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The Minuteman

Friday, May 8, 2015


--  RMU's 90th commencement ceremonies will feature a keynote address by President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, who will preside over his final commencement weekend, this Friday and Saturday, before departing to become the president of Rider University. Approximately 885 students will earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees this year: 260 at the graduate ceremony at 4 p.m. today, and 625 on Saturday at 9:30 at the undergraduate ceremony. Both events take place in the Sewall Center Arena. The president will be the keynote speaker Saturday. The featured speaker at the graduate commencement ceremony will be 1973 RMU graduate Rande Somma, currently president of Rande Somma & Associates, a company that focuses on leadership coaching and development. Somma was formerly president of worldwide operations for the automotive systems group of Johnson Controls Inc., a Fortune 500 company. Somma and his wife Georgia founded and underwrite RMU’s Integrity First Scholarships, awarded annually to students who demonstrate the importance of ethical and moral conduct in business. Read more about this year's commencement ceremonies. 

-- Robert Morris University has awarded its highest undergraduate honor, the Presidential Transformational Award, to Khulood Al Ali, who came to RMU from Saudi Arabia and will graduate Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. The Presidential Transformational Award is given annually to a graduating student who has been transformed by his or her experience at RMU, and has transformed the university through his or her engagement in learning, leadership and community service. In December, Al Ali captured the university’s other major student honor, the Rising Star Award, which goes to a senior who demonstrates academic success, individuality, determination, passion and potential in her or his chosen field. Recently she learned that she has been accepted into the master’s program in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Read more about Al Ali's achievements.

-- Robert Morris University's Online Degree Program brought home another national accolade, ranking 17 out of the Top 50 Best Online Colleges for 2015-2016. This is the second year in a row that RMU was recognized in the top online schools, having ranked 17 in the 2014 study as well. The study done by is based on extensive research in American online education and factors in academic excellence, scholarly strength of faculty, online teaching methods, tuition costs, reputation, awards, financial aid, and range of degree programs offered. Nationally, online degree programs have become extremely popular, nearly quadrupling in the past ten years. RMU Online was launched in 2011 and currently enrolls more than 700 students. 

-- Speaking of outstanding online programs, RMU was ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 Online Hospitality Management Program for 2015, according to Data from these ranking are compiled through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a resource maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. 

EDITOR'S NOTE -- With the end of the spring semester, the Minuteman will start its summer publication schedule, and will be updated once every two weeks until the start of the fall semester. The next Minuteman will be published on Friday, May 22. 


-- Jon Radermacher, associate professor of Media Arts and associate dean of the School of Communications and Information Systems, was invited by U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy to be a juror for the 2015 Congressional Art Competition. Since 1982, members of Congress have held annual contests within their districts to choose winning pieces of art by high school students. First place artwork from each district will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Complex for one year, and the students will be invited to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Washington, D.C. To acknowledge the talents of the second and third place submissions from the 18th District, those pieces will be exhibited in Murphy's Washington, D.C. office. There will also be a People’s Choice Award that will hang in Murphy's Mt. Lebanon office for one year. More information about the Congressional Art Competition may be found at


-- The 2015 Spring Senior Portfolio Show runs through May 13 in the Media Arts Gallery in the Wheatley Center. Come see the best work of graduating students in media arts. The show is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-- The Office of Graduate Admissions is hosting a free GMAT practice test on Saturday, May 16, in the Wheatley Center. Doors open at 8 a.m., and the practice exam begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 12:30 p.m. Kaplan Test Prep will provide a complimentary results analysis. The event is free; however RSVP is required by May 14. Walk-ins and late arrivals cannot be accommodated. RSVP to Caitlin Engel A continental breakfast will be provided.

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