BOISE STATE NEWS RELEASE / Dec. 20, 2013 *Online at: * *Editor’s note: Winter Commencement photos to be distributed later this afternoon.* *BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY HOODS RECORD NUMBER OF DOCTORAL CANDIDATES, PRESENTS SILVER MEDALLION TO DEB RIEDEL* Boise State University celebrated its 93rd Commencement ceremony this morning, awarding a record number of doctoral degrees, honoring a standout alumna, paying tribute to teachers and sharing inspirational words from a student. Sixteen doctoral candidates were eligible for degrees; 13 participated in the ceremony. Ten doctoral degrees were awarded in education, three in geophysics, two in geosciences and one in materials science and engineering — the university’s first in this area. The 2013-14 academic year marks the 20th year since the start of Boise State’s first doctoral program, the doctor of education in curriculum and instruction, which has been responding to the state’s need for leaders equipped to meet evolving educational challenges. “Doctoral education is a key component to becoming a metropolitan research university of distinction,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra during the ceremony at Taco Bell Arena. “These programs boost our ability to pursue groundbreaking research, they offer invaluable resources for our community and industry partners and they raise the quality of education at all levels of learning at the university.” The university presented its Silver Medallion to alumna Deb Riedel, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1977 and a master’s degree in music performance in 1999. She is a first vice president and wealth management portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley. She has served on the board of the Boise State University Foundation since 2000, including a term as its president from 2004-2006. The Silver Medallion is Boise State’s highest recognition of service to the university. Riedel said she was honored to be recognized for giving to others, and encouraged new graduates to do the same. “Identify the things that you are passionate about, that tug at your heartstrings, and then ask, ‘What can I do to help?’” Riedel said. Boise State and Alan and Wendy Pesky, founders of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, honored four outstanding and inspirational K-12 teachers and their schools with the third annual Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching. The award recognizes K-12 teachers in Idaho who have made a major difference in the lives of their former students through their passion and caring. This year, the awards were presented to: Gina Bush, Maple Grove Elementary School, Boise School District; Steve Hansen, Payette Lakes Middle School, McCall-Donnelly School District; Jean Mortin, Grace Jordan Elementary School, Boise School District; and Art Sprague, Peregrine Elementary School, Meridian School District. Each of the four teachers will receive $2,000 and their schools will receive $500 each. The Peskys also will donate $500 to Marian Pritchett School in Boise in memory of the late Marian Pritchett. The ceremony featured student speaker Tiara Thompson, who graduated with a double major in theatre arts and English and is a first-generation college graduate. Thompson served as a peer advisor for Advising and Academic Enhancement, an officer with the Theatre Majors Association and a teaching assistant for Communication 101 courses. She also acted and served numerous technical roles in theatre arts productions and was selected to help organize the Theatre Arts Department’s regional conference in February 2014. “I’m incredibly thankful to have this celebration today and for every moment leading up to it,” Thompson said. “As I persisted in college, I found connection to my academic interests and to people … Be appreciative, because we are so fortunate to be where we are right now.” In all, 1,518 students were eligible this semester for 1,649 degrees and certificates, and 255 students were eligible for honors: 161 cum laude, 85 magna cum laude and 9 summa cum laude. Boise State confers more than 40 percent of all public university bachelor’s degrees in Idaho each year. About 800 graduates participated in Friday’s ceremony. Boise State resumes classes for Winter Intersession, the condensed term between fall and winter semesters, from Dec. 30-Jan. 19, and spring semester begins on Tuesday, Jan. 21. -30- *Media contact: *Sherry Squires, University Communications, (208) 426-1563, *About Boise State UniversityA public metropolitan research university with more than 22,000 students, Boise State is proud to be powered by creativity and innovation. Located in Idaho’s capital city, the university has a growing research agenda and plays a crucial role in the region’s knowledge economy and famed quality of life. In the past 10 years, the university has quadrupled the number of doctoral degrees, doubled its masters degrees and now offers 13 online degree programs. Learn more at .*