Niagara University awarded degrees to 200 graduates during its fifth commencement in Ontario on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York.
Stuart Auty, the founding president of the Canadian Safe School Network, a nonprofit organization mandated to help make Canadian schools and neighborhoods safer places to learn and live, delivered the commencement address and received the university’s Caritas Medal.
The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., president of Niagara University, presided at commencement ceremonies and conferred the degree of Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education on graduates.
Two students who have achieved the highest grade-point average in their respective fields of study received gold medals. They were Amanda Tania Di Domizio for the primary-junior program, and Lisa Fusco for the intermediate-senior program. In addition, Jeffrey Kirby (primary-junior) and Eric Mattei (intermediate-senior) were honored with Excellence in Teacher Preparation awards, as determined by faculty members.
Since Auty founded the Canadian Safe School Network in 1997, it has been very active in developing safe school resources, administering research and hosting professional development events for educators and administrators. In fact, CSSN is among the largest safe school professional development providers in Canada, and its resources are distributed across North America.
The organization – and Auty in particular – is recognized by print, television and radio media as a primary source for information and expertise on the youth violence issues of the day. Auty’s commentary has been featured in such prominent media outlets as The Toronto Star, CBC News, CTV and Reader’s Digest.
Niagara University offers a bachelor’s degree in teacher education, with programs in primary-junior and intermediate-senior teacher preparation, at sites in Toronto and York. The university, founded in 1856, has written consent from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer its programs, which are accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers. It has offered education programs in Ontario for more than 30 years.
Further information on Niagara University and its program in Ontario is available at www.niagara.edu/ontario-teacher-s-college.