227 graduates will receive their degrees during the College’s 101st commencement on Saturday, May 6.

Olivia Pavco-GiacciaOlivia Pavco-Giaccia, founder and CEO of LabCandy and an award-winning author, will deliver the keynote address on Sat., May 6, 2017 during the 101st commencement at Ferrum College. The College will award degrees to 227 graduates, including 53 with honors, during the ceremony that will be held at Hart International Plaza beginning at 10 a.m. A picnic lunch on the lawn for graduates and their guests will follow the ceremony.

Pavco-Giaccia is an award-winning children’s book author whose focus on the synergies between science, entrepreneurship, and girl-centric activism is impacting both local and national dialogs. She graduated with honors from Yale University in 2016 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science and was awarded the Henry E. Ellsworth Memorial Prize for significant research in the social sciences. In addition, she is the founder and CEO of the social venture, LabCandy, whose mission is to focus young kids’ (especially girls’) interest in science.  Selected as the youngest-ever Fellow at Yale’s Entrepreneurial Institute, Pavco-Giaccia led a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought LabCandy’s brightly colored lab coats, kid-sized sparkly lab goggles, and science adventure storybooks to kids around the world.

“We need to knock down early the persistent stereotypes that say STEM isn’t for girls. I founded LabCandy to encourage young girls to imagine themselves as scientists – collaborating, creating and having fun. Our cool lab gear and storybooks take us one step closer to making that goal a reality by making science more relatable and approachable for young girls,” says Pavco-Giaccia on her website (www.labcandy.com.)

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More About Olivia Pavco-Giaccia

Named as a national innovator for positive change by NationSwell, Olivia Pavco-Giaccia ’s first book “Ava & The Copper Key” was awarded a Gold Medal in Moonbeam’s Children’s Book Awards.  She was selected as one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women of 2015, along with being tapped as one of HerCampus’s “22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women.” She is the recipient of the 2016 Upstart Award from Bustle Magazine recognizing recent graduates “who are poised to make a difference in business, arts, fashion, beauty and beyond.” She currently serves on the Champions Board of the National Girls Collaborative Project, one of the country’s largest non-profit organizations committed to girls in STEM, and is co-chair of the Young Girls’ Advisory Board there. Pavco-Giaccia’s infectious enthusiasm for this work has led to a number of speaking opportunities and community leadership roles, including participation in the White House Science Fair, the International STEM Education Association, and Net Impact’s Think Social, a Yale think tank dedicated to exploring innovative ideas for positive social impact. In high school, she was selected as a semi-finalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for her neurobiology research at Stanford University.

In March of 2017, Discovery’s Science Channel honored Pavco-Giaccia  and her work by naming her as one of their Science Super Heroes. Working with Discovery/TSC, Olivia was featured online in NowThis Her, TIME Magazine for Kids, and The New York Times.