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Neuroscience Degree 'Opens New Doors' for Grads

Diploma ceremony speakers congratulate students, thank families and friends

Dr. Kevin LaBar

A Duke Neuroscience degree opens new doors for graduates, Kevin S. LaBar, PhD, Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience (NS), told attendees during opening remarks at the 2018 NS Diploma Ceremony in Page Auditorium on Sunday, May 13. The degree also, “positions our graduates to thrive in this new era” of collaborative research that offers many opportunities to impact society at large, he added.

More than 200 family members and friends attended the event. LaBar emphasized the key support role they have played in helping students succeed at Duke, especially parents: “Your love and encouragement have helped make this possible.”

Len White

Seniors sat on stage as Dr. LaBar spoke, then got up row by row to have their names read aloud and receive a diploma and handshake from LaBar, also a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, or Leonard White, PhD, Co-Director, Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience and Associate Professor of Neurology. Other faculty participating in the ceremony were Minna Ng, PhD, Assistant Dean of Trinity College and Assistant Professor of the Practice, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS); Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, PhD, DIBS Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Professor of the Practice; and Thomas Newpher, PhD, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience.

Dr. White gave closing remarks, thanking staff members Cindy Clements, “the mastermind and producer of our diploma ceremonies” since the first ceremony was held in 2010, and Tyler Lee, for helping run the ceremony, “as beautifully and efficiently as it has,” along with Kathy Neal and six current NS students.

White’s hope for the new graduates? “That your studies of Neuroscience will forever fuel a passion—even a love—for self-discovery, service to society, and life-long learning,” he said. And as they move forward in their careers, White added, “Each of you carries forward from today a profound understanding of what makes us human, and the biological means by which our perceptual, motor, cognitive, and spiritual faculties are grounded in body and brain.”

Graduate and diploma