3,050 Touro College Students in the Division of Graduate Studies Celebrate the 13th Annual Commencement at Madison Square Garden

Date: June 17, 2009
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Lamar P. Miller, dean, Graduate School of Education; Sheila Evans-Tranumn, associate commissioner for the New York State Education Department and keynote speaker; and Dr. Anthony J. Polemeni, vice president of Touro’s Division of Graduate Studies. (Photo Credit: Dan Stein)
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Lamar P. Miller, dean, Graduate School of Education; Sheila Evans-Tranumn, associate commissioner for the New York State Education Department and keynote speaker; and Dr. Anthony J. Polemeni, vice president of Touro’s Division of Graduate Studies. (Photo Credit: Dan Stein)
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Barbara Franklin
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Barbara.franklin@touro.edu

Sheila Evans-Tranumn, Associate Commissioner for the New York State Education Department, Delivered Commencement Address.

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Touro College students from five of Touro’s graduate schools received master’s degrees or advanced bilingual certificates at commencement ceremonies Thursday in the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Dr. Anthony J. Polemeni, vice president of Touro College’s Division of Graduate Studies, presided over the conferring of master’s degrees upon 3,050 students from the graduate schools of education, psychology, social work, health sciences, and technology.

The commencement address was delivered by the Associate Commissioner for the New York State Education Department, Sheila Evans-Tranumn.

"Talented people like you are entering a global society. Be a global thinker, and a global worker," urged Ms. Evans-Tranumn, as she captivated the attendees in the packed theater. "Talented people like you must take up democracy, and fight for justice and equality for all. Understand that education without morality is mis-education."

She continued: "You are a talented force of new leaders. Yet talent is not enough. You have to have faith in yourselves. A belief system plus talent brings excellence. You are the new leaders of the world. Make a point to see it. And it’s not about the paycheck, it’s about doing the right thing. Help the underserved, volunteer in schools, homeless shelters, and in soup kitchens."

In welcoming the new graduates, their families and friends, Dr. Polemeni said: "The most fortunate thing about being part of Touro is our open-door policy. I’m so fond of our students, and I’ve gotten to know so many of you personally. That is what sets us apart at Touro. There is an affection and warmth at Touro College."

One student from each of the five schools spoke on behalf of their peers. The speakers were: David Rubin, Graduate School of Technology; Joan Edwards, Graduate School of Social Work; Kimberly Barnaby, School of Health Sciences; Ydania Santos, Graduate School of Psychology; and Eloise Harris-Damone, Graduate School of Education.

Earlier this year Ms. Edwards was named the "Social Work Student of the Year" by the National Association of Social Workers. Ms. Barnaby, who started her own after-school tutorial program for underprivileged children, will begin her first year at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem in the fall. Ms. Santos was praised for her personal statement that she wrote years ago that is still remembered by administrators, and she thanked Touro for making her feel "known as a name, not a number." Mr. Rubin represented the first graduating class of the Graduate School of Technology, and noted that a graduate degree is not the "end of education." Ms. Harris-Damone noted that her graduating peers were from not just New York, but Russia, China, and the Caribbean, and that she hopes her future classroom has the same diversity and multiculturalism that Touro College offers.

A moving invocation was delivered by Dr. George Cohen, professor of education, and the deans of the individual schools also participated in the ceremonies. They were Dr. Isaac Herskowitz, dean, Graduate School of Technology; Dr. Steven Huberman, dean, Graduate School of Social Work; Dr. Louis Primavera, dean, Graduate School of Psychology and Graduate School of Health Sciences; and Dr. Lamar Miller, dean, Graduate School of Education.