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Albany Medical College Holds 174th Commencement Ceremonies

ALBANY, N.Y., May 24, 2012—Albany Medical College awarded 220 degrees today during commencement ceremonies held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Medical degrees (M.D.) were awarded to 142 students.  In addition, 21 students received Master of Science degrees in nurse anesthesiology, 30 received Master of Science degrees in physician assistant studies, and 15 received either master of science or doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences. Twelve students received master’s degrees from the Alden March Bioethics Institute.

The keynote speaker was Gary Gottlieb, M.D., a 1979 graduate of Albany Medical College and president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare, the largest health care provider in Massachusetts, who also received an honorary degree at the ceremony. Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was formally awarded an honorary degree at a ceremony prior to commencement at the Medical College May 23, where she also delivered a keynote address to students. 

Also addressing the graduates were Wayne Diesel, chairman of the board of directors of Albany Medical Center, and Vincent Verdile, M.D., dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs at Albany Medical Center.

Graduate Michael Klein spoke on behalf of students in the graduate studies program and Arati Patil, student council president, spoke on behalf of the medical students during the ceremony.

In July, the graduating medical students will begin their residency training at various medical facilities throughout the nation, including 18 at Albany Medical Center.

Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D.

As CEO of Partners HealthCare, an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1994, Dr. Gary Gottlieb oversees one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gottlieb serves as chairman of the Private Industry Council, Boston’s workforce development board. He also has served as co-chair of the (Boston) Mayor’s Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Gottlieb, who is also a national leader in geriatric psychiatry, established Penn Medical Center’s first program in geriatric psychiatry, a program upon which numerous others have been modeled. He is past president of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, and currently serves as professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

He earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College as well as bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the two institutions’ combined six-year accelerated biomedical program.  He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.

President of RPI since 1999, Dr. Jackson has led an extraordinary transformation of the institute with an ambitious strategic effort known as The Rensselaer Plan. Under her leadership, research awards have doubled, scholarships have increased, and undergraduate research has expanded, while innovations in curriculum and student life have been instituted.  During her tenure, nearly $1 billion has been invested in The Rensselaer Plan for new construction, renovations, equipment, technology and infrastructure. 

She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, and a member of several other prestigious scientific and policy organizations.  She participates in the World Economic Forum, and is a member of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, and of global companies including IBM, FedEx, and Medtronic.

She holds an S.B. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals,  and which also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: or


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Sue Ford
Extension: (518) 262 - 3421

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