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Alumnus, Behavioral Health Expert to Receive Honorary Degree

Robert Anderson

An expert in psychological operations, combat stress, and terrorism will receive the Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree at December Commencement.

A member of IUP’s Class of 1967, Robert Anderson currently serves as director of behavior medicine and bioethics for the Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency Program, but he draws from more than twenty years of experience in the U.S. Air Force serving in social work and mental health clinic settings.

His Air Force career included providing training in hostage recovery for personnel who brought home hostages from captivity in the Middle East, and he responded to numerous crisis situations that include the bombing of the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut; the Achille Lauro hostage return; and the bombing of a PanAm Clipper over Lockerbie, Scotland.

A ten-term president of the Society of Air Force Social Workers, Anderson has been honored with 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.

His military education includes attending the U.S. Air Force Air War College. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from IUP, he earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Anderson also will serve as speaker at the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Nour Arnout, a Human Resource Management major, will be the student speaker at the undergraduate ceremony. The student speaker for the graduate ceremony had not been chosen by press time.

The graduate ceremony will take place in the IUP Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium at 10:30 a.m., while the ceremony for undergraduates takes place in Memorial Field House at 1:30 p.m.

Graduates will need to report to the IUP Performing Arts Center no later than 9:15 a.m. Undergraduates will need to report to Memorial Field House Auxiliary Gym no later than 1:00 p.m. for line-up instructions. Faculty members participating in the event are to line up in Zink Hall’s Gym A. Live video coverage of the ceremony will be shown in the Eberly College of Business Auditorium and Beard Auditorium in Stouffer Hall for guests who do not have tickets for the field house.

Immediately after each ceremony, President Tony Atwater will host a reception honoring all students, families, and guests in the Crimson Event Center in Folger Dining Hall. Shuttle bus service will be available around the campus from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Questions about the ceremonies may be addressed to the commencement cochairs, Kyle Campbell at 724-357-2145 or Bob Simon at 724-357-2217.