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Commencement

Speakers

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Commencement

Spring 2017 Speakers

Undergraduate Ceremonies

SATURDAY, MAY 13th10 AM

Ms. Patricia Meiser ‘69

A trailblazer in the world of athletics, Patricia Meiser graduated from West Chester University in 1969 with a degree in health and physical education and went on to earn a master’s degree in education and an MBA from Penn State. At Penn State, she coached the women’s basketball teamfor 10 years, serving as its head coach from 1974 to 1981 andamassing a92-52 record and earning Top 20 national rankings.

Ms. Meiser joined the athletic department at University of Connecticut in 1983, where she would remain for ten years, serving as an associate athletics director for administration and senior women’s administrator. It was she who engineered the hiring of WCU alumnus Geno Auriemma, anchoring his leadership ofUConn women’s basketball and its eleven national championships.

In 1993, Ms. Meiser was named the athletic director at the University of Hartford. At the time, she was one of only twelve female athletic directors of Division I schools. When she retired from that position, as well as being special assistant to the president, 21 years later in 2014, she had earned a national reputation in athletics management and for promoting the role of women in intercollegiate athletics. Indeed, she was named one of the nation’s top 50 women’s sports executives by Street and Smith’sSports Business Journal.

Today, she continues to serve her profession through her business, Meiser Sports Consulting. She has mentored many professionals now performing in today’s sports marketplace and is regularly sought after to speak on topics of leadership, program development, and community engagement.

SUNDAY, May 14th 10 AM

Dr. Christopher Asplen

Christopher Asplen is Executive Director of the National Criminal Justice Association, a national voice in shaping and implementing criminal justice policy in America. He is also an internationally respected legal expert on forensic DNA technology and consultant to the U.S. Department of State’s Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

Mr. Asplen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from West Chester University in 1986. He then received his law degree from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, after which he returned to his native Bucks County as an Assistant District Attorney specializing in the prosecution of sex crimes and child abuse. Departing the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office as a Senior Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Asplen became the Director of the DNA Unit for the National District Attorney’s Association. As Director of the DNA Unit, he developed prosecutor training courses not only for the DNA unit, but also for Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Units.

In 1997, Mr. Asplen was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. He was subsequently appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno as the Executive Director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence with the mission of maximizing the potential of DNA technology in the criminal justice system. Among the Commission’s numerous accomplishments, it was the first national voice calling for the elimination of untested rape kit backlogs and simultaneously, for the accelerated use of DNA technology to exonerate the wrongly convicted.

Upon leaving the Justice Department, Mr. Asplen joined the law firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell opening its London office and serving as Vice President for International Government Affairs. From London, he consulted with the U.S. Department of Justice, foreign governments and other law enforcement agencies on the establishment and implementation of DNA databases as well as crime scene investigation. Through his work, he has traveled to more than 60 countries, spoken at more than 100 international conferences, testified before the U.S. Congress and the parliaments of the Philippines and South Africa, and appeared on CNN, CBS News, 60 Minutes, the BBC News and numerous other media outlets.

Since 2014, Mr. Asplen has worked with the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the U.S. Department of State to educate foreign governments on the prosecution of nuclear terrorism crimes. He has assisted with the development of curricula and materials for convenings of more than 35 foreign governments both in Bratislava, Slovakia and the International Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

GRADUATE SPEAKER

Colonel Tyree C. Blocker M’86

Tyree C. Blocker, a 1986 graduate of West Chester University’s Master’s Degree program in Criminal Justice, is the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, a post to which he was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf in 2015.

As Commissioner, he exercises administrative, command, and fiscal authority and responsibility over the Department. Commissioner Blocker is responsible for a budget exceeding $1.2 billion and commands a statewide complement of more than 6,000 enlisted and civilian employees, which includes over 4,500 State Police Troopers.

As the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, he is empowered by statute to assist the Governor by enforcing the law and preserving the peace through the detection of crime, apprehension of criminals, and patrol of the highways.

Commissioner Blocker began his career in 1975 as a trooper, working in patrol and criminal investigations. He transitioned to organized crime and drug law within the Bureaus of Criminal Investigation and Drug Law Enforcement. Colonel Blocker’s 30-year law enforcement career has allowed him to lead in a variety of capacities within the State Police from Section Commander to Bureau Director to Area Commander.

After his retirement from the Pennsylvania State Police in 2005, Colonel Blocker worked at George Mason University serving as a Technical Advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and then as a Police Technical Advisor to the Minister of National Security for the Trinidad and Tobago government. In addition, Colonel Blocker has been a popular adjunct faculty member at West Chester University and owns Future Gem Fitness Corporation.

A native of Philadelphia, Commissioner Blocker holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts in addition to his master’s degree from WCU. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.

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