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Mount St. Mary's celebrates first graduates of its new science program

FNP courtesy photo - By Sam YuBy Kate Masters
October 23, 2016

Frederick News Post link to article

Four newly minted master’s students walked across the stage in Knott Auditorium at Mount St. Mary’s University to accept their degrees in biotechnology and management, which they earned in a new Master of Science program launched by the university two years ago.

The students were part of the first graduating class in the program, which combines master-level classes in biotechnology with training in business and entrepreneurship.

“It’s really split into two parts,” said Connie Dudley, the director of graduate programs in science at Mount St. Mary’s. “One part is a technical approach to things like biochemistry and experimental design, and the other half is business classes — including some classes we offer in our Master of Business Administration program.”

There were eight total graduates from the program this fall, and Dudley estimates that the upcoming graduate class has about 15 students. Despite the small size, she thinks the program is especially relevant in today’s world of rapidly increasing technology.

In addition to business and science, the program incorporates classes on bioethics to provide students with moral guidelines as they work in fields such as genomics or pharmaceutical testing.

“As technology progresses and ethical questions grow, we shouldn’t just ask, ‘Can we?’; we should also ask, ‘Should we?’” Dudley said. “From that perspective, it’s very important.

Though one graduate is going on to a doctoral program, many of the students at Sunday’s ceremony were working adults who enrolled in master’s courses to advance their careers and better understand the business side of their companies.

“It’s easier to have a scientist thinking as an administrator than an administrator thinking as a scientist,” said Juner Torres, a 45-year-old technology specialist for Lonza, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company in Walkersville.

“It helps you understand what you can do to make products better and more efficiently,” added Alickka Edwards, 25, a production technician for the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. “Often, when you’re working, you forget it’s still a business.

Sunday’s graduation also included 19 other students who earned master’s degrees in business or health administration. Jeremy Ellermeyer, a Mount St. Mary’s grad who now works as the chief information officer for the life insurance company MetLife, was the commencement speaker.

* Staff Photo by Sam Yu
Jeremy M. Ellermeyer, a member of the Class of 1992 and the director of MetLife Investment Management, has his new academic hood sdjusted by Timothy E. Trainor, interim president of Mount St. Mary's University, after receiving an honorary doctorate degree during the university's graduate ceremony. Ellermeyer also deliveres teh commencement address. 

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