University of Minnesota Duluth
MyU | Search | People | Departments | Events | News

 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

May 5, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Director | UMD Interim Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 |

UMD 2011 Commencement

Note to Media:
On May 14, at the undergraduate commencement, a special section with a direct view of the stage has been set aside in the Bulldog Lounge at the Amsoil Arena. No access to the floor is permitted.

Two Firsts: New Chancellor Presides over Commencements and New Location for UMD Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

University of Minnesota Duluth Chancellor Dr. Lendley C. Black will preside over UMD's commencement ceremonies for the first time. He will also oversee the university's first undergraduate commencement to be held in the DECC Amsoil Arena in downtown Duluth.

This spring, UMD will confer nearly 1,950 undergraduate degrees, 225 graduate degrees, and 14 doctoral degrees.

UMD will hold its undergraduate commencement ceremony at the DECC Amsoil Arena, on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Over 100 faculty members and 1,160 students will march in the event. Nearly 5,600 parents and guests will attend the ceremony.

Isaac Odim, from Rochester, Minn., will present the student address. Odim will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, magna cum laude, with departmental honors.

The commencement speaker is UMD alumna Dr. Kathleen R. Annette, the first woman in the Minnesota Chippewa Nation to become a physician. She will also be honored with a UMD Alumni Achievement Award. Part of the ceremony includes a special honor for a UMD alumnus. Chancellor Black will present the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award to Lt. General Samuel T. Helland

UMD graduate student commencement ceremonies will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in the UMD Romano Gymnasium. UMD psychology professor and researcher in the fields of language and literacy, Aydin Yucesan Durgunoglu, will deliver the featured commencement address.


Annette has served as the national Indian Health Service (IHS) Acting Deputy Director for Field Operations since February 2009, overseeing all 12 IHS area offices. Annette, who grew up on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, graduated from UMD in 1977 with a chemistry degree and from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1983. She obtained her residency training at the Duluth Family Practice Center, receiving board certification in 1986. She began her career with the IHS in 1986 as a medical officer at the Leech Lake Service Unit at Cass Lake, Minn. She subsequently held various positions of increasing responsibility. As the first woman director of the Bemidji Area IHS in 1990, Annette managed a varied health care program that served more than 90,000 American Indians from the 34 federally recognized Tribes in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Lt. General Samuel T. Helland is a retired Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command and the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. His military career spanned 41 years, and he was one of the last generals in the U.S. military who served in Vietnam on a combat tour. Helland is from Crookston, Minn., and he graduated from UMD in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in General Science after serving a tour in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He has a master of science degree from Troy State University and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He rose from an enlisted member of the U.S. Army Special Forces to Lieutenant General and Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, which included overseeing Marine participation in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and spearheading the U.S. engagement and partnership plan with the Lebanese government and military. He has provided leadership to more than 50,000 military and civilian personnel, including combat leadership in Vietnam, Albania, Sierra Leone, Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. The Outstanding Achievement Award is the highest nondegree award conferred upon distinguished alumni by the University of Minnesota. It recognizes graduates or former students of the University who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

Aydin Yucesan Durgunoglu is a professor of psychology at UMD. Durgunoglu received her B.S. in psychology from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in cognitive psychology from Purdue University. She has been a visiting professor at Bogazici University in Istanbul and teaches cross cultural psychology with colleagues at Linnaeus University (Sweden) and Makerere University (Uganda). Durgunoglu's main research area is language and literacy development in different contexts, such as monolinguals speaking different languages. She and her colleagues have developed an adult literacy program in Turkey and have been researching its impact. The program, which won a UNESCO literacy prize in 2005, has reached over 100,000 people, mostly women with no or a few years of schooling. She is guided in her research by the principle that education is a basic human right and literacy empowers people.

UMD RSS Feed   2014: [ January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December ]
Archives of Previous Years: [ 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 ]

UMD External Affairs Team
To send information to Currents and to submit a listing to the Experts List or
to send major news stories for homepage features, news releases and UM Twin Cities Brief use

Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director of External Affairs, 218-726-8996,
Betty Greene, Associate Administrator, 218-726-6140,
Brett Groehler, Director of Photography, 218-726-7115,
Charlene Aaseng, Graphic & Multimedia Designer, 218-726-6858,
Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, Communication Associate, 218-726-7111,
Lori Melton, Communication Associate, 218-726-8830,
Joel Youngblom, Web Development & Content Manager, 218-726-8798,

© 2018 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 04/02/15 08:13 PM
University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities