Congratulations, Class of 2018!
"Keep embracing knowledge, keep acquiring wisdom. There’s a reason why graduations are often called commencements. This day and every other milestone in your lives should be a new beginning, never an end.” —Justin Jacob, Student Assembly president
The largest class to date—916 students from 61 countries—saw over 600 of its public health scholars walk across the stage yesterday at the Bloomberg School’s Convocation ceremony.
The ceremony was the first Convocation presided over by Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, MSc ’75, the 11th dean of the School, who has attended every graduation ceremony since her own from the Biostatistics PhD program in 1979.
In her remarks, Dean MacKenzie applauded community efforts of the graduates who, in the past year, “collaborated with more than 100 community-based organizations throughout Baltimore, contributing 20,000 hours of service. You have taken on major issues in public health. You have pursued social justice and equity in health—values that we share as a School. You pushed for immediate results … especially when it comes to our engagement in the community and making our educational programs more accessible and affordable to a broad range of students here at home and abroad. And for that you have my respect. And my thanks. You have upheld—and will uphold—the highest traditions of our School.”
Dean MacKenzie closed by advising the graduates not to get discouraged in their public health work or to feel alone. “Remember this moment,” she said. “Remember the person sitting on either side of you …. they will be your colleagues for many years and will do astonishing things. Remember the work you have done. Remember what it feels like to be joined with your fellow students in the most important of causes: Protecting health, saving lives—millions at a time.”
Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, delivered the keynote speech and shared stories “from the frontlines of public health.” Wen offered the graduates three pieces of advice:
- "Don’t wait; don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. … In public health the problems we face can seem overwhelming. Be the person who steps up first, find what you can do and do it now.”
- “Don’t let others tell you what public health can or cannot do. You need to be that constant voice ... you have to put the face on public health. You need to make public health visible.”
- “Being a public health leader requires the willingness to stand up and to speak up. We can’t begin addressing this issue unless we are honest and speak the truth about the structural racism and the deep-seated inequalities that got us to where we are …. Just as poverty and violence are public health issues, racism is a public health issue. These are not easy things to speak about. But you must do it. Public health demands courage. Public health demands speaking the truth.”
Wen ended her remarks with a call to action: “Let’s stand up and speak up and serve with courage, action and urgency.”
Dean MacKenzie honored Wen with the Dean’s Medal, the highest recognition the School confers on public health leaders, saying, “Dr. Wen is a true public health hero, dedicated to advancing health and social justice in Baltimore.”
A very special congratulations to the first graduates of the Master of Applied Science in Spatial Analysis for Public Health program!
The inaugural class of this entirely online program began in 2016 and saw 29 students graduate this year. Of the 24 students who were able to attend graduation, two are from Canada, one from South Africa, one from New Zealand and the rest from the U.S.
Convocation 2018 Video (full)
Congratulations to the Class of 2018! From biostatistics to your capstone to that final dissertation presentation, you’ve all overcome incredible challenges and accomplished great things. We look forward to watching you take on the field as public health leaders and seeing how you shape the future of public health! #JHSPH #JHU2018