Schmid College is very pleased to announce the Paul A. Cook, General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District, will deliver the keynote address for this year’s Schmid College of Science and Technology Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m. on Wilson Field.

The ceremony will also honor Joe Kiani, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo, as well as a graduate at the start of her promising career: Taylor Patti, winner of the 2017 Cheverton Trophy. Graduates will also be welcomed as new members of Chapman Alumni, who number over 47,000 and span 152 countries, with an address by alumna and past Cheverton Trophy winner Alma J. Clark, DDS, ’78.

Keynote Speaker: Paul A. Cook

Paul A. Cook, General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District

Paul A. Cook, General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District

Paul is the General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District, which provides retail water and sewer service to nearly 400,000 customers in central Orange County. The District is well-known as an industry leader in many aspects of water supply reliability and innovative programs. Put simply, Paul is a “water guy”, and as we know here in Southern California, water scarcity has made it akin to liquid gold in some people’s eyes. Paul has thought deeply about these issues, and is a leader in developing policies that have helped the state navigate times of drought.

Mr. Cook is a registered civil engineer with more than 28 years of experience with water and wastewater systems in both the public and private sectors. Before joining IRWD, he served as the Manager of Engineering for Central and West Basin Municipal Water Districts in Los Angeles County where he was responsible for a capital improvements program which included one of the largest water recycling projects in the nation. Mr. Cook began his career in the construction industry, building both commercial and public works projects. In 2002 he was elected to the Board of the Orange County Water District where he served through 2005, including a term as Vice President. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the WateReuse Association and the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation. Since 2014, Mr. Cook has served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at Chapman University.

Mr. Cook received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pacific in Stockton, CA. He earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State University Long Beach, and an MBA from the University of California at Irvine. With that, I present Mr. Paul Cook.

Honorary Degree Recipient: Joe Kiani

Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo, a global medical technology innovator, Mr. Joe Kiani

Joe Kiani runs one of the world’s most admired medical technology companies, is an inventor of world-changing noninvasive patient monitoring devices, a trusted voice for patient safety and care, and a convention-breaking maverick. As the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo, a global medical technology innovator, Mr. Kiani has been a beacon for patient safety and innovation in healthcare for more than 25 years.

Under his leadership, Masimo has grown from a “garage start up” into a successful publicly traded company employing more than 3,500 people worldwide, with their clinical-leading pulse oximetry technology representing one of their flagship breakthroughs. Mr. Kiani and Masimo have helped to solve the “unsolvable” problems plaguing patient monitoring – those efforts have led to 600 issued and pending patents worldwide.

Committed to patient safety, Mr. Kiani founded the Patient Safety Movement Foundation in 2012 and the World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation has the goal of eliminating preventable deaths in the US by 2020, while expanding those efforts worldwide. Today, PSMF is joined by over 1700 hospitals from around the world that have committed to patient safety. In January 2016, the hospitals that had joined PSM reported 24,643 lives saved annually.

Joe Kiani also leads Cercacor Labs, a spinoff company from Masimo, and serves on the Board of Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Chapman University’s President’s Cabinet, SDSU’s College of Engineering Advisory Board, Clinton Foundation Executive Council, MDMA Board, Masimo Foundation of Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare, and is an angel investor – sitting on some of the Boards of promising start-up companies with unique positive lifesaving and societal consequences.

Alumni Representative: Alma J. Clark, DDS ’78

Dr. Clark '78 (left) with Dr. Jean Chu (right). The two attended UCLA School of Dentistry together.

Dr. Clark ’78 (left) with Dr. Jean Chu (right). The two attended UCLA School of Dentistry together.

On behalf of the Alumni Association, biological sciences alumna Alma J. Clark, DDS ’78 – and past Cheverton trophy winner- will welcome Schmid College graduates to the family of Chapman alumni at this year’s ceremony.

Dr. Clark is currently a Delegate to the American Dental Association (ADA) House of the Delegates for the 13th District of California. She served as Past Chair of the California Dental Association (CDA) Judicial Council and is currently a CDA Trustee. Dr. Clark’s association memberships include The American College of Dentists whose mission is to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism, and leadership in dentistry; the Pierre Fauchard Academy, American Association of Dental Consultants and the American Management Association.

Dr. Clark is a general dentist, Certified Quality Assurance Consultant and former member of the Quality Management Assessment Team for the State of California. She was an officer in the US Public Health Services and has been involved in private practice, community clinics and the management of government dental programs for over 25 years. She received her DDS from UCLA School of Dentistry.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Clark join us in celebrating the success of our students,” said Schmid College Dean, Andrew Lyon. “Dr. Clark has fond memories of her time here at Chapman, the relationships she built with the faculty, and how those relationships helped her as she navigated her education and professional career. It is gratifying to see one of our own not only become a tremendously successful professional, but also to learn about the high value she places on her connections and service to the community. I am excited to hear her share her story with our students.”

2017 Cheverton Trophy Winner: Taylor Lee Patti

Taylor Lee Patti, triple physics, math and Spanish major with a chemistry minor, won this year’s prestigious Cecil F. Cheverton Award, the highest student honor at Chapman University.

Dean of Students Jerry price (left) with Cheverton winner Taylor Patti (center) and Provost Pfeiffer (right).

Dean of Students Jerry price (left) with Cheverton winner Taylor Patti (center) and Provost Pfeiffer (right).

During her time at Chapman, Patti was invited to be a guest researcher and lecturer at the Perimeter Institute, and she presented a research talk at the American Physical Society March Meeting. Both of these are invitations typically reserved for Ph.D. students. She has 2 peer-reviewed journal publications: one in the field of biochemistry and food science in collaboration with Prof. Rosalee Hellberg and the other in quantum foundations with President’s National Medal of Science recipient Prof. Yakir Aharonov. She is currently working on a third publication related to her research at the Perimeter Institute.

Originally, from Medford, Oregon, Patti is a presidential scholar, member of the Schmid Student Leadership Council, and External Vice President of Chapman’s Women in Science and Technology student organization. She is currently spearheading STEM outreach to underprivileged youth, holding workshops, and creating speaker events for women leaders in STEM fields.

Patti has declined offers from Ph.D. programs at Yale and Berkeley. Instead, she will enter the Ph.D. program in theoretical physics this summer at Harvard University with a Graduate Fellowship awarded by the National Science Foundation. Read more about Taylor Patti.