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Walden News // Aug 01, 2016

Walden University Alumni, Faculty and Staff Honored During 56th Commencement Weekend

Minneapolis—August 1, 2016

—More than 1,340 graduates, along with about 6,000 guests, attended Walden University’s 56th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, July 16, 2016, at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland. These newest graduates make Walden’s international network of alumni more than 100,000 strong.

Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico (1994–2000) and a leading voice on globalization and economic development, was the keynote speaker and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.

Several people in the Walden community were recognized and honored during commencement weekend, including Paula Singer, chair of the Walden Board of Directors for nearly 15 years, who received an honorary degree. As chief network officer of Laureate Education, Singer is responsible for extending the unique academic, business, and student-centered strengths and experience of Laureate’s global network throughout the institutions that are part of the Laureate International Universities network, including Walden.

Several alumni, faculty and staff were also honored, including:

  • Ardian Shajkovci, a 2016 PhD in Public Policy and Administration graduate from Fairfax, Virginia, who received the Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for his dissertation, Radicalization and Safety and Security in the Balkans: An Ethnographic Study. This award is bestowed upon the graduate whose dissertation is judged as meeting the highest standards of academic excellence.
  • Dr. Bruce Lindsay, Dr. Mark Stallo and Dr. Sylvia Gage, faculty in the School of Public Policy and Administration, received the Bernard L. Turner Award, given to the faculty dissertation committee of the Harold L. Hodgkinson Award winner.
  • John Henry Felix, who earned his PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden in 1975, received the Outstanding Alumni Award, which recognizes an alumna or alumnus who exemplifies Walden’s mission to effect positive social change. Utilizing knowledge gained with his degree, Dr. Felix—a successful entrepreneur and businessman—is also one of Hawaii’s most dedicated and dynamic community leaders, serving as chief of staff to one of Hawaii’s governors and as an elected member of the City Council of Honolulu.
  • Faculty Excellence Awards were presented to the following individuals:
    • Dr. Marcia Dawkins, Center for General Education
    • Dr. Vasileios Margaritis, College of Health Sciences
    • Dr. Nina Nabors, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Dr. Timothy Powell, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
    • Dr. Marilys Taylor, College of Management and Technology
    Dr. Nina Nabors also received the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence, which honors the faculty member who demonstrates unmatched dedication to the university, its mission and its vision, and exemplifies the Walden educator’s role in empowering students to advance positive social change in their communities.
  • Dr. Tina Jaeckle, faculty in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work and Human Services, and Molly Raymond, field education coordinator, received the Commitment to Social Change Award, given to faculty and staff who personify Walden’s mission of social change.

The graduates in attendance were part of a graduating class of more than 5,330 students, representing 50 states and 96 countries, who have completed bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and education specialist degree programs at Walden in the past 6 months.

The Walden University community gathers to honor its graduating students twice a year at summer and winter commencement ceremonies, with many graduates and guests participating via live webcast.

About Walden University
For more than 45 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 52,600 students from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 155 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 400 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit

Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 70 campus-based and online universities in 25 countries. For more information, visit