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University of the Rockies Confers 600 Graduate Degrees on October 28
Annual student, faculty and staff awards presented at Commencement Ceremony

A ceremony of pomp and circumstance marked the transition from “student” to “graduate” on Sunday as University of the Rockies conferred 600 master’s and doctoral degrees at Pikes Peak Center in downtown Colorado Springs.

As recipients of advanced degrees, University of the Rockies’ newest alumni enter an elite status. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that only 10 percent of the U.S. population holds an advanced degree.

The graduates were addressed by the “Mothers of Diversity,” Drs. Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe. Together, Gardenswartz and Rowe shared factors for success as described in their book “What It Takes.”

Graduates traveled to Colorado Springs from more than 30 states and Canada to participate in the ceremony and related events.    

Two University of the Rockies students were recognized for being “best-in-class.”  

Angela Edwards was named “Outstanding Student of the Year” for the School of Organizational Leadership, and Miriam Scott earned the same honor for the School of Professional Psychology.

Edwards is a doctoral student who is researching cross-cultural coaching. Scott graduated during the Oct. 28 ceremony, earning her doctor of psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.

The “Outstanding Student of the Year” award is selected by the Faculty Senate and presented annually. Award criteria include academic excellence, leadership, and service to the field of psychology.

Also honored at the graduation ceremony were students Deborah Moses, John Mrazek, Maria R. Smith, Eric Attard, Genette Irsik and Raelee Eicke.

·         Moses earned the J. Frank Rice, Jr. Memorial Scholarship which is presented annually to a minority student who values the pursuit of knowledge, serves the common good, and intends to become a clinical psychologist.

·         Mrazek was granted the Josephine Lyle Cowan and E. Garland Cowan, Sr., Memorial Scholarship, given annually to a student who intends to provide professional service to people in religious organizations.

·         Smith was awarded the James R. Gregg Memorial Scholarship, given in honor of an alumnus of the Colorado School of Professional Psychology.

·         Smith also earned the President’s Diversity Scholarship, along with Attard, Irsik and Eicke. The President’s Diversity Scholarship is given to four students annually on behalf of Dr. Charlita Shelton, president and CEO of University of the Rockies.

Faculty and staff also received honors during the commencement exercises:

·         The “Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award” was presented to Dr. Gary Mears, a core faculty member in the School of Professional Psychology.

·         The “Outstanding Staff of the Year Award” was given to Hillary Reed, campus admissions manager. 

·         Recently retired core faculty members, Drs. Jim Oraker and Lorri White, were honored with emeritus status.


About University of the Rockies

University of the Rockies is an advanced graduate institution for tomorrow’s thought leaders. The University provides an intimate and dynamic learning environment, offering highly specialized master’s and doctoral degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences, access to industry experts, campus clinical programs for practical experience, and research and publishing opportunities. University of the Rockies is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( Small by design, University of the Rockies classes are presented in a progressive online format and at its Colorado Springs, Colorado, campus. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 866.621.0124 x2513.