; and Kathleen Hutnik, associate dean for graduate life, as well as pre-recorded messages from the deans of Lehigh’s five colleges. Nick Ungson ’19G, who received a Ph.D. in psychology, served as the graduate student emcee.

The celebration included recognition of the four recipients of the Elizabeth V. Stout Dissertation Award, which recognizes doctoral dissertations that were judged to have made unusually significant and original contributions in their fields. The award was endowed by the late Robert Stout, former dean of the graduate school and professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, in memory of his wife. From the College of Education, Louis Rivera, who received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, for “Military Sexual Trauma: Exploring the Moderating Role of Restrictive Emotionality and Adverse Childhood Experiences among Male Veterans” was awarded the award along with students from across the other colleges at Lehigh.

A special element of the event was a digital “doctoral wall,” on which each participating doctoral graduate was featured on a “tile.” Each tile included an image submitted by the doctoral graduate, along with program and dissertation information. Participating graduates and faculty members exchanged messages on the tiles, and attendees offered notes of congratulations. The comment section on the doctoral wall will remain open for at least a week to allow others to share good wishes, and a recording of the event will also be available.