MAY 16, 2015 – A global mental health expert advised the newest graduates of the School of Nursing & Health Studies to democratize the knowledge they have gained and to act locally while thinking globally.
“When acting locally, I would urge you to open your hearts and your minds to the sorts of solutions that people in different parts of the world have generated,” Vikram Patel (H’15), PhD, a professor of international mental health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told the audience at today’s Commencement ceremony on Healy Lawn.
Patel received an honorary doctor of science degree at the ceremony, where 165 students earned bachelor’s degrees in health care management & policy, human science, international health, and nursing and 410 students received master’s degrees in health systems administration and nursing.
“And when you act, think of the world,” Patel said. “At the very least, make sure that your actions don’t harm the world, but hopefully that they benefit the world. For there are no foreigners - we’re all neighbors who must and are destined to share this small planet.”
Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, welcomed the audience and congratulated the graduates, reminding them to use the university’s values to guide their careers in health and health care, particularly caring for the whole person, serving the common good, and living generously in service to others.
“That tradition calls upon each of you – as our newest graduates – to employ the knowledge that you have gained at Georgetown in ways that reflect this institution’s values and that contribute … to improved health and health care,” Cloonan added.
Before Commencement, the school hosted a number of events to celebrate student achievement. On Friday, a school-wide Tropaia Ceremony honored undergraduate accomplishment. [Click here to download the print program.]
Victor Wang (NHS’15), a human science major, was selected to address his classmates, who were recognized for academic achievement, honor society inductions, and community outreach efforts.
“From our first-year colloquiums to our senior internship seminars, we have learned that a quality degree adds nothing to the cause of bridging disparities as long as we fail to express common interests, and more importantly, a common humanity,” he said.
Department and School Honors
At the event, the school’s four academic departments recognized outstanding student achievement with Jenny Alberts (NHS’15) being honored in international health, Anthony Do (NHS’15) in human science, Elizabeth Kelly (NHS’15) in health care management & policy, and Michaela Locke (NHS’15) in nursing.
Three school-wide awards were also conferred. Blake Meza (NHS’15) earned the Dean’s Medal for graduating first in the undergraduate class. Cayla Fappiano (NHS’15) garnered the Rose Anne McGarrity Service Award. And Helena Manguerra (NHS’15) won the Sister Helen Scarry, RJM, DMin, Award for Commitment to Social Justice.
The Department of Nursing also hosted two additional events. The annual Pinning Ceremony celebrated the new BSN-prepared nurses, who received the unique Georgetown University nursing pin. And the Blessing of the Hands Ceremony honored students from the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.
By Bill Cessato