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Speaker Honors Graduates and JPII:
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Awards conferred during 10th Annual IPS Commencement Exercises

ips graduates 2011
The IPS graduating class of 2011.

Washington, DC., May 25, 2011 -- “Go unafraid and with courage into the world, to help others respect the whole human person, who is indeed…a being called to love, as all of us have been and are loved by the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ.” 

These are the words of theology scholar, author and professor William E. May, Ph.D., addressing the graduates of the Institute for Psychological Sciences (IPS) on May 19, 2011.  Dr. May was the commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the Tenth IPS Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises held at 2:00 pm in the Crypt Chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

Making reference to the teachings of the newly-blessed Pope John Paul II, May said “this profound philosopher/theologian who God chose to be Christ’s vicar on earth and successor of St. Peter,” showed the understanding of the human being in today’s world is based on a “dualistic anthropology” which leads to a “culture of death.”  May said JPII showed the modern worldview is based on an anthropology that separates “the human person from his/her body” as opposed to what JPII
Dr. Philip Scrofani, associate professor and former Director of Clinical Training at IPS.
Dr. Philip Scrofani, associate professor and former Director of Clinical Training at IPS.
called an “adequate” anthropology “that recognizes the human person is a unity of body and soul.”  He called this understanding among the late pope’s greatest contributions to the Church and the world, as well as to the mission and work of the Institute for Psychological Sciences.

“Dr. May is a passionate, charismatic man and his talk was well received by the students and all those in attendance,” said Nancy Flynn, Student Services Coordinator.

Other highlights of the commencement exercises included the naming of the Student Leadership Award winner, Fernando Alessandri, M.S. in Clinical Psychology, 2011.

“I was quite surprised and very honored,” said Fernando.  “It could have gone to so many others.  I deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness of everyone involved. It was quite moving for me to be singled out this way.”

The recipient of the first-ever IPS Faculty Award was Philip Scrofani, Psy.D, ABPP.  Dr. Scrofani was selected by the IPS student body, based on “dedication to teaching, advising and service to the students of IPS.” 

Dr. Scofani is associate professor and former Director of Clinical Training at IPS.  He has more than 30 years of experience in the field of psychology, spending most of that time at St. Elizabeths Hospital,
student leadership award winner
The Student Leadership Award winner, Fernando Alessandri, M.S. in Clinical Psychology, 2011.
Washington, DC’s public psychiatric facility, where he trained hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists in their clinical skills. 

“Dr. Scrofani has been undergoing chemotherapy for the past several months, and has been a tremendous example of dedication to the entire IPS community,” said IPS President Fr. Charles Sikorsky, LC, when announcing the award.  “Dr. Scrofani taught classes via Skype when he could not come to class in person and called student externs from his hospital bed for supervision.”   When his name was announced, the entire audience rose to give Dr. Scrofani a standing ovation.
 
In accepting his award, Dr. Scrofani said that teaching the next generation of psychologists about the field and their faith means the most to him.  He went on to say, "The students of IPS are unsurpassed anywhere in the country because they are men and women of virtue." 

Dr. Scrofani thanked Fr. Charles for his on-going support throughout his treatment for cancer, saying, "Where else but at IPS would my boss, in a true spirit of faith, give me Last Rites one day and the next offer me a contract to teach another year?"

The commencement ceremony included two other IPS firsts.  Fr. Joseph Tatro, Psy.D. student from Wichita, KS, accompanied the organist on trumpet playing the Prayer of St. Gregory during the offertory.  Newly-graduated Fr. Godwin Olugbami, M.S., from Nigeria, delivered the benediction to conclude the commencement exercises.

Immediately following the ceremony, graduates and their families, along with the IPS community, attended a reception held in Memorial Hall next to the Crypt Chapel at the Basilica.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2011-05-26


 
 

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