21 August 2002

A world-renowned scientist will receive an honorary degree from The University of Queensland at one of its two graduation ceremonies tonight, Thursday, August 22.

Dr Rita Rossi Colwell will be awarded a Doctor of Science honoris causa in recognition for her distinguished career and international contribution to microbial ecology and marine biotechnology.

She will be guest speaker at the ceremony for graduands from the faculties of Biological and Chemical Sciences; Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture; Health Sciences; and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science, to be held at 6pm in Mayne Hall St Lucia.

Dr Colwell has published prolifically, served on an extraordinarily large number of national and international boards and committees, and held dozens of honorary and elected positions, including 25 honorary degrees.

She has been an Honorary Professor in Microbiology at UQ since 1988 and was appointed Director of the National Science Foundation — possibly the most influential scientific position in the United States — by US President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Student valedictorian at the ceremony will be Bachelor of Science graduand Sonjia Layton (telephone 07 3805 1909) .

The later 8.15pm Mayne Hall ceremony will be for graduands from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.

The guest speaker will be recently appointed head of the UQ Business School, Professor Tim Brailsford (telephone 07 3365 6225).

Professor Brailsford is the former Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce and Professor of Finance at the Australian National University.

He holds a PhD, masters and honours degree and has professional affiliations through fellowships with CPA Australia, the Australian Institute of Banking and Finance, the Finance and Treasury Association and the Australian Institute of Management.

Student valedictorian at the 8.15pm ceremony will be Bachelor of Commerce graduand Anne Corbett.

Other graduands of note include Sundari Gabriel Alfred (email: ijuliana@agis.com.sg) who will be the first Masters of Law (LLM) graduate from education provider Forte-IRI in Singapore, where UQ’s T. C. Beirne School of Law teaches its LLM and Master of Applied Law programs offshore.

Media: A citation with further information regarding Dr Colwell is available by contacting Peter McCutcheon at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 1088). For ceremony inquiries, please contact UQ Graduations Officer Peter Brady (telephone 07 3365 9194) or UQ Communications (07 3365 3367 or email: communications@uq.edu.au).