Minneapolis—January 18, 2011—More than 4,500 students from 50 states and 43 countries will celebrate their graduation during Walden University’s 45th commencement ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the James L. Knight International Center in Miami.

Greg Mortenson, an acclaimed education advocate who has worked tirelessly to advance global women’s literacy and social change, will deliver the commencement address. He will also receive the Presidential Award for Leadership in Social Change, which is presented to an individual who makes a profound impact by effecting positive social change in his or her local community, the nation or around the world. Best known for his 2007 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time, Mortenson is the co-founder and executive director of Central Asia Institute, a nonprofit organization working to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Degrees will be awarded at commencement from several programs for the first time: BS in Communication, BS in Computer Information Systems, BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program, MS in Clinical Research Administration and Education Specialist (EdS).

Among those who will be honored at commencement:

  • Dr. David J. Finch, a PhD in Applied Management Decision Sciences graduate of the College of Management and Technology from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, recipient of the Frank Dilley Award for a dissertation that meets the highest standards of academic excellence for his research, The Stakeholder Scorecard: Evaluating the Influence of Stakeholder Relationships on Corporate Performance
  • Dr. Sharon K. Powell-Laney, a Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership from Marion Center, Pa., recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Study Award for her research, The Use of Human Patient Simulators to Enhance the Clinical Decision Making of Nursing Students

The Walden University community gathers to honor its graduating students twice a year at summer and winter commencement ceremonies. For graduates, family and friends who are unable to attend in person, Walden will host a live webcast of the ceremony starting at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time at www.WaldenU.edu. An archived version will also be available.

About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 24 countries.

Walden offers more than 50 degree programs with more than 225 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, and information technology. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.hlcommission.org.

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