Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Virginia Tech holds commencement for first undergraduate public health class

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Because the solar set on Lane Stadium Wednesday evening, a bunch of Virginia Tech college students did one thing no different undergraduate Hokie has carried out earlier than.

“I’d like to handle the first- sure. The primary graduating class of the undergraduate public well being program right here on the Virginia Polytechnoic Institute and State College,” stated scholar speaker and graduate Maya Rakotoariso.

It’s a program that didn’t exist when these college students started their faculty journey however demonstrated it’s significance during the last two years.

“You didn’t have a crystal ball 4 years in the past while you selected this path, however you hit the lottery for selecting the sphere that’s confirmed itself important for the previous two plus years,’ notes graduation speaker and New River Valley Well being District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell.

“Since I used to be pre-med, I believed ‘okay, I’m going to be a physician’, and my mother and father have been like ‘okay, sounds nice!’,” recollects Rakotoariso. “Then I used to be like ‘by no means thoughts, I’m public well being,’ they usually have been like ‘are you certain?’ after which the pandemic hit and it confirmed all of the alternatives inside the subject. My mother and father aren’t scared anymore that I’m not going to discover a job.”

“Right here at Virginia Tech particularly, they’re actually targeted on one thing known as One Well being, which is the mix of human well being, animal well being, and environmental well being,” explains public well being graduate Abigail Dunahoo. “They actually tech us to advocate for all three of these issues. It’s additionally a variety of well being promotion and well being fairness. They actually need to educate us the right way to combat well being disparities once we exit into the world.”

A world simply starting to see the opposite aspect of a world pandemic.

“Possibly earlier than the pandemic, nobody actually knew what public well being was, however now everybody is aware of what public well being is, particularly now,” Dunahoo continues. “Everybody’s eyes are going to be on us as public well being professionals going ahead so it’s actually vital that we feature ourselves properly and we promote public well being in one of the simplest ways that we will.”

“As a lady of colour, I’m probably not advocated for within the healthcare subject and I need to be the change that I need to see,” Rakotoariso explains. “By means of my public well being diploma I hope I can try this.”

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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