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Philip Egert selected student speaker for National Capital Region commencement ceremony, May 15

Philip Egert Philip Egert

Philip Egert, who has completed the Ph.D. program in Science and Technology Studies (STS), will be the student speaker at the National Capital Region Commencement on Sunday, May 15. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia.

Egert currently runs his own consulting practice that provides advisory services to a select list of global clients on some of today’s most pressing topics, including nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

When Egert started graduate work at Virginia Tech, he was a senior executive for Northrop Grumman in business development. Prior to that, Egert launched a successful start-up company that was acquired by a Fortune 100 company. He also founded his own record label, releasing 25 CDs of experimental jazz and modern classical music.

In addition to his professional career, while a graduate student, Egert has served as district commissioner in Hampton, Virginia, and represented Northern Virginia's more than 50 STS graduate students in the Graduate Student Organization for the past four years. Egert also published a book chapter on gender and disaster and authored a peer reviewed book review on bioweapons proliferation.

His dissertation, “The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus: a twenty-year journey of narratives and (in)secure landscapes," explored the three narratives produced by "experts" to describe the last 20-year journey of the H5N1 virus. These narratives framed the virus as a bird disease in Southeast Asia, a global public health pandemic concern, and a possible weapon of mass destruction for bioterrorists against the United States. Each of these narratives produced their own set of practices and policies that ultimately proved ineffectual against the virus. Egert developed a new concept of justice -- knowledge justice -- which can help negotiate between the competing demands of societies’ desire for security that closes down and contains research and the equally important need to openly share scientific research for the benefit of those most in need of that scientific knowledge. This concept could prove useful in addressing future technological and biological challenges.

Professor Barbara Allen is Egert’s advisor and will hood him during the commencement ceremony and make the student speaker introduction.

“Philip exemplifies the dynamic combination of both working professional and engaged graduate student that we find in the National Capital Region,” Allen said. “His was a standout among many outstanding submissions to address fellow graduates on this momentous day,”

Egert also earned an M.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and music composition from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Old Dominion University.

Posted May 05, 2016