April 2, 2014, Newton, MA – Mount Ida College is pleased to announce that U.S Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, a first-term congressman from the 4th District of Massachusetts, will deliver the commencement address to Mount Ida College’s Class of 2014 on Friday, May 16, 2014. For details about commencement, visit the commencement section of our website.

“Congressman Kennedy has dedicated his career to public service,” stated Barry Brown, President of Mount Ida College. “His distinguished background and steadfast commitment to social justice and economic equality will be an inspiration to our graduates. We are honored to have him join us.”

Prior to seeking elected office, Kennedy served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and the Cape and Islands’ District Attorneys’ offices.


A graduate of Harvard Law School, he was an active member of the school’s Legal Aid Bureau, a pro-bono law firm that provided legal services to low-income families in the Boston area. During that time, Kennedy and his wife Lauren co-founded an afterschool program for at-risk youth in the Boston area. Kennedy earned an undergraduate degree in management science and engineering in 2003 from Stanford University.

After graduation, he served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he worked on economic development and community reinvestment in an isolated community near Puerto Plata. Kennedy also worked as an international development analyst for the United Nations’ Millennium Project and as an anti-poverty consultant abroad.

In addition to Congressman Kennedy, Mount Ida will award honorary degrees to the following recipients: Sarah-Ann Shaw, Broadcast Journalist and Steven H. Wright, Executive Partner of Holland & Knight.

About Sarah-Ann Shaw

Sarah-Ann Shaw is Boston’s first African American woman television reporter and a prominent civil rights activist. Shaw was a reporter for WBZ-TV for 31 years, from 1969 until 2000. During her tenure at WBZ-TV, she covered a wide array of daily news stories, including a groundbreaking report on minority achievement. An advocate for civil rights since her teens, Shaw has held leadership positions at several Boston-based community organizations.


Her role as the director of the Northern Student Movement, a civil rights group that recruited hundreds of college students as volunteer tutors for Boston Public School students, holds particular historical significance. Recognized nationally for both her trailblazing journalism and community activism, Shaw’s numerous awards include: The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Black Journalists and a Local Hero Award from the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Integrating of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Yankee Quill Award from the Academy of New England Journalists, the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Political Caucus, Heroes Among Us Award from The Boston Globe, Fox Sports Network and Boston Celtics and the Unsung Heroes Award from Berklee College of Music, and many more.

Today, Shaw serves on the board of several non-profit organizations in the Greater Boston area, including the Boston Neighborhood Network, League of Women for Community Service, the Massachusetts State Democratic Committee, the Ward 12 Democratic Committee and the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

About Steven H. Wright

Steve H. Wright is the executive partner overseeing the management of Holland & Knight’s Boston office. Wright serves as lead counsel and strategic advisor for several Fortune 500 companies, representing senior in-house counsel and corporate executives in complex commercial, corporate, intellectual property, litigation and regulatory matters. Wright was appointed deputy counsel to the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York where he resolved legal and policy issues for the Mayor and his Executive Cabinet.


Wright worked as deputy chief of the Civil Litigation Bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Attorney General and chief of its Trial Division. He also serves on a number of boards. He was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as chairman of the Savings Bank Life Insurance Company’s Policyholder’s Protective Board, and is now a director and member of its Executive and Investment Committees. He is a director of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. He also was a member of Mayor Menino’s Economic Advisory Board.

During his career, he has received a number of awards and recognitions for his work. He was designated one of the Power 50 Most Influential Bostonians in the 2012 Boston Business Journal, and noted for Excellence in the Law/Diversity Hero by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2011. He was named an Outstanding African-American Role Model by Boston Renaissance School, 2010; and named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine, Business/Corporate, 2004, 2010-2013.

Wright received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.S. in Business Administration from East Carolina University, the Outstanding Alumni Award, 2011; and member of Phi Kappa Phi.

About Commencement

Events for Mount Ida College’s 115th Commencement exercises will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014. The ceremony, which will feature Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III delivering the keynote address, will take place at 11:00 a.m. on the Lower Athletic Field. Approximately 250 graduates will receive their degrees during the ceremony. For more information regarding commencement events, please visit www.mountida.edu/commencement2014.

About Mount Ida College

Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts that provides career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation of social sciences, humanities, and the arts—all to prepare our students for achievement in their chosen careers, and in life. With a tight-knit, inclusive community, a diverse student body, winning NCAA Division III sports teams, a beautiful and safe suburban campus, and a vibrant school spirit, Mount Ida is the place where students become the best version of themselves. To learn more, visit the College’s website at www.mountida.edu.

Newton, MA – Each year the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) presents a nationally recognized distance learning program to more than 125,000 people in 2,000 communities. For more than a decade, HFA’s educational events have been instrumental in educating healthcare professionals and families on issues affecting end-of-life care. This program provides an opportunity for a wide variety of professionals to share and exchange ideas and obtain continuing education credits.  This program is practical for all levels of professions – entry level, intermediate or advanced.  The information provided by the expert panel will be useful to nurses, social workers, counselors, nursing home administrators, case managers, funeral directors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, caregivers, and those working in palliative and hospice care, long-term care, or home care.

This year’s Living With Grief® Program focuses on Helping Adolescents Cope with Loss. This new program focuses exclusively on the issues that adolescents face as they cope with loss.  Adolescence, broadly defined, from middle school years to emerging adulthood, is a significant developmental period during which adolescents form identity, independence, and intimacy.  Illness and loss profoundly influences these processes.  Moreover, adolescent encounters with loss are likely to be traumatic – deaths by accident, suicide, and homicide.  This program explores the ways that healthcare workers, hospices, educators, social workers, counselors, clergy, funeral directors, and other professionals can assist adolescents as they cope with loss. For full program details, see HFA’s website at www.hospicefoundation.org.

Moderated by Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, the program will be shown at the Campus Center Theatre at Mount Ida College on Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


“This year’s program offered by the HFA covers the extremely important topic of loss and its effect on adolescent development.  The program will explore the unique issues surrounding grief and loss from the perspective of an adolescent,” said Diane Moran, Director of the National Center for Death Education at Mount Ida. “We are proud to offer this important program to our community. Any adult who knows or works with a grieving child should avail themselves to this teleconference.”

Mr. Sesno will lead the panel of noted authorities that includes: Tashel Bordere, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Child and Family Development, University of Central Missouri; Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, MDiv, Professor of  Gerontology, The College of New Rochelle, and Senior Consultant, Hospice Foundation of America; Pamela Gabbay, MA, FT, Director, The Mourning Star Center for Grieving Children and Camp Director, Camp Erin Children’s Bereavement Camp; Stacy F Orloff EdD, LCSW, ACHP SW, Vice President, Palliative Care and Community Programs, Suncoast Hospice; Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, Chief Executive Officer, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families; and Carol Wogrin, PsyD, RN, Independent Consultant.

About the Hospice Foundation of America

Each year this award-winning program is produced by Hospice Foundation of America, a not-for-profit organization, which acts as an advocate for the hospice concept of care through ongoing programs of professional education, public information and research on issues relating to illness, loss, grief and bereavement.

About The National Center for Death Education

The National Center for Death Education (NCDE) at Mount Ida College is dedicated to offering care giving professionals in thanatology—the field of death, dying and grief—the latest industry knowledge and trends through a number of professional development programs. We design our programs with our philosophy that death and loss are a part of the natural continuum of life, including the many forms and expressions death, dying, grief and loss have within the contexts of families, communities, and with those who have had similar experiences. The National Center for Death Education offers programs that benefit professionals in grief and loss, trauma, chaplaincy, social work, nursing, employee assistance personnel, teachers, mental health and counseling: For details about our online courses, the Summer Institute on Grief and Loss and the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Thanatology, please visit www.mountida.edu/ncde.

About Mount Ida College

Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts that provides career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation of social sciences, humanities, and the arts—all to prepare our students for achievement in their chosen careers, and in life. With a tight-knit, inclusive community, a diverse student body, winning NCAA Division III sports teams, a beautiful and safe suburban campus, and a vibrant school spirit, Mount Ida is the place where students become the best version of themselves. To learn more, visit the College’s website at www.mountida.edu.

International travel is growing at Mount Ida College. This year, an unprecedented number of students traveled on four unique faculty-led programs abroad over spring break. Our commitment to international study, an important part of the educational experience here at Mount Ida, is championed through our Center for Global Connections.

Through the Center for Global Connections (CGC), spearheaded by Robin Melavalin, Director of Global Connections and Continuing Education, CGC continues to expand travel opportunities for students to include educational, career-focused and service-learning programs.

“We are in a transformative process here at Mount Ida, where faculty and students are beginning to experience international travel like never before,” says Melavalin.

Our recent growth in the area of international education prompted our announcement for further commitment to study abroad programs by joining 160 other U.S institutions in supporting the Generation Study Abroad Initiative through the Institute for International Education. By joining the Generation Study Abroad Initiative, Mount Ida is committing to significantly increasing study abroad participation numbers by the end of this decade.

Over the past several years, 29 students have completed semester long study in Italy, Chile, Australia, England, Spain and other countries. Currently, a student is in Florence, Italy studying interior design at Lorenzo De Medici.

This spring break, March 7- 16, 36 Mount Ida students and five faculty travelled abroad to experience new cultures, complete coursework and engage in degree focused real-world opportunities in  Ecuador, Belize, China and Costa Rica. In addition, in May, 14 of our students and two faculty members will travel to London, England to complete our spring 2014 study abroad travel programs.  Ninety percent of the students travelling abroad this spring received scholarships from Santander Brank and from Mount Ida through the CGC.  In 2013, we announced  our first collaborative agreement with Santander Bank’s Global Division, Santander Universities,  to allow the CGC to enhance its international travel study abroad programs, including offering financial aid to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in its international travel abroad programs.

Some of the highlighted destination activities for spring break study abroad travel are included below.

Vet Tech Lessons and Clinics in Belize  

This spring break, Mount Ida vet tech professors Dan Young and Kim Karolides, led a group of 14 vet tech students to Belize. Through the Institute for Sustainable International Studies, our group was provided with an in-depth overview of the current animal issues facing Belize, which left a long-lasting impression on all of our students.

“The view of animals in the Belize culture is very different than in the U.S.  Animals are not pets but guards. Most animals are under nourished and the resources to help are limited,” says sophomore Emily Baum. “There were many experiences that emotionally affected each of us and it made us grateful for the resources we are provided with at home.  We wanted to stay back and help those who cared about their animals but were turned away due to a lack of resources.”


Baum went onto to note that her experience in Belize was truly eye-opening and that many valuable lessons and skills for her field were gained.

“We covered many animals and spread education about neuter and spays – information many Belize citizens did not know,” recites Braun. “I personally assisted in multiple surgeries. We all got to use our clinical skills in a stressful environment quickly and accurately, giving me a whole new level of confidence in my veterinary technician skills.”

Other activities in Belize included a trip to the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, exploration of the Xunantunich Maya ruin and snorkeling by a small island to learn about marine animals.

International Business Learnings in China

Liang Tang, associate professor of business administration, led 12 students to China for a study abroad experience that explored current international business trends and issues in the areas of economics and finance.

Highlights of the trip included a visit to Efutures corporation-a Nasdaq listed company, Jangho Curtain Wall Company, Yangjing Beer Company and Renmin University of China. In addition, our group participated in social gatherings with students from Beijing Humanities College, UIBE and Central University of Finance and Economics.


Immersing into the Chinese culture, our students spent time each day exploring sites such as the Forbidden City,  the Great Wall of China and also joined in on a traditional martial art class.

For more information on our Center for Global Education’s abroad programs, visit the center’s homepage.

For more information on Generation Study Abroad, visit their webpage here.