Kansas State University


Graduate School

Fall 2012 commencement

Niranga Amarasingha, Ph.D. in civil engineering, receives her diploma from Dr. Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School. Photo by GradImages

Graduating with an advanced degree requires an immense amount of effort and countless hours. Yet according to Dr. Esther Myers, a 1989 doctoral graduate and the 2011 Alumni Fellow, it is a privilege.

As the Fall 2012 commencement speaker, Myers congratulated the 336 master’s and 50 doctoral graduates for their hard work and for joining a small segment of the U.S. population who had earned an advanced degree. The 2011 U.S. census data shows that 8% of the population over the age of 25 has a master’s degree and between 1-3% have a doctorate degree.

As part of this elite group, Myers challenged each graduate to:

  • fulfill an obligation to society and his or her profession,
  • find joy in work, and
  • strive for balance in life.

Perhaps the best example of achieving these challenges can be found in the four graduate faculty members honored as University Distinguished Professors during commencement. University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor the university can bestow to recognize outstanding contributions to teaching, research and service.  The four award winners were:  Christer Aakeröy, professor of chemistry; Itzik Ben-Itzhak, professor of physics; Sue Brown, professor of biology; and Ruth Welti, professor of biology.

Based on the achievements of the recipients, it is clear each individual has made significant contributions to advancing science, is passionate about the work he/she does and strives to achieve balance in life. They are definite role models for the Fall 2012 graduates.

One thought on “Fall 2012 commencement
  1. As a KSU graduate with both undergraduate and advanced degrees, I value my graduate education and the opportunities it has afforded me. I applaud the efforts to be recognized as a premier research institution, but definitely not at the expense of undergraduate education. As a state-supported institution, your primary mission should be to provide top-notch undergraduate education for Kansas residents. These two goals, while not incompatible, may be impossible to achieve completely. Therefore, I would urge the institution to place primary emphasis on undergraduate education, including training of teaching assistants to teach effectively and rewarding outstanding teachers (both TAs and professors) in a monetary fashion that proves the university means what it says regarding undergraduate education.

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