Commencement 2022

Honorary Degree Recipients

Tia Lyles-Williams, MS, MRSc was born in Gary, Indiana, raised in Houston, Texas, attended high school in Marietta, Georgia and completed college/started her career in Washington, D.C.

She is the first African American queer woman to own and lead a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company – 69 years after the first African American man, Dr. Percy Lavon Julian, with his company, Julian Laboratories, Inc. in Chicago, IL. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University, Master of Science in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University, and a Master of Science in Regulatory Science from the University of Southern California.

She has dedicated her career to bioprocessing biologics – including bioprocessing development, building large-scale bioprocessing facilities, developing/training/leading teams and commercializing proprietary biological assets via global regulatory affairs. She has been working in the biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industry for 21-plus years – including working in Big Pharma, formerly a contractor at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, MD as well as interning at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Tia Lyles-Williams is a two-time life science start-up founder. She is founder and CEO of LucasPye BIO, a contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO), and founder and CEO of HelaPlex, the first commercial life science co-working space with a built-in accelerator for seed-level life science start-ups and virtual biotechnology companies. LucasPye BIO is a strategic partner of the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB).

As a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace, STEM education and healthcare – Tia has made it her mission to lead by example via the following initiatives:

  • LucasPye BIO’s C-Suite is made up of 50% women & 85% people of color
  • HelaPlex, LucasPye BIO and IndyGeneUS AI have partnered to remove health inequities by mapping the human genome for the BIPOC community – including researching and developing drugs to improve healthcare outcomes and treatment options for people of color
  • HelaPlex, along with its strategic partners, including Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing and Steppingstone Scholars, will be piloting the HelaPlex Biotechnology Workforce Development Training Program for Philadelphia 2023 graduating seniors. The program is an alternative career path for students to enter the biotech/biopharma workforce as a bioprocess operator or quality control technician

She is also a board member at LaunchBio and The Prysm Institute (Chicago, IL). As a biopharma executive and pillar of the life science industry, Tia was named “Unicorn” by Philadelphia Magazine (2020); recognized as a 2021 Forbes NEXT 1000 Honoree; and listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s 2021 Female Founders 100. 

Sue Daugherty joined MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) in December 1999 as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Sue was instrumental in MANNA’s shift from providing comfort and care to those dying from AIDS into an organization helping people with over 85 different illnesses through nutrition counseling and home-delivered medically appropriate meals.

At MANNA, Sue has held several positions prior to being appointed chief executive officer in 2012. Sue garnered national recognition in June 2013 when she co-authored a key study, “Examining Health Care Costs Among MANNA Clients and a Comparison Group” published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. This research study examined the health care cost savings associated with MANNA’s model and has ongoing impact on nutrition policy nationwide.

Sue has presented MANNA’s work at conferences and meetings across the U.S., including the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, Harvard University’s Food as Medicine Symposium, Tulane University’s Culinary Medicine Conference and the Root Cause Coalition’s National Summit on Social Determinants of Health. She has also testified in front of  Congress.

Sue currently is co-vice-chair of the national Food Is Medicine Coalition. In 2019 she was invited to join the Food Lab Accelerator at Google as a product owner for Food Is Medicine. Other accolades include the 2015 Jefferson College of Population Health Education Hero Award, Comcast’s Newsmakers selection, the Cancer Treatment Center’s America Caregiver Women of the Week Award and Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award.

Globa Chief Content Officer, Mediabrands; Global President Traverse32

Philadelphia native Brendan Gaul, is one of the world’s foremost leaders in advertising and entertainment. Within the last five years alone, his work has been honored by the Cannes International Film Festival, Cannes Lions, the Sundance Film Festival, the Heartland Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and has been added into MOMA’s Permanent Collection, among other accolades.

As Mediabrands’ Global Chief Content Officer, Brendan is responsible for identifying and managing strategic content opportunities across Mediabrands’ investment portfolio. He is also Global President of Mediabrands’ new indie development and production entity, TRAVERSE32. In that capacity, he oversees development, acquisitions, and distribution of original narrative and unscripted branded content projects for the company around the world.

Brendan previously spent 14 years in leadership positions within Mediabrands, most recently serving as Chief Content Officer at Mediabrands’ agency, UM, and Head of UM Studios, where he conceived, produced, and secured distribution for many notable projects including the feature documentary, 5B. 5B chronicles the moving true stories of the heroic nurses who put their lives and careers on the line as they founded the world’s first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital. Co-directed by Oscar winner Paul Haggis and Academy Award nominee Dan Krauss, the film was unanimously hailed by audiences and movie reviewers alike, earning a rare 100% perfect critics’ score. The project, which was commissioned by Johnson & Johnson and acquired and distributed by RYOT/Verizon Media, was the first brand-funded feature film to ever become an Official Selection at the Cannes International Film Festival and won the Entertainment Lions Grand Jury Prize at Cannes Lions. As well, the movie received a Clio Grand and a One Show Gold Pencil.

Brendan is also responsible for the 2020 critically acclaimed IFC Films’ theatrical and TVOD / Hulu release picture, DEAR SANTA, which he produced for the U.S. Postal Service. Called “one of the most wonderful films of the year” by legendary movie critic Richard Roeper, DEAR SANTA was one of 2021’s most awarded branded entertainment films.

A highly sought out industry speaker and expert, Brendan is the 2022 Brand Film U.S. Jury President, is a long-time Advisory Board member to Brand Storytelling at Sundance, is a member of Brand Storytelling’s Sundance Selection Committee, serves on the Telly Awards’ Jury Council, and recently juried the NY Festivals TV & Film Awards. Recent public appearances include MediaLink’s 2021 Cannes Lions conference, Vox’s Content for the New World: Media for Good panel, Cynopsis’ That Big TV Conference, and ANA’s Masters of Marketing Conference.

Brendan and his husband currently reside in Connecticut and are the proud parents of three dogs and five chickens.

Bruce and Judi Goodman have prioritized volunteerism and philanthropy on behalf of educational and service organizations in their community.

In the 1980s, Bruce established Goodman Properties, today, one of the Delaware Valley’s foremost real estate development firms. He remains an active volunteer leader with organizations that include State of Israel Bonds, Boys Town Jerusalem, Germantown Academy, Abington Hospital and Abington Health Foundation, where he has been a trustee since 2000 and has led multiple major capital campaigns. 

Most recently, he chaired the Reimagine Cancer Care campaign for Abington Jefferson, resulting in the establishment of the Asplundh Cancer Pavilion located in Willow Grove.

An interior designer at heart, Judi sits as a trustee of Germantown Academy serving in various leadership roles since 2004. She served a four-year term as board president and co-chaired their Building on Tradition campaign.

In 2008, she co-founded IMAJNZ Foundation, whose signature event, A Date with a Plate, raised significant funds to benefit research at The Wistar Institute, Project A.L.S. and Penn Medicine, where those funds were used to establish the Serenity Garden at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Richard Gozon has been a trustee of Thomas Jefferson University since 2003. He served as interim president, April 2012 to September 2013 and chairman of the Board of Trustees from September 2013 to September 2014. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee and the Jefferson Academic Board.

From 1994 until his retirement in 2002, Richard was the executive vice president of Pulp, Paper and Packaging for the Weyerhaeuser Company, an international forest products company; president of Westwood Shipping Lines and chairman of North Pacific Paper Company. Prior to that, he was director, president and chief operating officer of Alco Standard Corporation, a provider of paper, packaging and office equipment. In March 2016, he retired as chairman of the board of AmerisourceBergen Corporation.

He earned a BA degree in business from Valparaiso University and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. 

He has served on a number of boards of public companies and non-profits including Triumph Group, Inc., UGI Corporation, AmeriGas Partners LP, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation. He is presently an operating partner of Atlas Holdings LLC.

Richard lives in Naples, Florida.

Dr. Prabhakar Basavprabhu Kore, chairman KLE Society, chancellor, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (KAHER) and chancellor KLE Technological University (KLE Tech), is at the forefront of education and health care. As chairman of the KLE Society since 1984, he successfully brought contemporary education and healthcare practices, along with modern infrastructure to villages and small towns, to India—establishing 282 institutions in total.

Commended for bringing affordable and quality health care to the masses, Dr. Kore and KLE, cater to the needs of more than 70,000 inpatients and 900,000 outpatients annually. KLE provides affordable diagnosis and treatment facilities to underprivileged patients through its charitable hospitals. It is constantly engaged in extending its services to new geographies, encompassing services like cancer care and gearing up to tackle challenges posed by emerging diseases.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Dr. Kore and KLE have been at the forefront of COVID care for people in the region. In addition to setting up RTPCR testing facilities and separate wards for COVID care, which have benefitted thousands in both urban & rural areas, major contributions have been made to the vaccination drives and COVID relief.

Dr. Kore established the KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (KAHER) Belagavi, which facilitates education and research in health sciences and allied disciplines such as dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, ayurveda and homeopathy. The KAHER collaborates with universities and institutes on a global scale—including Thomas Jefferson University. It is because of the mentorship, guidance, support and constant encouragement by Dr. Kore that the KAHER has been able to accomplish its global objectives.

The collaboration between Thomas Jefferson University and KAHER focuses on maternal and new-born health, which has resulted in high-impact scientific publications and saved the lives of thousands of mothers and newborns. The World Health Organization and the ministries of health in more than 54 low-resource countries, including India, have incorporated the research findings to frame policies and guidelines. The scope of this partnership has been expanded to include education and research in urology, neurology, radiology, psychiatry, public health, physiotherapy, nursing and integrative health.

Dr. Kore has been a part of several international delegations and a three-time parliamentarian, member of the upper house (Rajya Sabha), ranking among the senior most parliamentarians of India.

Dr. Kore is the recipient of multiple globally renowned awards, including the Life-time Achievement Award by TiE Silicon Valley, the Angel Award by The Gift of Life Foundation, and several others. Dr. Kore is a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Karnatak University, Dharwad and Rani Channamma University, Belagavi. He is the second Indian after Honourable Late President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalaam, to be awarded an honorary doctorate by Universiti Sains, Malaysia.  

Dr. Siegman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, has spent more than a half-century as a researcher and educator at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC). She is a world-renowned expert in smooth muscle physiology. She earned her BA in biology from Tulane University, then worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, NY. She moved to the pharmacology department of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate. In 1959, she traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, to work at the Karolinska Institute, and returned in 1960 for SUNY Downstate’s graduate program in pharmacology. She received her PhD in 1966. In 1967, Dr. Siegman became an instructor in the Department of Physiology at the Jefferson Medical College (now SKMC). She later became Jefferson’s first female full professor, and in 2002 was named the first female chair of the Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Department. She was elected a Fellow of The American Physiological Society in 2021.

Marion J. Siegman, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, has made a generous gift to expand and enhance the Center City Archives and Special Collections at Thomas Jefferson University in order to preserve the rich history of the institution.

The archives will be named for Dr. Siegman, but a room will be named in honor of Robley Dunglison, MD, considered the “Father of American Physiology.” He served as the first Chair of the Institutes of Medicine and Medical Jurisprudence at Jefferson Medical College from 1836 to 1868 and later the first Chair of the Department of Physiology. He was also the personal physician to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

Dr. Siegman has spent more than a half-century as a respected researcher. Her portrait, along with Dr. Dunglison’s, will be moved to the new archive space.

Renée Cardwell Hughes is a highly experienced executive. She focuses on strategy, leadership development and change management. Renée is a qualified financial expert. She serves on the board of The Haverford Trust Company, a $12 billion wealth management company and private bank. She is a member of the audit committee and board liaison to the DE&I committee. Renée also serves on The Independence Health Group Regional Advisory Board, a $21.8 billion health insurer and is a member of the public policy committee. Prior to serving on the regional advisory board, Renée served on the parent company board where she was a member of the executive and audit committees for six (6) years.

She recently completed an engagement as the President & CEO of Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. d/b/a Philadelphia OIC, a workforce development nonprofit corporation that impacts more than 1,500 individuals annually. She managed a staff of 41 and was responsible for operations, financial planning and management, strategy and business development for adult basic education and job training programs.

Prior to this position, she was the CEO of The Hughes Group, where she led a team of business advisors who helped employees, management and boards internalize, own, and execute the corporate mission and values by revitalizing corporate culture. Her clients included, among others, Independence Blue Cross and Aqua Pennsylvania.

Before founding the Hughes Group, she was the CEO of the fourth largest market in the American Red Cross (ARC), a $3 billion global not-for-profit humanitarian and disaster relief agency, for more than six years. As CEO of The ARC of Eastern Pennsylvania, she led a team of 85 full-time and 45 part-time staff along with more than 4,000 volunteers, responsible for a region that serviced 6.2 million Pennsylvanians. Renée was responsible for the region’s strategic vision, annual operating plan and budget, donor funding program, team leadership, governance and partnerships with local, state and federal government and business alliances.

Renée was a trial judge for more than 15 years before joining the American Red Cross, where she handled both complex civil and criminal cases. She specialized in homicides; handling some of Philadelphia's most notorious cases. She founded the City's mental health court and co-authored a book on witness intimidation. Renee began her career as a successful corporate attorney.

Renée received her legal degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.