This year’s graduating class included 844 students representing 49 countries, including the U.S. Over a third earned a Master of Public Health (MPH), with the balance earning a range of masters' and doctoral degrees.
Seth Berkley, MD, CEO of GAVI Alliance, spoke to the candidates, calling on their responsibility to uphold truth and science as nonnegotiable aspects of their professions.
“Public health is an honorable profession that is often under-sung but almost always over-delivering. Since public health’s most important goal is the absence of risk or disease, when it’s not working everybody screams but when it is working, it speaks with a whisper and almost and often goes unheard.”
He also encouraged students to embrace activism as part of their ongoing role as public health advocates, and to seek balance between global thinking and careful understanding of local nuance.
“I would suggest that no matter where your career takes you, you will need to be a globalist. This means caring about the rest of the world, keeping up with best practice in research wherever it is done, and understanding the interconnectedness that underlies our world.
Then, whether your work takes you to the bush in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the most recent Ebola outbreak is underway, or you end up doing research right here in urban Baltimore, always keep in mind that it’s incumbent upon you to understand the local context and be sure the system is operating using the best information available and has its goal to do the right thing. If not, it is our role as public health professionals to help to change it. It’s our role to help restore trust in the system and bring truth and data back to its critical role.”
The School's Convocation on Tuesday, May 23 was the last under Dean Michael J. Klag who shared his optimism about the future. "All of you, every day, work to make the world a better place," he remarked.
It’s clear to me that you have changed and you have done so within an ever-changing world. What is next for you shouldn’t reflect what was written in a personal statement one or more years ago. It should reflect where you are and where you want to push the boundaries next. If there is anything we have distilled in you, it’s a sense of hope and a drive to pursue your goals beyond expectations. Please never lose that drive as you go out into the world and put all that you have learned into practice.”
— Raul Saraiva, Student Assembly President