Nearly 100 receive degrees in 2009 Penn State DuBois commencemt

May 16, 2009

Nearly 100 degrees were awarded during the commencement ceremonies at Penn State DuBois held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, in the campus gymnasium. The degrees awarded included master's, bachelor's and associates degrees. Chancellor Anita McDonald presided over the ceremony and conferred degrees. Senior instructor in wildlife technology Joseph Hummer served as Campus Marshall, and director of Academic Affairs Debra Straussfogel presented academic awards. 

Michael S. Singer was the commencement speaker. He is a licensed physician and a senior translational medical expert with Novartis Biomedical Institutes in Massachusetts. He is also an associate medical director with Boston Scientific Corporation, and the chief scientific officer with Health Honors Corporation. Singer attended both DuBois Area High School and Penn State DuBois before receiving his education in Biology and Neuroscience at Yale. He completed Courses at Penn State DuBois from 1989 through 1991 while still in high school, long before current dual enrollment programs were introduced. It was during this time that he also received the Rotary International District Scholarship and the Rotary International Youth Leadership Scholarship.

In his commencement address, Singer told graduates that the key to success is open mindedness and the ability to recognize opportunity. "You have to be open to new ideas and people of all kinds," he said. "You see that kind of openness at a university, but in the outside world you don't see it as much. You need to learn to cultivate that kind of openness in your life."

Singer explained that great success can come to those willing to consider new ideas, no matter what their field or interests. "Innovation is everywhere, not just in science and technology," he said. Using a real world example, Singer noted the current style of ketchup bottles that are now designed to stand on the lid, or upside-down, so that that it's easier to get the ketchup out. He asked, "How many people used to stand the old ketchup bottles upside down anyway? How many people actually came up with that idea long before a company put it to use?"

The simple ketchup bottle, Singer explained, is the kind of straightforward, everyday life innovation that anyone is capable of if they have the courage to develop their ideas. "People censor themselves," he said. "They come up with an idea, but are afraid to follow through with it. You need to follow through and expand upon those ideas."

For photos of Penn State DuBois' commencement ceremonies, go to


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Last Updated May 19, 2009