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Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Doctor of Humane Letters



As the U.S. Secretary of Education's chief advisor on higher education issues, your previous positions as professor, provost and dean at four distinguished California state universities, as well as your advanced degrees in science and economics, are very valuable as you strive to make higher education more accessible and affordable for all.
You were appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2010 to serve as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, where you administer more than 60 programs, totaling nearly $3 billion annually, that provide financial assistance to eligible students who are enrolled in postsecondary institutions. Your commitment to and experience with academic excellence, cultural diversity and increasing college access are synonymous with the goals and values that University of Detroit Mercy has espoused for 135 years.
UDM is inspired by your dedicated efforts to increase the nation’s college completion rates and enroll more students in college to meet President Obama’s goal by 2020. Your personal encouragement of our nation’s youth to achieve at their highest levels so that they will obtain a diploma and be well prepared to excel in college and pursue advanced degrees will yield positive results in the near future.
You know that achieving lofty goals is possible because you followed your dreams when you immigrated with your family to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pursuing your education seriously and with rigor, you first obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College; then earned a master’s degree in nuclear science and engineering at Columbia University; followed by a Ph.D. in economics at the New School for Social Research. 
University of Detroit Mercy applauds your dedication to ensuring that the U.S. retains its reputation of having the best higher education system in the world. Enhancing our educational system and expanding access will make our country stronger with an informed, engaged and economically viable society.
In recognition of your exceptional leadership in the field of education, University of Detroit Mercy proudly bestows upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
Commencement, University of Detroit Mercy, May 12, 2012

University of Detroit Mercy

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