Commencement Speakers Fall 2014

Graduate Commencement

Fall 2014 Graduate Speaker - Rodger Bybee









Rodger W. Bybee is chair of the Science Forum and Science Expert Group, and Questionnaire Panel Consultant for PISA 2006. Until 2007, Dr. Bybee was executive director of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), a non-profit organization in Colorado Springs, Colorado that develops curriculum materials, provides professional development for the science education community, and conducts research and evaluation on curriculum reform. He was previously the executive director of the National Research Council’s Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE), in Washington, D.C., participated in the development of the
National Science Education Standards, and chaired the content working
group of that National Research Council project.

At BSCS, Dr. Bybee was principal investigator for four National Science
Foundation (NSF) programs. His work at BSCS also included serving as
principal investigator for programs to develop curriculum frameworks for
teaching about the history and nature of science and technology for biology
education at high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges.
He has been active in education for more than forty years, having taught
science at the elementary, secondary and college levels, including 13 years as
professor of education at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Dr. Bybee serves advisory boards and committees for The National
Academies, The U.S. Department of Education, The National Science
Foundation and The American Institute of Biological Sciences. He chairs
the National Forum for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and
Development for the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment in
Science, and is an advisor to the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study
video projects.

Published in education and psychology, Dr. Bybee co-authored Teaching
Secondary School Science: Strategies for Developing Scientific Literacy, and
his books include Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices
and Learning Science and the Science of Learning.

Dr. Bybee has received awards as a Leader of American Education,
Outstanding Educator in America, and Outstanding Science Educator
of the Year. Recognized as one of the 100 outstanding alumni in UNC’s
history, he also received the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, The American Institute
of Biological Sciences (AIBS) first AIBS Education Award, and the NSTA’s
highest honor, the Robert H. Carleton Award.


Undergraduate commencement


Fall 2014 Undergraduate Speaker - Patricia Fornes

Colonel Patricia Fornes, United States Air Force (USAF), Retired, born at
March Air Force Base, Riverside, California, attended grade and high schools
in California, Ohio, Wyoming and North Dakota, before enrolling at the
University of Northern Colorado, her mother’s alma mater. She graduated
from UNC in 1975 (BA, History Education) and was commissioned through
Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps, having been the first woman to
serve as a cadet commander in the Western Region.

During her 26-year Air Force career, Colonel Fornes achieved several
breakthroughs including being the first woman officer to serve on an
intercontinental ballistic missile launch crew. She was also the first woman
to command a missile operations squadron, the same squadron once
commanded by her father, Lieutenant Colonel Glenn L. Fornes, USAF
Retired. Her Pentagon assignments included Chief, Secretary of the Air
Force’s Legislative Liaison Inquiry Division, directing the Air Force’s
Legislative Fellows Program, and executive officer to the Director of Air
and Space Operations. Colonel Fornes culminated her career as the Senior
Assistant to the Commander of US Strategic Command, responsible for the
Commander’s public engagements, congressional hearings and meetings,
and the Commander’s strategic planning effort.

Since her Air Force retirement, Colonel Fornes has worked for CACI
supporting the Director for National Leadership Command Capability,
Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, as liaison to US Strategic
Command. She is also on the Board of the Association of Air Force Missileers
and is a former board member of the Omaha Chamber Music Society.

Colonel Fornes also earned her Master of Arts in Human Relations and
Management from Webster University in 1981 and attended both Air
Command and Staff College (1989) and Air War College (1995) in residence,
earning special recognition for her War College paper, Modernizing China’s
Air Force: Its Strategy, Budget and Capabilities. She and her husband,
Colonel Douglas M. Marshall III, USAF Retired, have been married 33 years
and now live in Omaha, Nebraska.


Past Commencement Speakers

View the list of UNC's many past inspirational Commencement speakers.

Spring 2014 Speeches


7:00 p.m. spring Graduate ceremony

Keynote Speaker - Connie Willis

Student Address - Jordan Kaczor

10:00 a.m. spring Undergraduate ceremony

Keynote Speaker - Daniel Augenstein

Student Address - Kristina Thomas


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