Whereas masks had been required at UConn Well being’s 51st graduation ceremony on the Jorgenson Middle for the Performing Arts in Storrs on Might 9, nothing may masks the smiling eyes and Husky delight of the greater than 260 graduating new physicians, dentists, scientists, and public well being specialists surrounded by their school, buddies, and households.
The Class of 2022 consists of 49 new dentists receiving doctorate of dental drugs (DMD) levels, 103 new physicians with doctorates of medication (MD), and 109 new scientist and public well being specialists graduating with levels throughout Physician of Philosophy in biomedical science (30); Physician of Philosophy in public well being (2); Grasp of dental science (27); Grasp of public well being (42); Grasp of science in biomedical science (5); and Grasp of science in scientific and translational analysis (3).
“The final two years have offered unprecedented challenges to the fields of well being and drugs,” said Interim College of Connecticut President Radenka Maric in her Graduation tackle. “You’re really prepared for something. You’re among the many finest representatives our College group can have, and we’re happy with you.”
“Congratulations to every of you newly minted physicians and students for making it by these most difficult instances – and collectively – along with your fellow classmates, school, workers and households,” shared Dr. Bruce T. Liang, interim CEO of UConn Well being and dean of UConn College of Drugs. “Not even a-once-in-a-lifetime pandemic may cease your momentum.”
Liang added: “At UConn Well being we’ve been celebrating ‘50 Years of Docs’ and UConn is so proud to be Connecticut’s primary producer of medical professionals. As of in the present day, you are actually a part of this proud legacy.”
The truth is, UConn is the most important single supply of recent physicians, surgeons, and dentists for the State of Connecticut. The dental college and medical college have produced nearly 4,000 physicians and practically 2,000 dentists within the faculties’ historical past. Additionally, it has skilled greater than 1,000 public well being specialists and 700 scientists.
Dr. Steven Lepowsky, dean of the College of Dental Drugs, applauded the dental college students for his or her resilience throughout COVID-19.
“I problem you to proceed to try for excellence in all that you simply do – for that’s the hallmark of a UConn grad. Your resiliency, your flexibility, your steadfast drive, and an unimaginable quantity of grace and maturity – all within the context of a life-altering pandemic – have introduced you so far within the journey,” mentioned Lepowsky. “You might have been given an unimaginable alternative to enhance the lives and well-being of others. Keep in mind that the belief that your sufferers will place in you is a tremendous reward – please embrace that reward, treasure it and respect it.”
Vice Provost for Graduate Training and Dean of The Graduate College, Kent Holsinger, additionally addressed these receiving a graduate diploma in Grasp of Public Well being or a Physician of Philosophy.
“Our world wants folks such as you greater than ever earlier than,” mentioned Holsinger. “Your laborious work didn’t deliver you right here as a result of that is your vacation spot. It introduced you right here as a result of that is the beginning of a brand new journey. This ceremony is a graduation, a brand new starting.”
Class of 2022’s graduation speaker and Physician of Science honorary diploma recipient was Dr. William G. Nelson, a champion within the battle to overcome most cancers and chief in translational most cancers analysis. He’s director of the Sidney Kimmel Complete Most cancers Middle at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Marion I. Knott Professor of Oncology on the Johns Hopkins College of Drugs. Curiously, his Hopkins classmates had been UConn College of Drugs’s very personal Professors Dr. Se-Jin Lee and Dr. Emily Germain-Lee. Nelson serves on the boards of the V Basis and the Break By way of Most cancers Basis, scientific co-chair for Stand Up 2 Most cancers, and government editor of Most cancers As we speak.
“Your era is astounding: probably the most various in our historical past, the most effective educated, and probably the most dedicated to careers emphasizing ethics, values, and social justice,” mentioned Nelson. “You may see this mirrored amongst your classmates who are actually your new well being career colleagues. Greater than half of you might be girls, greater than 20% of you might be from under-represented racial and ethnic teams, and each considered one of you goes to be the most effective of docs, dentists, scientists, and public well being officers.”
Nelson concluded: “Wanting over you all in the present day, I can’t even think about what your era of well being professionals will accomplish. Your era of recent docs, dentists, scientists, and public well being officers cares very deeply about disparities in well being outcomes and in life expectancy and I do know you’re prepared and keen to work to finish them.”
Graduate College pupil speaker Alversia Wade, 24 of Waterford, graduated from UConn undergrad summa cum laude in 2020 with a bachelor’s diploma in psychology and a minor in human growth and household sciences. She plans to pursue a profession in public well being after commencement with a specific concentrate on implementing well being applications in minority populations. As a toddler, she observed disparities in entry to well being assets in communities that had been predominantly minority, and this led to her want to grasp these variations and finally pursue her grasp’s of public well being.
“I’m extremely happy with this class for adapting to COVID-19. Regardless of these challenges we exceled. We lived and studied throughout a pandemic. A few of us had been even on the front-lines,” mentioned Wade. “We’ve got been given the instruments to form the way forward for public well being. We’re poised to take motion. We’re the brokers of change.”
College of Dental Drugs pupil speaker Robert Violette addressed his Class of 2022 graduates. “The pandemic gave us no selection however to turn into extra adaptable…and due to it we’re higher clinicians and Samaritans of this earth.”
“It’s troublesome to outline such a various physique of scholars by only one phrase. If I had been to choose one, nevertheless, it will be resilient. As arduous as these 4 years have been, it was our resilience within the face of adversity that continues to unite us in the present day,” mentioned Violette who attended UConn for his undergraduate diploma too. After finishing a one-year basic observe residency coaching at Danbury Hospital he plans to remain in Connecticut with the hopes for his personal personal observe at some point.
Medical pupil speaker Klair Lubonja, 28 of Newington, was additionally a UConn undergrad. His subsequent cease is a basic surgical procedure residency on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Middle in New Hampshire.
Lubonja not too long ago shared how difficult it was to coach to be physician throughout a pandemic: “Being in hospitals through the top of the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult bodily and emotionally. Nonetheless, our struggles as college students paled compared to what attending physicians, nurses, and ancillary workers needed to expertise. They’re true heroes and we college students are grateful that they took us underneath their wing even when hospitals had been being overwhelmed by sick sufferers.”
In his tackle to his fellow medical college students Lubonja mentioned, “Right here we’re graduating. We endured. Irrespective of the challenges that offered us these final 4 years we persevered. For that motive I’ve little doubt that we are going to achieve success in residency and past.”
“Congratulations! We did it!” exclaimed Lubonja.
Additionally on the occasion UConn Well being Board of Director College Recognition Awards for each 2022 and 2021 recipients had been offered. Final 12 months’s honoree was Dr. David Henderson, chair of the Division of Household Drugs and affiliate dean for multicultural and group affairs at UConn College of Drugs. The UConn-trained household drugs practitioner was acknowledged for his longtime educating and management contributions.
This 12 months’s 2022 new recipient is Frank C. Nichols, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor of periodontology at UConn College of Dental Drugs. He joined the college in 1984 after finishing his UConn Grasp of Dental Science diploma and specialty residency coaching in periodontics at UConn. He’s acknowledged for his excellence in educating, scholarship and discovery, service and affected person care. He’s a nationally and internally acknowledged professional scientist in lipidomics and the position of complicated bacterial lipids in inflammatory ailments that span outdoors of the oral cavity. His groundbreaking analysis has led to new understandings of the relationships between oral ailments and systemic illness, together with cardiovascular ailments.
“This surprising recognition reaffirms my dedication to college students, workers, colleagues, sufferers and the College at massive,” mentioned Nichols not too long ago. “I’m really humbled and immensely grateful for this honor.”
And in the present day the way forward for well being care is way brighter with lots of of recent graduates from UConn Faculties of Drugs, Dental Drugs and Graduate College coming into the state and nation’s well being care workforce.
“We are able to’t wait to see what you do subsequent,” pressured Dean Liang.
Dean Lepowsky additionally warmly shared: “You’ll ceaselessly be a part of our UConn dental household. I want each member of the Class of 2022 the easiest – wherever life takes you. Congratulations on all that you’ve completed and I hope that your journey continues to be crammed with a lot success, well being and happiness.”
UConn Interim President Maric kindly concluded, “You’ll at all times have a spot right here, as a result of, whilst you could now not be college students as of in the present day, you might be nonetheless Huskies Perpetually.”