Former U.S. ambassador, subject of 2005 movie to address graduates at 84th annual Commencement ceremony

Prudence Bushnell
Prudence Bushnell, CEO of Sage Associates, whose role in raising awareness to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 was portrayed by Debra Winger in the movie, “Sometimes in April,’’ will be the guest speaker when Misericordia University hosts its 84th annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 23 at 2 p.m. in the Anderson Sports and Health Center on campus. A baccalaureate Mass will precede the ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

During the ceremony, Misericordia will also present Bushnell, Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D., a native of Nanticoke, Pa., and a professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, and world-renowned artist Christopher Ries of Tunkhannock, Pa., with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.

“Ambassador Bushnell has spent her life in the most volatile areas of the world serving humankind and her country,’’ said Michael A. MacDowell, president of Misericordia University. “Her service in various State Department positions and to ensuring the safety of those who serve their country abroad have been exemplary and we are please to recognize her service.’’

As CEO of Sage Associates in Virginia, Bushnell lectures and consults on international and leadership topics that range from crisis leadership and terrorism to leadership effectiveness strategies and women peacemakers. Her work in the public and private sectors reflects her experiences as deputy assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1993-1996), ambassador to the Republics of Kenya (1996-1999) and Guatemala (1999-2002), and dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute (2002-2005).

Ambassador Bushnell’s achievements as a diplomat, leader and educator have been recognized through numerous Department of State awards. She has received the Peace through Commerce Award from the Department of Commerce, the Service to America Career Achievement medal and honorary doctoral degrees from Hartwick College and Sage College. The Nairobi Mission Award for Heroism noted her community’s response to the 1998 Al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Glamour magazine named her one of the Top Ten Women of the Year and Vanity Fair magazine featured her in its Hall of Fame in 1998. Her efforts to bring attention to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda were featured in the 2005 film, “Sometimes in April,’’ in which she is portrayed by actress Debra Winger. She is also one of three ambassadors highlighted in the National Geographic special, “Inside an Embassy.’’

Ms. Bushnell’s written works on leadership and terrorism have been published by the Cambridge University Press and the Foreign Service Journal. She is also sought out as a public speaker and is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs.

Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in Germany, France, Pakistan and Iran, Ms. Bushnell holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public administration from Russell Sage College.

Misericordia University’s honorary degree recipients are known as leaders in their individual fields. Dr. Dudrick is a native of Nanticoke, Pa., who is widely recognized and respected throughout the scientific, academic and clinical world for his innovative and pioneering research in the development of the specialized central venous feeding technique known as intravenous hyperalimentation (IVH) or total parenteral nutrition (TPN). His development and successful clinical application of this therapeutic modality has been described as one of the four most significant accomplishments in the history of the development of modern surgery. It has also been acknowledged as one of the three most important advancements in surgery during the past century along with open heart surgery and organ transplantation.

“Dr. Dudrick has had a most distinguished career in medicine,’’ President MacDowell acknowledged. “A renowned surgeon, medical researcher and medical college administrator, Dr. Dudrick has accomplished much in areas where Misericordia graduates, faculty and staff have great interest. His humanity is evident in all he has undertaken.’’

Dr. Dudrick received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology with honors from Franklin and Marshall College, graduating cum laude. His medical degree was conferred by the University Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Today, Dr. Dudrick is the chairman of the Department of Surgery, director of the Training Program in Surgery and designated institutional officer for Graduate Medical Education at St. Mary’s Hospital/Yale Affiliate in Waterbury, Conn., and professor of surgery at Yale. He also was the author or co-author of 2,535 scientific reference citations in Current Contents; has served on more than 14 editorial boards of scientific journals and professional publications; has been presented more than 95 honors and awards; and has produced several books, including the “American College of Surgeons Manual of Surgical Nutrition,’’ which he served as co-editor.

Mr. Ries delivered lectures and presented his glass sculptures for the opening exhibit of the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery on campus. His glass sculptures and talent are known throughout the world and industry. His career and sculptures have been recognized by many in the art world. Today, Ries is represented in dozens of art galleries and displayed in collections from Mainz, Germany to Los Angeles, Calif., and from Tokyo, Japan to Pittston, Pa. The artist in residence with international glass maker Schott Glass Technologies, in Duryea, Pa., also participates in annual group exhibitions as far away as the Netherlands and as close as Scranton, Pa.

“Christopher Ries is a regional treasure,’’ said President MacDowell. “His work is world renown. His opening exhibit at Misericordia’s Pauly Friedman Art Gallery attracted visitors from throughout the northeast. His work is inspirational. A grateful university is pleased to recognize a great artist in this way.’’

A graduate of Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and glass, Mr. Ries founded OSU’s glass department. As an undergraduate student, he became the department’s first instructor. He also received a Master of Fine Arts degree in glass from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his career, he has received numerous awards, including the Aid to Individual Artists Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council, the Ohioana Citation for Distinguished Service to Ohio in the Field of Art, the Distinguished Artist Award from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and the 2005 Artist as Hero Award from the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia.