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May 2001

Release Date: May 5, 2001

Diplomas, Special Honors to be Awarded at 2001 ASU Commencement

Commencement exercises Friday, May 11, will culminate two days of graduation activities at Angelo State University and years of hard work for more than 450 students in the class of 2001.

Graduation activities will include a Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, May 10, and the annual commissioning ceremony for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 847 on Friday.

Graduates will receive their diplomas at university commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Friday in the San Angelo Coliseum. Commencement speaker will be Dr. Jay C. Davis, a nuclear physicist and director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in Washington, D.C. As head of the DTRA, Davis works to safeguard America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction by reducing the present threat and preparing for any future threats.

During the ceremony degrees will be conferred upon 41 graduate students and 423 undergraduate students. Graduate students will receive five master of arts, 16 master of business administration, four master of education, three master of public administration, 12 master of science and one master of science in nursing degrees.

Undergraduates will receive 47 associate in applied science, 82 bachelor of arts, 73 bachelor of business administration, one bachelor of fine arts, three bachelor of general studies, five bachelor of music, 207 bachelor of science and five bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

The Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in San Angelo Coliseum. The pinning ceremony became a U.S. tradition in the early 1800s to mark students' completion of nursing education and entry into the profession. Each ASU bachelor's and associate degree candidate in nursing will receive a pin representative of ASU and its Department of Nursing.

The AFROTC commissioning ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in the Davidson Conference Center of the Houston Harte University Center. Twelve cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. Speaker for the ceremony will be Chaplain Gerald D. McManus from Goodfellow Air Force Base.

For the university commencement Friday, graduating students and faculty should report no later than 6:15 p.m. to the east side of the coliseum to begin organizing for the processional.

During the commencement ceremony, several faculty and students will receive special recognition for their accomplishments.

Mathematics Instructor Ellen D. Moreland will be recognized as the recipient of the 2000-01 ASU Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Sherry J. Halfmann, professional specialist in nursing, and Dr. Mark Hama, visiting assistant professor of English, will also be recognized as finalists for the award. All three honorees will receive personal plaques and cash awards for their accomplishment. A permanent plaque honoring them will be displayed in the University Center.

Five graduates will receive special recognition. Graduating English and psychology major Sabahat Jahan, originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, will be recognized with the 2001 ASU Presidential Award.

Four other graduates will receive 2001 Distinguished Student Awards as the top graduates from their respective college or school. They are interdisciplinary child development and learning major Wendell R. Barker of Mineral Wells for the School of Education; history major Katie Marie Plum of Friendswood for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts; applied physics major Stephen J. Raif of San Angelo for the College of Sciences; and computer science major Thaddeus James Thompson, also of San Angelo, for the College of Business and Professional Studies.

Davis, the commencement speaker, is returning to ASU after serving as the AEP/West Texas Utilities Distinguished Professor in Residence in the fall of 1998.

He has been a scientific adviser to the United Nations Secretariat, to several U.S. agencies and to scientific agencies of the Australian and New Zealand governments. He participated in two United Nations inspections of Iraq as an expert on mass spectrometry and construction techniques. For his contributions to national security, the U.S. Department of Defense has twice awarded him the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest civilian award.

Davis has served as director of the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, a multi-disciplinary, multi-organizational group applying accelerator analytical techniques to problems in biomedicine, geochemistry, materials science and arms control. He has also served at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as associate director of environmental programs. His duties included integrating the laboratory's efforts in environmental research, development and demonstration.

He holds bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees, both in physics, from the University of Texas. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.