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HAMBURG, N.Y. – Candace S. Johnson, Ph.D. will be the commencement speaker at Hilbert College’s 56th annual commencement ceremony planned for 1 p.m. on May 13 at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg at 4999 McKinley Parkway. She will also be recognized at Hilbert’s commencement with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Dr. Johnson is President & CEO, Wallace Family Chair in Translational Research and Professor of Oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Founded in 1898, the Institute provides care to approximately 34,000 patients annually and employs more than 3,200 dedicated team members driven by the mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer.
The first female CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Johnson has reenergized Roswell Park. She’s a passionate, fearless leader who relentlessly pursues cancer cures and inspires her team to do the same. Under Dr. Johnson’s strategic vision, Roswell Park is focused on bringing the very best physicians and scientists from around the world to Western New York. Her leadership style is effective and results-oriented, which can be seen in the groundbreaking innovations and compassionate patient care delivered by the Roswell Park team.
From 2008 to 2015, Dr. Johnson led Roswell Park’s research activities as Deputy Director of the Institute. She also served as Chair of the Roswell Park Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics for more than a decade, a role in which she facilitated the seamless bench-to-bedside development and delivery of promising new cancer therapies. Highlights of her tenure as Deputy Director include renewal of the Institute’s Cancer Center Support Grant funding from the National Cancer Institute and designation of Roswell Park’s Core Grant application as “Outstanding,” in 2015, and her leadership role in the establishment of two new hallmark programs at Roswell Park: the Center for Immunotherapy, in 2009, and the Center for Personalized Medicine, in 2013.
Dr. Johnson earned her doctoral degree in Immunology from Ohio State University in 1977, and from 1977 to 1981 completed research and postdoctoral fellowships in Immunology and Cell Biology at the Michigan Cancer Foundation in Detroit. Her research interests include efforts to facilitate the efficient translation of promising laboratory findings in clinical studies; the design and development of cancer therapies; and the role of vitamin D in controlling cancer.
Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D., will confer bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees, as well as associate in applied science and associate in arts degrees to Class of 2017. In addition, President Zane will confer master of science and master of public administration degrees to Hilbert’s fifth class of graduate students. Overall, more than 230 graduates will receive their degrees. Baccalaureate graduates will receive degrees in accounting, business management, computer security and information assurance, criminal justice, digital media and communication, English, forensic science/crime scene investigation, global business management, human services, liberal studies, paralegal studies, political science, psychology, rehabilitation services, small business management, and sports industry management.
Top student awards that will be presented at Hilbert’s 56th commencement will include the:
• Lambert and Margaret Graham Award for a full-time returning adult student who has earned the highest cumulative quality point average.
• Kimberly Bruch Raczkowski Memorial Alumni Association Award for a graduate who reflects the spirit of Hilbert and its mission, and possesses strong leadership skills and demonstrates loyalty and dedication to others.
• Sister Mary Edwina Bogel Award to an outstanding female graduate in recognition of her character, intellectual achievement and devoted service to fellow students and the college.
• John Kissel Man of the Year Award to an outstanding male student in recognition of his character, intellectual progress, organizational ability, and participation in activities and programs.
Kristina Lantzky-Eaton, Ph.D., Hilbert provost and vice president for academic affairs, will be the master of ceremonies.
A reception for graduates, guests, and others in attendance will be hosted by President Zane in the Wesleyan Church atrium immediately following the commencement program.
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