SPOKANE, Wash. – President Elson S. Floyd will pay tribute to graduates’ accomplishments and challenge them to future success as he delivers the 21st commencement address at Washington State University Spokane on Friday, May 6.
 
Ceremonies start at 2 p.m. in the INB Performing Arts Center at 334 W Spokane Falls Blvd. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Family, friends and faculty are invited; tickets are not required.
 
Chancellor Brian Pitcher will preside as approximately 430 students graduate with baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees in 22 categories.
 
Student reflections will be shared by the first graduate of the doctor of design program in the WSU Interdisciplinary Design Institute, Deborah S. Napier from Clarkston, Wash.
 
111 doctoral candidates
 
The graduating class of 2011 is represented by 111 doctoral candidates in design, education, nursing and pharmacy. Included are six graduates for both the doctor of education and the doctor of philosophy in nursing degrees and 98 pharmacy graduates.
 
The 95 master’s candidates will receive degrees in architecture; criminal justice; education; health policy and administration; human nutrition, interior design; landscape architecture; nursing; and communication disorders/speech and hearing sciences – a joint EWU/WSU program.
 
The 221 bachelor’s candidates will receive degrees in business administration; humanities; interior design; nursing; nutrition and exercise physiology; and communication disorders/speech and hearing sciences – a joint EWU/WSU program.
 
The nursing baccalaureates total 143 students, who will receive their degrees from the WSU College of Nursing and its consortium partners Eastern Washington University and Whitworth University. All baccalaureate nursing graduates receive joint degrees from WSU and from the institution at which they did their first two years of study.
 
Background in education, administration
 
Floyd, the 10th president of WSU, is a nationally known academic leader. Before taking the helm at WSU in 2007, he was president of the four-campus University of Missouri for four years and, before that, president of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo for more than four years.
 
He also held administrative posts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Eastern Washington University and was executive director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board.
 
A native of North Carolina, Floyd holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and speech, a master of education degree in adult education, and a doctor of philosophy degree in higher and adult education, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Incorporating heritage into living environments
 
A Korean adoptee, Napier grew up in a family of one older Korean sister and four younger Caucasian brothers. Her parents provided a supportive environment to her and her siblings while also hosting more than 100 foster children in their home throughout her childhood.
 
This strong foundation of support led her to complete a bachelor of arts in geography at the University of Washington and a master of science in architecture at WSU prior to pursuing a doctor of design degree.
 
Napier teaches physical geography at Eastern Washington University. Throughout her studies, she also has developed herself as a Korean adoption scholar. She is active in adoptee and adoptive parent networks where she presents her experiences and facilitates discussions.
 
Having grown up with no ethnic identification, she focused her dissertation research on understanding Korean adoptee experiences with places and how ethnic identity evolves before, during and subsequent to adoptees’ first return trips to Korea as adults.
 
Peer reviewed and published last year at the Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies in Seoul, Korea, Napier’s work addresses how adoptees and their parents can incorporate meaningful elements of Korean heritage into their personal living environments, contributing to adoptees’ ethnic identity and psychological wellbeing.