The 245th Commencement

Graduate School to confer 705 degrees

May 17, 2013  |  Media Contact: Kevin Stacey |  401-863-3766
A joyous culmination of research and training - A day of orations, alumni/ae honors, advanced degrees, and celebration of academic achievement.
A joyous culmination of research and training A day of orations, alumni/ae honors, advanced degrees, and celebration of academic achievement.
The Brown Graduate School will confer 705 advanced degrees at its Commencement Convocation Sunday, May 26, 2013, and will present a variety of awards for excellent dissertations, graduate alumni achievement, and academic services.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University expects to award 705 advanced degrees at this year’s Graduate School Commencement Convocation, to be held at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, May 26, 2013, on the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle.

“The day is a joyous culmination of research and training,” said Peter M. Weber, dean of the Graduate School. “Graduate students are integral to the intellectual life of the University, and Brown celebrates their accomplishments and their promise.”

Benjamin J. Raymond, who will receive a Master of Arts in Teaching, will be this year’s graduate student orator. Raymond, who specializes in secondary English education, was selected by the Graduate Student Council and will give a speech titled “Pride, Considered.”

Originally from Williamsport, Pa., Raymond received a B.A. in English and humanities and an M.A. in English from Villanova University. He recently completed his student teaching at East Greenwich High School, where he taught freshman English, honors contemporary literature, and creative writing. After graduation, Raymond will begin his career in public education as an English teacher and soccer coach at Scituate High School in Scituate, Mass.

Karen L. King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, will receive the Horace Mann Medal, which is awarded annually to a Brown Graduate School alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field. King, an internationally known scholar of early Christianity, earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from Brown in 1984.

King’s work focuses on how manuscripts of previously unknown Christian works discovered in Egypt change the history of early Christianity. She is particularly interested in images of the divine feminine, sexuality, the voices of marginalized “heretics,” and alternatives to the heroizing of violence and martyrdom.

Recently, King made international headlines for her revelation of a fragment of papyrus that portrays Jesus as referring to a wife. She will deliver the Horace Mann Medalist Forum: “Was Jesus Married? Early Christian Controversies over Marriage, Celibacy, and Salvation.” The forum, which is co-sponsored by the Graduate School and the Department of Religious Studies, is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, in Metcalf Research Laboratory, Friedman Auditorium, Room 101.

Four doctoral students, one each from humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences, will receive the Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Prize:

  • Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, ethnomusicology, for “Come Hear our Merry Song”: Shifts in the Sound of Contemporary Swedish Radical Nationalism;
  • Jennifer R. Davis, molecular pharmacology and physiology, for Genetic, Biochemical and Biophysical Investigations of Lignocellulose Degradation by Actinobacteria for Bioenergy Applications;
  • Michael M. H. Luk, physics, for The Search for a Heavy Top-Like Quark; and
  • Susan Helen Ellison, anthropology, for Mediating Democracy in El Alto: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia.

Janet Peters, a Brown Writing Center coordinator, will receive the Wilson-DeBlois award, given annually by the Graduate Student Council to express their appreciation for the recipient’s dedication and commitment to graduate students at the University.

At the University Awards Ceremony held earlier this month, the Graduate School Faculty Advising and Mentoring Award was presented to Ellen Rooney, professor and chair of the Department of Modern Culture and Media and professor of English. Anna F. Bialek, a Ph.D. candidate in religious studies, and Jason M. Scimeca, a Ph.D. candidate in cognitive science, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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