East Stroudsburg University Announces Speakers for 2019 Commencement
East Stroudsburg University will hold its commencement exercises on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 in Koehler Fieldhouse. The graduate commencement ceremony with take place Friday at 7 p.m. Evelyn Farah will be the student commencement speaker and four doctoral degrees will be awarded. Undergraduate ceremonies will take place on Saturday. The ceremony awarding bachelor’s degrees from ESU’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education will begin at 8:45 a.m. Philip P. Andujar will be the student speaker. The ceremony awarding bachelor’s degrees from ESU’s college of Business and Management and College of Health Sciences will begin at 1:45 p.m. Darian L. Cruz will be the student speaker. Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence (Ret.) will be the keynote speaker for both undergraduate ceremonies.
Graduate Student Speaker
Evelyn Farah, a communication sciences and disorders graduate student from Saylorsburg, Pa., was born Israel to Palestinian parents. In Israel she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Arabic and a certification in education at the David Yelling College of Education. She was an English teacher at The Anglican Episcopal High School in Nazareth, Israel. In 2008, Farah moved back to the U.S. with her husband and two children. Her desire to continue learning and helping others led her to pursue a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. During her time at ESU, Farah has been a mentor and enthusiastic leader to students in her cohort and those who are following in her path. Being a mother and graduate student helped her explore new aspects of her own personality, such as patience, persistence, and tolerance, and realize that with work and dedication dreams could be fulfilled.
Cheryl Ruddock Leatherbarrow has served as a high school, middle school, and elementary school administrator in Central Bucks School District since 1999. Prior to that, she was a secondary mathematics teacher in Springfield Township School District in Delaware County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in productions and operations management from the University of Scranton. She received her Pennsylvania certification in secondary mathematics through Villanova University followed by a master’s degree in educational leadership from Immaculata University.
Lynette S. Luckers is an associate professor of counseling at Community College of Philadelphia. She has worked in student affairs in higher education for the past 15 years. She facilitates workshops on race relations, advising, leadership and self-image. Luckers holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Bloomsburg University and a master’s degree in counseling. In recognition of her community involvement, she received the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association’s Maroon and Gold Excellence Award, the American Association for Women in Community Colleges 40 under 40, and KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards Rising Star Honoree.
Theodoro Quinones III is the principal of Governor Wolf Elementary School in the Bethlehem Area School District. This is his fourth year as principal of the school. His career spans over 25 years and includes service in Los Angeles Unified School District, Easton Area School District, and Stroudsburg Area School District. Quinones earned his bachelor’s degree from Albright College and his master’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Matthew J. Scanlon is the principal at Phillipsburg High School in Phillipsburg, N.J. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in 1992, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University in 1996. He taught middle school English from 1996-98 in Ellicott City, Md., before moving to West Morris Central High School in Chester, N.J. to teach from English and history from 1998-2004. He earned a second master’s degree in educational leadership from Lehigh University in 2006. Scanlon served as curriculum director at Hackettstown Public Schools from 2004-06, and then as assistant principal at Kinnelon High School in Kinnelon, N.J. from 2006-14. He served as principal at Hackettstown High School from 2014-17 until transitioning to his current position at Phillipsburg in 2017.
Undergraduate Keynote Speaker
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Susan Lawrence is positioned with Accenture Federal Services (AFS) as a managing director in its national security practice. Lawrence joined AFS from Booz Allen Hamilton, where she was senior vice president in the Defense Marketing Group. At AFS, Lawrence is responsible for supporting clients in developing and executing technology transformation and mission-support strategies that are designed to deter, deflect, and defeat today’s evolving threats. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in fielding new communications and wireless systems, electronic platforms and advanced technology to the warfighter.
Undergraduate Student Speakers
Philip Andujar, a social work student from Milford, Pa., returned to college after a short hiatus. He has filled his time at ESU as a head resident advisor, an intern and peer educator in the wellness education and prevention office, a member of the Warrior Elite student ambassador program as well as ESU’s Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee on student-engagement. As a non-traditional student at ESU, Andujar has taken many opportunities to share his journey from his initial college experiences through workforce challenges in the “real world” to his time on campus with students, faculty and staff. His peers and supervisors have identified him as a mentor, advocate and inspiration to others. Upon graduation, Andujar plans to pursue a career in social work.
Darian Cruz, a communication sciences and disorders student from Northampton, Pa., has spent his four years at ESU actively seeking out leadership and public service opportunities on campus. He was a head resident advisor, a member of the Student Activities Association board of directors, a member of the University Wide Senate, vice president of the Student Government Association, president of the Moses Society, and a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. He has been very effective in his ability to utilize and learn from his formal leadership platforms while actively striving to address the issues that confront and affect ESU students. Cruz is very reflective about his own experiences as a student leader and recognizes how his experiences have shaped him over the years.