Embry-Riddle Achieves Fall Commencement Record with More Than 500 Graduates, Including 10 Doctoral Students

Former aviation executive and author of “Mediocrity is Not an Option,” Robert M. Chiusano, is guest speaker at graduation.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus is graduating its largest fall class in the school’s history. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 18, at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach and will be streamed live at portal.stretchinternet.com/erauadmin.

Based on the latest numbers, the class of 518 students, representing the Colleges of Aviation, Arts & Sciences, Business and Engineering, include 94 students receiving master degrees and 10 receiving Ph.Ds.  The doctoral graduates represent the fields of Aviation, Engineering Physics and Human Factors.

The Fall 2017 graduating class includes 24 students receiving military commissions: 12 from Air Force ROTC, seven from Navy/Marine Corps ROTC and five from Army ROTC.

Commencement Speaker

The Dec. 18 commencement ceremony features guest speaker Robert (Bob) M. Chiusano, Chairman of the Board of Winnebago Industries and author of Mediocrity is Not an Option.

Known for his energy and passion for life, Chiusano challenges people to become more self-aware and strive to reach their full potential by practicing the art of lifelong learning and becoming an agent of continuous change. He will share his Top 10 Principles of Leadership, which include a combination of values, skills and behaviors that he amassed over the course of his professional and personal lives.

After receiving a B.S. in Engineering from the State University of New York, he began his career at Rockwell Collins while earning a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. 

At Rockwell Collins, a leader in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers, he served in a variety of leadership positions including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Systems. After a successful tenure at Rockwell Collins, he embarked on a multifaceted career focusing on personal and leadership development, including founding RMC Consultancy. He also serves as an adjunct lecturer and student mentor at the University of Iowa. A director of the board of Winnebago Industries since 2008, he was elected chairman of the board last year.

Doctoral Degrees

Ten students will receive Ph.Ds. Graduates with doctoral degrees in Aviation are Erik R. Baker, Stephen Curran, Jing Yu Pan, Casey E. Richardson, Timothy A. Sestak and Gregory Stephen Woo. Engineering Physics doctoral graduates are Yafang Guo and Samuel Jamie Kitchen-McKinley. In Human Factors, the Ph.D. graduates are Tracy Litzinger and Kristen Webster.

Commissioning Ceremonies and Master’s Hooding Ceremony on the Daytona Beach Campus:

Friday, Dec. 15
Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – Cadets of the Eagle Battalion will take the oath of office to commission as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at 10 a.m. in the Henderson Welcome Center. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

Sunday, Dec. 17:
Master's Hooding Ceremony – The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the ICI Center. Dr. Shawn Doherty, associate professor in Embry-Riddle’s Department of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology, is the featured speaker. A reception immediately following the ceremony will be held for students and their guests.

Air Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony –  Detachment 157 will commission its cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the ICI Center followed by a reception.

Monday, Dec. 18:
U.S. Navy/Marine Corps ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – The NROTC Battalion will host its fall commissioning ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Henderson Welcome Center. Graduating midshipmen will take the oath of office to commission as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

To accommodate all families and friends of graduates who are not able to attend the Commencement ceremony a live stream broadcast will be available online not only the day of the ceremony, but for a period of time thereafter at portal.stretchinternet.com/erauadmin.

For more details on the ceremonies, go to http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/campus-life/graduation/ceremony-details/index.html.



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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.