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Secretary Rivera and Hugh Herr Headline Commencement

This year’s undergraduate ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

Secretary Rivera

Millersville University students will make the walk across the stage to receive their degrees at the spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies in May.

This year’s undergraduate ceremony will be held in Biemesderfer Stadium on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 10 a.m. where Hugh Herr ’90 will receive an honorary degree and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera will give the commencement address. There are 976 students set to graduate on Saturday.

A rock climber and double amputee, Herr graduated from Millersville with an undergraduate degree in physics. He currently is an associate professor at the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) division of Health Sciences and Technology. He heads the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab, and is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. In 2011, TIME magazine coined him the “Leader of the Bionic Age” because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics – technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics.

Herr is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that provide greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and patents, chronicling the science and technology behind his many innovations. These publications span the scientific fields of biomechanics and biological motion control, as well as the technological innovations of human rehabilitation and augmentation technologies. As published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation in 2014, Herr’s team advanced the first autonomous exoskeleton to reduce the metabolic cost of human walking, a goal that has eluded scientists for over a century. In the field of human rehabilitation,

Rivera was appointed as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education by Governor Tom Wolf and confirmed unanimously by the State Senate in 2015. He brings extensive experience in public education to his role as a member of Governor Wolf’s Cabinet and has spent his entire career helping students. Prior to his appointment, he served as superintendent of The School District of Lancaster. Additionally, he was a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia, as well as a staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. In September 2014, he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education – one of 10 recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious honor.

The graduate commencement ceremony will be held in Pucillo Gymnasium on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. There will be 198 graduates including 10 doctoral grads. The commencement address will be given by Dr. Ruth Benns-Suter, recently retired as an associate professor of counseling psychology at Millersville University. Benns-Suter received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. While attending Michigan State, she majored in counseling, with a minor in both developmental psychology and statistics. Benns-Suter is also a licensed psychologist. At Millersville, she taught Human Relations (PSYC 234) at the undergraduate level. In the graduate program, she taught Group Processes and Personality, Multicultural Counseling, and Theory and Practice II. Benns-Suter’s research interests are in the area of cross-cultural comparisons and bi-racial identity development.


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