Manhattanville College Announces 2017 Commencement Speakers

Press Release

Manhattanville College Announces 2017 Commencement Speakers

May 2, 2017 • Anonymous

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Alan van der Hilst, primary research evaluator at the Pew Charitable Trusts.Purchase, NY, May 2, 2017 -- Manhattanville College has tapped Alan van der Hilst, a Manhattanville graduate and currently the senior research officer at the renowned Pew Charitable Trusts, as the Undergraduate Commencement speaker for Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. Marc Brackett, director of the prestigious Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will serve as keynote speaker for the Graduate and Doctoral Ceremony on Thursday May 18 at 7 p.m.; and Rae Kimberly Gomes, a very promising Manhattanville graduate, who has been a journalist, manager and communications specialist for several activist organizations, will be the Baccalaureate speaker on Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m.

Alan van der HilstUndergraduate Commencement Speaker
Alan van der Hilst is one of the primary research evaluators at the Pew Charitable Trusts, a global, non-partisan research and public policy non-governmental organization. He has served on the Advisory Board to the Office of the Budget Director for the District of Columbia and in the Congressional Budget Office, where he was a principal analyst, with a focus on water and transportation infrastructure funding. He has served as adjunct faculty at Seattle University and was a graduate instructor at the University of Washington in Seattle. He holds a master’s and doctoral degree in economics from the University of Washington, where he was awarded the Buechel fellowship, and specialized in public finance and econometrics.

Dr. van der Hilst graduated summa cum laude from Manhattanville College in 2002, majoring in finance, and had a double minor in computer science and communications.

Graduate Commencement SpeakerMarc Brackett
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. His grant-funded research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, relationship quality, well-being, performance, and organizational climate. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,200 public, charter, and private schools across the United States, Australia, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. RULER infuses emotional intelligence into the fabric of a school through training for school leaders, educators and staff, students, and families, and has been shown to enhance well-being, academic performance, and school climate.

Dr. Brackett has published over 100 scholarly articles and is the recipient of numerous awards. His research is featured regularly in the New York Times, Time Magazine, and on National Public Radio. For the past five years he has worked with Facebook to develop tools that help adults and children resolve online conflict. He also holds a fifth degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art.

Rae GomesBaccalaureate & Honors Convocation Speaker
Rae Kimberly Gomes has packed a lot into a career that spans less than a decade. She is a journalist with six years experience writing and editing a wide range of topics including political activism and community issues. She is currently a food box coordinator at GrowNYC, an organization of 13 food box sites in Brooklyn, in areas with limited access to healthy food. She is general manager of the central Brooklyn Food Cooperative; she was media coordinator of Race Forward; was communications coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union; co-editor of the “Ten Things” column at The Nation Magazine and associate editor of Alternet. Ms. Gomes is currently a graduate student pursuing an M.F.A. in creative non-fiction at Goucher College and is an honors graduate of Manhattanville College, 2008.

About Manhattanville College:
Manhattanville College ( is an independent, co-educational liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence and social and civic action. Manhattanville prepares students to be ethical and socially responsible leaders in a global community. Located just 30 minutes from New York City, Manhattanville serves 1,800 undergraduate students and over 1,000 graduate students from more than 50 countries and 40 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, education, business, creative writing, as well as continuing and executive education programs.


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