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2015 Convocation

News Story

It may feel like the school year just ended, but we’re all still working towards making this year’s eighth annual Convocation one to remember. Check here for dates, times, and speaker bios.

Pace University cordially invites you to the eighth annual Convocation, which will be held on September 1, 2015, on both the New York City and Westchester campuses. First-year students are invited to join the Pace Community for this important ceremony that sets the academic tone for the coming year. This year’s theme—which will be discussed by our keynote speakers and woven into the first-year curriculum—will be “Finding and Pursuing Your Passion.”

Westchester Campus:

Pre-Convocation 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Convocation Noon
Lunch and Festivities 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Campus Involvement Fair 2:30 p.m.

NYC Campus:

Pre-Convocation 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Convocation Noon
Lunch and Festivities 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Keynote Speakers:

Westchester Campus: Matthew Ganis, DPS

Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Astronomy, Pace University

Matthew Ganis, DPS, is currently a senior technical staff member with IBM in Somers, New York. His current areas of interest are social media analytics, the Internet-of-things, and cloud computing. He is also an adjunct professor of computer science and astronomy at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York, where he teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Ganis holds a BS in Computer Science and an MBA in Information Systems from Pace University; an MS in Astronomy from the University of Western Sydney, Australia; and a DPS in Computing from Pace University. He has authored or co-authored more than 35 papers and two books in both of his fields of interest, ranging from topics including programming techniques, computer systems administration, and computer networking to topics on stellar evolution and radio astronomy. In his 30-year career at IBM, he has been responsible for a number of technological advances such as the creation of the first enterprise firewalls for IBM; the creation of highly available World Wide Web platforms to support the Atlanta, Sydney, and Nagano Olympics, which secured he and his team a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest sustained rate of Internet web traffic; and the proliferation of advanced software development techniques across all of IBM’s worldwide development laboratories.

In 2007, Ganis was named the recipient of the Pforzheimer Center’s Innovation in Teaching Award for an Adjunct Faculty Member for his work on the International Space Station’s Amateur Telescope. In 2012, he was awarded the DPS Student Service Award for his frequent collaborations between IBM and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Ganis is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a fellow of Dyson College, a past member of the Center for Advanced Media Advisory Board, a husband of 23 years to his beautiful bride Karen, and proud father to his two children Matthew and Taylor.

NYC Campus: Richard Ebil Ottoo, PhD

Vice President, Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)

Richard Ebil Ottoo, PhD, is currently the vice president of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Before this position, he was a tenured associate professor of finance at the Lubin School of Business on Pace University’s NYC Campus, teaching at the University for 17 years. He served as the director of professional certifications in finance at the Department of Finance. Prior to his academic career, Ottoo worked with the National Water Corporation of Uganda, where he served as accounts assistant to the finance controller. He also served in the Ugandan government as the special assistant to the minister of health and was in charge of planning, policy, and budgets. During his tenure, he was involved in creating and launching Uganda’s first open education HIV/AIDS campaign in 1987 that received wide international acclaim. Previously, he has been a project finance manager with Action Internationalé (AICF), an international development agency.

Ottoo obtained his bachelor’s degree in statistics, with honors, in 1985 from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He also earned a master’s degree in banking and finance, summa cum laude, from Giordano dell’Amore Foundation College in Milan, Italy, in 1989; an MBA in Finance from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in 1996; and a PhD in Finance from the City University of New York in 1998. He is the author of a book, Valuation of Corporate Growth Opportunities: A Real Options Approach (2000), and his articles have appeared in many journals. Ottoo has been awarded numerous awards, such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Technical Cooperation Scholarship, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship, the John C. Whitehead Foundation Fellowship, the NASDAQ Stock Market Grant, and the Ross and Margie Butler Institute for International Understanding Award.

Ottoo was born and raised in Uganda. The fourth of his parents' eleven children, he was the first in his family to go to college.

To learn more about this year’s Convocation festivities, our academic theme for the 20152016 school year, or our common reading selection, visit