Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Announces Fall Commencement Speakers

eagleheadGeorgia Southern University announces speakers for its Fall 2010 commencement ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 10, 2010.

Patricia (Patty) A. Lavely, senior vice president and chief information officer for Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., will serve as the speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony.  Lavely oversees the day-to-day operations and strategy of the center’s information services (I.S.) team. Before joining Memorial in 2006, Lavely was chief information officer at Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, Ga. Prior to that, she was with Promina Health System in Atlanta, where she first served as director of physician services and information systems and later vice president and chief information officer. She began her career as a payroll manager at Columbia/HCA MedFirst.

Lavely is a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. She is a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a certified professional in healthcare information management. She is also involved in local and statewide health information technology initiatives and has served on the Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council as chair of the council’s Information Technology Committee. At the state level, Lavely chairs the Department of Community Health’s Health Information Technology and Transparency Advisory Board, a role she has held since 2008. Additionally, in 2008, the Georgia CIO Leadership Association named Lavely CIO of the Year.

Lavely earned her bachelor’s degree in science at Shorter College in Rome, Ga., and her MBA at Florida State University.

Gary D. Nelson, Ph.D., president of Healthcare Georgia Foundation, will serve as the speaker for the 11 a.m. ceremony.  In his current role, Nelson is responsible for implementing board decisions and policies and for executive management of the Foundation’s program, financial and management operations. Working with the Foundation’s board of directors, Nelson oversees the design and management of the Foundation’s grantmaking program – dedicated to advancing the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities.  Prior to joining the Foundation in March 2002, Nelson served as a program director at The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) where he was responsible for managing the Health Improvement Initiative, Healthy Aging and the Foundation’s population health programs.

He previously was employed at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1986 to 1993, where he managed several nationally significant evaluation projects and served as an associate director for Evaluation, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. He has held academic appointments in public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He began his public health career with the Utah State Department of Public Health.

He received his bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University, master’s degree at Central Michigan University and his Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

Guy D. Foulkes, M.D., will serve as the speaker for the 1 p.m. ceremony.  Foulkes received his bachelor of science degree in biology from Georgia Southern and his medical degree from Mercer University. After a surgical internship in Macon, Ga.,  Foulkes completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Following a fellowship in hand and microvascular surgery at UCLA in Los Angeles, Foulkes returned to Macon to join The Macon Orthopaedic and Hand Center. He specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurovascular problems of the hand, forearm and elbow.

Foulkes is past president of the Georgia Hand Society and served as president of the Bibb County Medical Society. He is also a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Georgia Orthopaedic Society and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, and served as a field surgeon during Operation Desert Shield. He has received numerous decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal and Georgia Special Operations Ribbon.

Foulkes has published numerous articles and book chapters, including duties as editor, reviewer and illustrator in the field of orthopaedic and hand surgery. His work has been presented in Hong Kong, Denmark, Hawaii and elsewhere. He is a certified airline transport pilot and flight instructor. His wife, Lesley, is a registered nurse and they have four daughters.

Georgia Southern University Fall 2010 Commencement Schedule
Commencement will take place inside historic Hanner Fieldhouse. Due to the expected record number of graduates, Fall Commencement will once again be divided into three separate ceremonies: 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. Ceremony
Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies
College of Business Administration
College of Information Technology
College of Health and Human Sciences

11:00 a.m. Ceremony
Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies
College of Education
Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Interdisciplinary BS (International Trade)

1:00 p.m. Ceremony
Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies
Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary BA (Intl Studies)

For more information on Fall Commencement,

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