Sage to Confer 846 Degrees at 2011 Commencement on May 14

May 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Teacher Featured in Movie “Dangerous Minds” to Address Sage Graduates;
Women’s Studies Professor and Medical Historian to Receive Honorary Doctorate

LouAnne JohnsonAlbany and Troy, NY – Sage is pleased to announce that LouAnne Johnson, the inspirational teacher featured in the movie “Dangerous Minds,” will deliver the 94th Commencement address at the May 14 ceremony, to be held at 10 a.m. at the RPI Field House.

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Johnson is a former U.S. Navy journalist, Marine Corps officer, high school teacher, and author of The New York Times bestseller Dangerous Minds (originally My Posse Don't Do Homework) upon which the 1995 film was based. Presently she is an assistant professor of teacher education at Santa Fe Community College.

A native of rural northwestern Pennsylvania, Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1971 and served nine years on active duty, achieving the rank of Petty Officer First Class in the Navy and later, 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. She earned the Navy Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Award for her work as a journalist/radio-TV broadcaster.

In 1989, Johnson began teaching reading and writing to non-English speakers as an intern at a high school in California. Two years later, she was appointed department chair of a special program for at-risk teens. During the government evaluation of 10 similar pilot programs, her group was rated first in academic achievement, increased self-esteem, and student retention. Since then she has taught English, adult basic education, developmental reading and writing at high schools and colleges.

Johnson is author of the following books:

Muchacho (Knopf, Sept 2009) -- watch LouAnne Johnson talk about channeling her newest book, Muchacho (YouTube)
Teaching Outside the Box (Jossey-Bass, 2005)
Queen of Education (Jossey-Bass, 2004)
Two Parts Textbook, One Part Love (Hyperion, 1998) (out of print)
School is Not a Four-Letter Word (Hyperion, 1997) (out of print)
The Girls in the Back of the Class
(St. Martin's 1996) (out of print)
My Posse Don’t Do Homework (St. Martin's, 1992 – retitled Dangerous Minds in 1996)
Making Waves (St. Martin's, 1986) (out of print)

Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the 1995 box office hit “Dangerous Minds” as based on My Posse Don’t Do Homework. My Posse and The Girls were both condensed in Reader’s Digest magazine, and Dangerous Minds has been published in eight languages, including Italian, German, Japanese and French.

Johnson has presented keynote and commencement addresses to numerous organizations, including the National School Boards Association, the National Council on Curriculum Development, National University and the European Council of International Schools. She has appeared on several TV shows, including Oprah, CBS Eye to Eye, NBC Weekend Today, Maury Povich, Tom Snyder, and CNN. She holds a master's in teaching English from Notre Dame de Namur University and a B.S. in Psychology from University of LaVerne.


Women’s Studies Professor and Medical Historian to Receive Honorary Doctorate from Sage

Susan ReverbyThe Sage Colleges will also present Susan Reverby, Ph.D., with an honorary doctorate at the May 14 Commencement.

Reverby is Professor of Women's Studies at Wellesley College and an historian of American women, medicine and nursing. She was Wellesley's first Women's Studies faculty hire in 1982.

Her prize-winning book, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing is still considered one of the major overview histories of American nursing. She is a former health policy analyst and women's health activist. From 1993–1997 she served as the consumer representative on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Advisory Panel. In l995 she was made an honorary member of national nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau.

Reverby has researched extensively and published about the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, run by the U.S. Public Health Service between 1932 and 1972, which examined untreated syphilis in African American men and was conducted without the men's knowledge of its experimental nature. She is the editor of Tuskegee's Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000). Her most recent book is Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009). She was a member of the Legacy Committee on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study that successfully lobbied then-President Bill Clinton to offer a public apology to the surviving men and their heirs in 1997. Her work on this project has been supported by several grants and residencies at the W.E.B. DuBois Research Center and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard.

In 2010, research by Reverby brought to light unethical experiments conducted in Guatemala between 1946-1948 by American public health doctors and prompted health officials to investigate. Nearly 700 Guatemalans – prison inmates, mental patients and soldiers – were deliberately infected with venereal diseases to test the effectiveness of penicillin. These revelations were made public in October when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized to the Guatemalan government and the survivors and descendants of those infected and President Obama apologized to President Colom of Guatemala. Reverby’s article on the immoral study was published in the Journal of Policy History in January 2011.

Reverby has spoken widely in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Sweden on the history of gender, ethics, and health care issues. She holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations/Labor History from Cornell University, M.A. in American Civilization from New York University and Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University.

Sage Degrees

A total of 836 degrees earned will be conferred, including associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate and post master’s certificates.  This includes students who completed their requirements in August, and December of 2010 and May of 2011.

Russell Sage College
196 bachelor's degrees

Sage College of Albany
5 associate degrees
213 bachelor's degrees

Sage Graduate School's

367 master's degrees and advanced certificates
39 doctorates in Physical Therapy
14 doctorates in Educational Leadership
2 doctorate in Nursing Education & Leadership