The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) will award three honorary degrees at its 79th Commencement on Sunday, May 11, 2014. The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on the south lawn of the University’s West Hartford campus located at 1678 Asylum Avenue. Honorary degree recipients include Sakena Yacoobi, Ph.D., founder, president, and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, who will also deliver the 2014 Commencement address; Manon Cox, Ph.D., MBA, president and CEO of Protein Sciences Corporation; and Chris Dadlez, MHA, president and CEO of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
SAKENA YACOOBI is a native of Afghanistan who was educated in the United States. In 1995, she founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), a women-led NGO that provides teacher training to Afghan women, education to boys and girls, and health care education to women and children. Throughout its history, AIL has supported underground schools, created Learning Centers, and opened schools and clinics in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition to AIL, Yacoobi founded the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private Hospital in Herat, and the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private High Schools in Kabul and Herat. She has received international recognition for her work and is the recipient of the Afghan National Peace Award, the Champion of Women's Health Award, and the Opus Prize.
MANON M. J. COX joined Protein Sciences in 1998, as director of Business Development, became COO in 2000, and CEO in 2010. Previously, she was with Gist-brocades, a Dutch company specializing in fermentation. She held various management positions at Gist-brocades in Research and Development, Manufacturing, and Business Development. Cox holds a doctorate from the University of Wageningen, an MBA the University of Nijenrode and the University of Rochester, and a degree in Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
CHRISTOPHER M. DADLEZ has more than 30 years experience leading large complex health care organizations in five different states. As president and CEO of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, he oversees an integrated health care system that includes a comprehensive, tertiary care hospital; a community hospital; a free-standing acute-care rehabilitation hospital; almost 900 affiliated physicians, several affiliates providing long-term care, homecare and hospice; a full-service clinical laboratory; several specialty medical group practices; three community-based health centers, a full-service dental clinic, and a comprehensive range of behavioral health and substance treatment services. Dadlez has served on the Connecticut Governor’s Healthcare Reform Advisory Board, the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, and the Governor’s Council on Economic Competitiveness and Technology.