Graduate Commencement 2018

May 12, 2018

Row of graduates at commencement

The university hosted two graduate Commencement ceremonies on May 12 in our TD Bank Sports Center on the York Hill Campus.

Joseph Natarelli '86 addressed graduates of the School of Business, School of Communications and School of Education at the morning ceremony.

Scarlett Lewis, founder and chief movement officer of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, was the keynote speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing ceremony in the afternoon.

Graduates encouraged to search for opportunities

Joseph Natarelli ’86, office managing partner at Marcum LLP, New Haven, encouraged the Class of 2018 to search for opportunities with imagination, perspiration and determination.

Natarelli addressed graduates of the School of Business, School of Communications and School of Education at the morning ceremony at which he received an honorary degree.

Natarelli told the graduates that opportunity will not find them. “You must find it,” he said. “Success comes to those who have prepared, to those who literally do the heavy lifting, to those who set goals that others might think too difficult, to those who understand that you will get out of life what you put into it.”

“As you leave this institution that bears President John Lahey’s indelible mark, let his example help illuminate your way forward,” Natarelli said. “The future was not clear when he first set foot on the Mount Carmel Campus — any more than the future was certain for any of you when you arrived. The problem for all of us is that, even today, this day in which the future beams bright and full of promise, that promise is never guaranteed.”

Natarelli shared that he was the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college.

“My father was a route salesman for a bakery and my mother worked in a school as an interpreter for the hearing impaired," he said. "While they hadn’t had the privilege of a college education, through their examples, they taught me lessons about the importance of hard work and the power of forming strong bonds with others.”

Luciana J. Fohsz ’18 addressed her fellow graduates. "As we close this chapter of our journey," she said, "be mindful to continue this education by being life-long learners. Remain focused, motivated and ambitious, but most of all, remain humble."

In all, there were 674 graduate degree candidates from the three schools:

  • In the School of Business, 419 students earned master of business administration degrees and master of science degrees in business analytics and organizational leadership.

  • In the School of Communications, 64 students earned master of science degrees in interactive media, journalism, public relations and sports journalism.

  • In the School of Education, 164 students earned master of arts in teaching degrees in elementary education and secondary education, master of science degrees in instructional design, teacher leadership and special education, and sixth-year diplomas in educational leadership.

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Have the courage to ‘choose love,’ graduates told

Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, urged the Class of 2018 to “choose love” above all else when peace seems elusive and anger seems everywhere.

Lewis, who lost her 6-year-old son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, addressed graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing. She was awarded an honorary degree at the afternoon graduate Commencement ceremony.

“My challenge to you, as you launch from Quinnipiac and into your life, is this: Be mindful of practicing your courage to choose love — every day, in every interaction and in every situation,” Lewis said. “Remember, you have a choice. In every decision, we are either choosing love or fear as the basis.”

Lewis noted that when individuals allow anger and revenge to cloud thoughts and actions, they become victims and powerless.

“You literally give control of your thoughts, which impact your feelings and actions — your life — to someone else,” Lewis said. “What happens then? It cultivates even more anger. You can't always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you respond, and you can always respond with love.”

“We must take personal responsibility for what is happening in our world and be a part of the solution. This is your world now,” Lewis said. “What we’ve learned from history is that ‘they’ — with a capital T — will not fix things in our personal lives in our environment and in our world. It is going to be us, each and every single one of us here today, being the change we wish to see, that will create a safer, more peaceful and loving world.”

Jennifer L. Dobrodziej, MHS ’18, president of the Graduate Student Council, spoke to Class of 2018.

“Quinnipiac has prepared us for our next chapter in life. We are competitive applicants, quality employees, and sophisticated and involved members of society,” Dobrodziej said. "Our staff, faculty and peers have always encouraged us to be bold and ambitious. We can continue to turn our passions into impact. We are the change that has been so desperately needed.”

In all, there were 424 graduate degree candidates from the three schools:

  • In the College of Arts and Sciences, 15 students earned master of science degrees in molecular and cell biology.

  • In the School of Health Sciences, 325 students earned master of health science degrees, master of occupational therapy degrees, master of social work degrees, occupational therapy doctorates and doctor of physical therapy degrees.

  • In the School of Nursing, 80 students earned doctor of nursing practice degrees and four others earned master of science degrees in nursing.

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