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December Commencement Ceremonies Detailed

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present an honorary doctorate to one of its graduates and feature two student speakers, including an Indiana resident, at commencement ceremonies Dec. 14.

There will be two separate ceremonies for the graduates and their families and friends. The ceremony for students earning master’s and doctoral degrees will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the IUP Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium. The ceremony for students receiving undergraduate degrees will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House.

A total of 562 students have earned bachelor’s degrees, and one associate degree will be presented. Two hundred sixty-three students will receive master’s degrees, and 42 students have completed requirements for doctoral degrees. Students who have completed coursework in both August and December are invited to take part in the midyear ceremonies.

Nearly half of the IUP bachelor’s degree recipients qualify for Latin honors, with grade-point averages of 3.25 or above.

Donald E. Bierer, of Indiana, will be honored during the undergraduate ceremony for achieving a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during his studies at IUP. Bierer will receive a bachelor’s degree in political science at the ceremony.

He is an AmeriCorps Scholar in Service and received a Benjamin A. Gilman Award in 2008 for international study. He is a member of Campus Pride, Students Advocating Gender Equity, IUP’s Mock Trial, Pre-law Society and Phi Alpha Delta honor society.

Nour Fadi Arnaout, a human resources management major originally from Sidon, Lebanon, now residing in Indiana, was selected as the undergraduate ceremony speaker.

Arnaout, the daughter of Fadi and Aida Arnaout, Abraa, Sidon, Lebanon, is a 2005 graduate of Rafic Hariri High School. She currently lives with host parents John and Monica Kowalski, of White Farm Road, Indiana.

Arnaout was part of a 13-member team from IUP that took second place overall in an international business competition held in October in Bangalore, India. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, the National Scholars Honor Society and received the Model United Nations Award of Excellence in 2007 and the M. Thomas Moore Scholarship in 2007 and 2008.

She has worked as a tutor for IUP’s Writing Center and has volunteered as a note taker for disabled students. She completed an internship with IUP’s Office of Human Resources.

Through Georgetown University, Arnaout attended Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems in Washington, D.C., in summer 2008 and the International Institute for Political and Economic Studies in Crete, Greece, in summer 2006. She completed an internship with the Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C., in summer 2008.

Serving as the student speaker for the graduate ceremony will be Dr. Sarah E. Deitz, of Morgantown, W.Va., an August graduate of the doctoral program in clinical psychology.

Retired Air Force officer Lt. Col. Robert C. Anderson, an internationally recognized behavioral scientist and social worker, will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree at the undergraduate commencement ceremony and present remarks.

Anderson is a 1967 graduate of IUP. He is a founder of the Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency, Provo, Utah, and currently serves as the program’s director of behavioral medicine and bioethics, a position he has held since October 1994.

A native of Cheswick, he started his career as a staff social worker at St. Francis General Hospital and Rehabilitation Institute in Pittsburgh in 1971.

A 20-year Air Force veteran, Anderson is the recipient of the Air Force Social Worker of the Year Award, the Air Force Association Humanitarian Award, six Air Force Meritorious Medals, two Air Force Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, the Kuwait Liberation Medal and the Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars. He also is a recipient of the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award.

Anderson has worked disasters, terrorist attacks and with individuals suffering from combat stress.