May 16, 2007
Contact: Terri Guess
Phone: (973) 972-3000
Convocation Exercises Begin at the UMDNJ Schools
NEWARK — The eight individual schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will host Convocation and Pre-Commencement ceremonies honoring the more than 1,470 graduates Sunday and Monday, May 20-21. Speakers will include notable medical practitioners and former alumnae. A special guest at the New Jersey Medical School Convocation will be journalist and talk show host Geraldo Rivera.
Rivera is the special guest of graduating student Brenda Natal. He provided an educational grant for Natal’s undergraduate, nursing school and medical school education. Upon Natal’ s graduation, Rivera promised to attend the ceremony.
Rivera adopted Natal’s eighth-grade class at the Rafael Cordero Middle School in East Harlem as part of New York City’s “Adopt a Class” program for troubled or inner city schools. Instead of mentoring the class of 28 students, Rivera offered to pay for their college education. Only a fraction of the class graduated high school with only a few of them completing college, Brenda being one of them. Rivera took a special interest in Natal and followed her throughout her secondary educational pursuits.
Natal has similarly adopted a gracious spirit. As a show of appreciation and dedication to the school, she and her husband will announce their gift of a $2,000 scholarship contribution in Rivera’s name.
Rivera and Natal will be available for interviews following the convocation.
New Jersey Medical School
Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania and Dean, School of Medicine, will address the graduates of the New Jersey Medical School Monday, May 21 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Prudential Hall in Newark at 10 a.m.
This year, the NJMS Distinguished Citizen award will be presented to Tim Reynolds, who donated $2 million gifts to Dr. Robert Heary, who established the Tim Reynolds Family Spinal Cord Injury Center. Mr. Reynolds will be present to receive this honor.
School of Osteopathic Medicine
The convocation speaker at the School of Osteopathic Medicine will be John B. Crosby, JD, Executive
Director of the American Osteopathic Association May 21, at Lucien's Manor, in Berlin at 4:30 p.m.
This year, the SOM Distinguished Alumna award will be presented to Dr. Jane Aronson who is recognized nationally and internationally for her pioneering work in adoption medicine and for establishing the Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) in 1997, where she continues to serve as Executive Medical Director.
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
The graduates of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School will be addressed by Dr. David S. Kountz, FACP, Senior Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Associate Dean UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The convocation Monday, May 21, begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m., Robing is at 6:30 p.m. at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.
School of Public Health
Dr. William H. Foege, MPH Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Emory University will be the recipient of the "Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Annual Award and Lecture in Public Health." Dr. Foege will also address the graduates at the School of Public Health convocation Monday, May 21, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, beginning at 7 p.m.
School of Health Related Professions
Ms. Maryann Master, Senior Vice President of Administration at UMDNJ is the convocation speaker for the School of Health Related Professions Monday, May 21 at the Pines Manor in Edison at 7 p.m.
School of Nursing
The graduates of the Nursing School will hear from Mary Ann Christopher, MSN, RN, FAAN, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey and a member of the UMDNJ Board of Trustees, Monday May 21 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center at 4 p.m.
New Jersey Dental School
Dr. Cecile Feldman, DMD, Dean of the New Jersey Dental School will address the graduates Sunday, May 20 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick at 10 a.m.
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Kathleen Scotto, Interim Dean of GSBS and the UMDNJ Vice President for Research, will host the Pre-commencement reception for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and give the welcoming remarks Sunday, May 20 at the Bridgewater Marriott at 6 p.m. Dr. Robbie McLeod, President of the Alumni Association will be presenting Distinguished Alumni awards to Dr. Gregory J. Tsongalis, Ph.D, a 1990 graduate from the GSBS-Newark divisions doctoral Program in Pathology and Dr. Kenneth Valenzano, Ph.D, a 1996 graduate from the joint GSBS/RU doctoral program in Pharmacology. Both, Dr. Tsongalis and Valenzano will address the graduates.
Members of the media interested in covering any of the events should contact Terri Guess at 973-972-5000.
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,700 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.