Fall commencement ceremonies set to honor more than 1,400 new graduates
The University of Missouri–St. Louis will celebrate more than 1,400 new graduates on Dec. 14 as the university concludes the Fall 2019 semester with a trio of commencement ceremonies at the Mark Twain Athletic Center on North Campus.
A total of 484 students completed work toward their degrees in August and are eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies. They are joined by 991 December candidates.
“I hope you feel the recognition you’ve rightly earned, and I hope you feel content in the knowledge that what you’ve achieved in your time here is a foundation for the rest of your future successes,” Interim Chancellor and Provost Kristin Sobolik wrote in a message to the graduates.
Sobolik will have company at the Dec. 14 celebration with Denise M. Murphy, alumna Marie A. Casey and Tim Nowak each scheduled to deliver commencement addresses at one of the day’s three ceremonies.
Murphy will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony for graduates of the College of Education, College of Nursing and School of Social Work.
She is vice president for patient care systems and senior nurse executive for BJC HealthCare, a 15-hospital system in St. Louis. She previously served as vice president of quality and patient safety for Main Line Health in suburban Philadelphia. From 2003 to 2008, she was vice president and chief safety and quality officer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Prior to that position, Murphy spent seven years as director of healthcare epidemiology and patient safety for BJC HealthCare. Murphy is considered an international expert on the business of infection prevention and the establishment of effective patient safety and quality programs, optimizing process improvement in health care and creating and sustaining a highly reliable safety culture. Murphy was the 2010 winner of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s Carole DeMille Achievement Award for infection prevention and, in 2013, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing for leadership in infection prevention, patient safety and quality.
Casey is slated to speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The 1978 UMSL graduate was a double major in political science and communication. After earning her degree, she joined St. Louis Construction News and Review, serving as staff writer and editor. In 1983, she founded Casey Communications, Inc. to provide marketing communication services, focusing initially on helping design and construction firms, financial services and technology companies, labor management organizations and schools. She later expanded to serve many of St. Louis’ most recognized entrepreneurial organizations. Since 1983, Casey has published a dozen books and produced videos and exhibits chronicling the legacies of families, unions and such companies as Drury Hotels, Reinsurance Group of America and Schnucks. She is an advisory board member for Midwest BankCentre and has served on many nonprofit boards, including the Missouri Historical Society, the St. Louis Mercantile Library and several UMSL boards. Casey has been honored with the St. Louis Forum Trailblazer Award, UMSL Distinguished Service Award for campuswide service, UMSL Trailblazer Award, St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Business Women and the UMSL Distinguished Alumni Award.
Nowak will be the commencement speaker at the 6 p.m. ceremony for graduates of the College of Business Administration and the UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program.
The executive director of World Trade Center St. Louis oversees the delivery of valuable international-related services to regional companies. Leveraging a strong network of business connections and government agencies, World Trade Center St. Louis provides customized trade research to identify global opportunities, trade- and investment-focused events, key business contacts and introductions, and training and educational programs. Nowak joined World Trade Center St. Louis in 2007, bringing years of experience in business development, domestic and international sales and management. He has worked extensively in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, South America and Africa. Nowak has managed and directed international sales organizations in the medical industry, including distribution and direct-sales strategies. Born and raised in St. Louis, Nowak holds bachelor’s degrees in marketing and logistics from the University of Missouri–Columbia and an MBA from Webster University. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis.
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