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Mary L. Schapiro, Chair of the SEC, Named Commencement Speaker; Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – (April 25, 2012) -- Mary L. Schapiro, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will speak at Muhlenberg College’s 164th Commencement on May 20, 2012 at 10 a.m.  The ceremony will be held on the historic college green.  Schapiro will also be awarded an honorary doctorate.  Other individuals receiving honorary degrees will be Jeannette R. Ickovics ’84 and Zach Rosenburg and Liz McCartney.

Mary L. Schapiro is the 29th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chairman Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent Chairman.

Over the course of Schapiro's tenure, the SEC has brought a record number of enforcement actions; pursued scores of individuals and entities in connection with the financial crisis; put in place a series of measures to help reduce the likelihood of another flash crash; obtained significant responsibilities for derivatives, hedge funds and credit rating agencies as a result of financial reform legislation; and underwent a comprehensive restructuring to become more effective in its investor protection mission.

Prior to becoming SEC Chairman, she was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) — the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. Schapiro joined the organization in 1996 as President of NASD Regulation, and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named NASD’s Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization’s consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.

Schapiro previously served as a Commissioner of the SEC from December 1988 to October 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and named Acting Chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996.
Schapiro is an active member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). She was Chairman of the IOSCO SRO Consultative Committee from 2002 to 2006.

A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Chairman Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from George Washington University in 1980. Chairman Schapiro was named the Financial Women’s Association Public Sector Woman of the Year in 2000. She received a Visionary Award from the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) in 2008, honoring her as a “champion of economic empowerment.”

Jeannette R. Ickovics ’84 is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and of Psychology at Yale University. She is the Founding Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Program at the School of Public Health. She is Deputy Director for the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, where she also serves as Director of Development, Education and Training. As Principal Investigator of an NIH training grant since 1999, she has trained more than 50 pre- and post-doctoral fellows – a next generation of prevention scientists.  Ickovics is also Founding Director of CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement – committed to improving community health through evidence and action.

Ickovics’ research lies at the intersection between public health and psychology. She investigates the interplay of the complex psychological, medical, and social factors that influence the health of the person and of the community. She uses this lens to examine the challenges faced by those who have often been marginalized by the health care system and by society.  Ickovics is an expert on maternal and child health, as well as more general research on the interaction of clinical, psychological and social factors that promote good health for individuals and communities. Her community-based research – more than $20 million funded by NIH, CDC, and private Foundations -- is characterized by methodological rigor and cultural sensitivity. She is the author of more than 125 peer-reviewed publications.

In recognition of her contributions to the field, she has received many awards, including the Emerging Leadership Award and the Early Distinguished Contributions for Psychology in the Public Interest from the American Psychological Association. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and was elected to membership in the American Psychosomatic Society and the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a winner of the Seton Elm-Ivy Award, a Yale University award, recognizing people for their efforts to strengthen ties between Yale University and the city of New Haven.  Ickovics has consulted with the Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Public Health Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as with investigators at other universities worldwide. 

Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg co-founded the St. Bernard Project, an innovative post disaster rebuilding organization that operates in New Orleans, LA and Joplin, MO.  They have led SBP from its inception, as a three-person volunteer operation, to its current position, as an organization with $8 million in revenue and 50 full time staff members that recruits over 10,000 AmeriCorps members and volunteers annually.  SBP is a regional and national leader in affordable post disaster rebuilding, community mental health services and job creation for veterans.

Rosenburg is the CEO of St. Bernard Project and directs the strategic vision, marketing, partnership development and fundraising for the organization. Prior to launching SBP, Mr. Rosenburg ran a criminal defense practice in Washington, DC. He received his J.D. from American University and an LLM from Georgetown University. Mr. Rosenburg was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic.

McCartney is the Director of Construction and Operations and oversees all building operations. In her current role, Ms. McCartney had led her team to reduce the average lead time to rebuild a house from 116 to 63 days.  Liz was awarded an Urban Innovation Fellow at Tulane University in 2011 to scale and replicate SBP with support from the university. Liz received a B.A. from Boston College and an M.A. from The George Washington University.

St. Bernard Project has received numerous awards and recognitions including: 2008 CNN Hero of the Year, 2008 Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Award, 2009 New Orleanians of the Year, 2010 Caring Award, 2011 Help Point Heroes and 2011 White House Champion of Change. They have been featured in national and international media outlets including the cover of US News and World Report, BBC, Oprah Winfrey Show, New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, and Times Picayune.  In the years since Hurricane Katrina, Muhlenberg College has sent dozens of students to work with the St. Bernard Project as part of its Alternative Spring Break program.