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posted: 12/3/2012 8:02 AM

Best-selling author to speak at Judson commencement

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Submitted by Judson University

New York Times best-selling author, speaker, screenwriter and songwriter Joan Bauer will speak at Judson University's fall 2012 commencement at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in Herrick Chapel, 1151 N. State St. in Elgin.

In her 11 novels, Joan Bauer explores difficult issues with humor and hope. Bauer has won numerous awards for her books, among them the Newbery Honor Medal, the American Library Association's Schneider Family Book Award, two Christopher Awards, the LA Times Book Prize, the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Prize and the Golden Kite Award of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her novel "Rules of the Road" was chosen as one of the top young adult books of the quarter century by the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into eight languages.

Through the U.S. State Department's professional speakers program, Bauer was the first American children's author to visit both Croatia and Kazakhstan, speaking with students, writers, educators, parents, social workers, and children at risk about her life and novels.

Her trip to Kazakhstan blossomed into another first -- the U.S. Embassy, along with the Children's Library of Almaty, Kazakhstan, worked together to translate Joan's novel "Hope Was Here" into Russian and then distribute it in both Russia and Kazakhstan to promote understanding between those two countries.

"Hope Was Here" has also been used to help communities in America rebuild after tragedies and to draw schools and communities under the banner of hope.

Bauer was born and raised in the Chicago area. She now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband, computer scientist Evan Bauer. She has an adult daughter. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America East, the Authors Guild, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is currently cowriting a musical adaptation of her novel "Squashed."

More than 150 bachelor and master students will graduate during the 68th graduating class of Judson University.

Graduates from the School of Art, Design and Architecture and the School of Leadership and Business will receive their degrees during the 10 a.m. exercise. Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education will receive their degrees during the 2 p.m. exercises.

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