Press Release for Monday, July 31, 2006

UNF Awards Honorary Degree at Summer Commencement

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will award an honorary doctorate degree to Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. Edith Perez when it hands out more than 850 degrees at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 4, during summer commencement at the UNF Arena.

Perez is currently the Director of the Cancer Clinical Study Unit at Mayo Clinic and also serves as chair of the breast committee for the North Central Cancer Treatment Group as well as a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

She chaired a national study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, involving 5,000 patients that has changed the standard of care for treating all breast cancer patients, transforming the way that all scientists will approach the treatment of all cancers in the future. Perez and her work have been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, CNN, “ABC World News Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Good Morning America” and many more.

Despite Perez’s hectic schedule, she continues to give back to her community and UNF. In March, she was the featured presenter for the Brooks College of Health’s Women and Girls’ Health Initiative luncheon and in October 2005, she was featured at “A Musical Tribute to Breast Cancer Survivorship,” produced by the UNF Music Department.

She has received numerous academic, professional and service awards, including the Horizon Scientific Cancer Research Award, Crusader for Breast Cancer Award and the North Florida Hispanic of the Year.

The University expects to award 666 bachelor’s degrees, 182 master’s degrees and three doctorates this term.