Commencement 2014

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On Saturday, May 24 we had a beautiful, sunny day to welcome the Class of 2014 for our seventy-fourth commencement exercises. What a great event! We had 850 students graduating: 239 with Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, or Master of Fine Arts degrees, 603 students with Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, and eight with Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.

Anne Mosle, the vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, was the commencement speaker and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.  Martha C. Farmer, the President, CEO, and Co-founder of North Shore InnoVentures (NSIV), also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and spoke at the ceremony.  The students chose Assistant Nursing Professor Cindy Fichera as the winner of The Excellence in Teaching Award.

The ceremony was webcast and can be viewed at You can also catch up on photos on our Facebook or Flickr pages, and see a wrap-up of social media activity here.

You can read more about our two Commencement speakers below.

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!


Anne Mosle is a vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She is a leading thinker, advocate, and voice in building pathways to opportunity for low-income families and women. With more than 20 years’ experience in policy and philanthropy, Anne has been recognized as Washingtonian of the Year, Ms. Magazine Woman to Watch, and as Visionary Philanthropist. She is also an author of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink.

In her current role at the Aspen Institute, she directs Ascend, the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move vulnerable children and their parents towards educational success and economic security. Ascend has been a national leader in catalyzing a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. Under Anne’s leadership, Ascend has launched a national values-based fellowship program and is investing $1.5 million in promising programs and policy solutions. In all its work, Ascend engages the voices of families and diverse leaders. In 2014, Ascend plans to launch a new two-generation learning network.

Prior to the Aspen Institute, Anne served as a vice president and officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), where she was on the executive team and oversaw $140 million in investments. In addition, Anne led the creation of WKKF’s Family Economic Security portfolio, and managed their civic engagement portfolio and the launch of their mission-driven investing program. Before joining WKKF, she served as the president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, spearheading seven years of unprecedented growth. She was also the lead architect of their nationally recognized Stepping Stones initiative to build the financial independence of women and families. Earlier in her career, Anne served as senior vice president at the Center for Policy Alternatives, developing leadership and policy programs for state elected and community leaders. She has organized major summits at The White House and 10 Downing Street as well as numerous state and community forums.

Anne serves on the Advisory Committee of the Oxford University Said School of Business and on the National Trustees Council of America’s Promise. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.

Martha C. Farmer, PhD is the President, CEO, and Co-founder of North Shore InnoVentures (NSIV), a non-profit business incubator for life sciences and cleantech start-ups in Beverly, MA.  NSIV helps nurture innovative early-stage companies by connecting them with assets such as shared physical resources, sponsor services, and experienced entrepreneurs and investment advisers.

Prior to founding NSIV Martha had a consulting practice in medical ethics and drug development. She serves on the Institutional Review Board and the Ethics Committee of Northeast Hospital Systems.  She also serves on the Board of Advisors of Endicott College, the Board of Trustees of the North Shore Community College, and on the Boards of Directors of the North Shore Technology Council and the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore.

Formerly with Baxter Healthcare’s Hemoglobin Therapeutics Division, she transitioned from managing the research laboratory to directing product development, communications and business development. Subsequently she consulted in clinical trial planning and analysis for two small public companies in the hemoglobin therapeutics field, Hemosol and Biopure.  She co-founded the radiopharmaceutical start-up, BetaGamma LLC, serving as Vice President of Marketing. She also served as bioethics adviser to StemCore, a stem cell research review startup.

Dr. Farmer obtained a B.S. in zoology and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Duke University.  She did postdoctoral training in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University and was a fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard University.  She is an author on more than 30 publications and three patents.

The Excellence in Teaching Award, voted on by the graduating class, was awarded to Cindy Fichera RN MSN. Cindy Fichera RN, MSN has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing since 2008. She received her Bachelor Degree in nursing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and her Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Phoenix. She is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. She teaches Acute Care Nursing, Senior Nursing Internship and Pharmacology.

Cindy’s area of specialty is Emergency and Critical Care Nursing. She worked in her community’s Emergency Room and Interventional Cardiac Cath Lab. She teaches Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). She holds certifications in Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).