Dec 142012
 

By Ginger Livingston

Friday, December 14, 2012

A record number of doctoral degrees will be conferred during today’s East Carolina University fall commencement ceremony.

Forty-two doctorates will be bestowed during the 10 a.m. ceremony at Minges Coliseum.

“As a public university one of the ways East Carolina University contributes to regional economic development and transformation is through strong basic and translational research programs,” Paul Gemperline, dean of graduate studies, said. “The growth of research intensive doctoral programs is an important indicator of ECU’s commitment and growing contribution in this important area.”

The university had 28 doctoral graduates last fall, Gemperline said. Typically, the number of doctoral graduates falls in the low 20s.

Gemperline is hopeful that this year’s numbers are the beginning of an increase in doctoral graduates.

“I’m monitoring student demand and enrollment and that information indicates that trend will continue,” he said. “Maybe not as that high of a rate but I expect we’ll see an increasing trend.”

Twelve doctorates are being awarded in biomedical and related fields and 10 are educational degrees, Gemperline said. The remaining doctorates are divided among biological sciences, coastal resource management, nursing, technological and professional discourse, communication and science disorders and health psychology, he said.

The university’s doctoral program was launched in conjunction with the medical school, Gemperline said. Thomas Edward Curry Jr. received the university’s first doctoral degree, in the field of anatomy, in 1983.

ECU officials said more than 2,190 students are expected to receive degrees today, including about 1,600 bachelor degree candidates and 591 graduate degree candidates.

Ravi Paul, associate professor in the Department of Management Information Systems, will deliver the commencement address. The ceremony will begin with a band concert at 9:30 a.m.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

via The Daily Reflector.

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