MAY 18, 2013 - A nationally renowned health policy researcher and pediatrician advised the newest graduates of the School of Nursing & Health Studies to embrace change, stay prepared, find their passions, and be kind.
“You career and your life will present opportunities and challenges,” said Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP, president and CEO of AcademyHealth. “Your training has prepared you to seek knowledge in science, and the tradition of this fine institution compels you to seek justice. I will tell you to also seek experience, to layer on life and feed your curiosity so that when change presents itself and opportunity arises you can become what it is you are to be.”
Simpson also reminded the new graduates to be kind.
“Health care in this country is too often unkind,” she said. “A kind word, a kind touch, a kind smile – these are small but oh-so-effective salves for the pain and suffering that so many experience in their lives. You will touch the world with your training and your passion, but you will be remembered for your kindness. We are all of us part of a greater whole.”
Simpson received an honorary degree at the school’s Commencement on May 18, where 199 students received bachelor of science degrees. NHS graduates majored in health care management & policy, human science, international health, and nursing, and one completed an independent study.
“Always look for ways to improve the human condition, particularly for those who are underserved in the health care system,” said Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD, the school’s dean. “I hope you will remain connected to Georgetown through your shared values, sense of common purpose, and service to others.”
Lindsey Mahoney (NHS’13), a human science major who plans to become a physician, graduated first in the Class of 2013. She led her classmates in the procession and carried the school’s banner.
“Attending Georgetown has been a life-changing experience for me,” she said. “The faculty here are not only incredible teachers and mentors, but they have always been so supportive, especially as I worked to figure out exactly what I wanted to do after graduation. [T]he lifelong friends that I made at Georgetown are some of the most interesting, genuine, and kind people I have ever met, and they have truly brought out the best in me.”
In addition to the undergraduate ceremony, 140 students who completed the master’s programs in health systems administration and nursing at NHS graduated during the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Commencement on May 17. Two students also received certificates in nursing.
The graduate students received their diplomas at a special ceremony following the main event on Friday morning. This is the first graduation attended by students from the online master’s program in nursing.
Artair Rogers (G’13), who earned his master’s degree in health systems administration, addressed the audience, which also included students from the biomedical graduate programs at Georgetown University Medical Center.
“Let us remember our call to lead a life, even in our careers, where we value others above ourselves, not looking to our own interests, but each of us looking to the interests of others first,” he said.
During Commencement weekend, the school also hosted various events to celebrate the graduates and their achievements – including a Tropaia Ceremony, a Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, and the Nurse-Midwifery Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program Blessing of the Hands Ceremony.
At Tropaia on Friday, nursing major Ayesha Ibrahim (NHS’13) addressed her classmates, who were recognized for various accomplishments, such as academic achievement, honor society inductions, community outreach efforts, and ROTC commissioning.
“Whatever it is that makes you tick don’t lose sight of that,” she said. “Use that passion that you possess to move forth in your career, reach new heights, and leave your mark on this Earth … I would like to leave you all with one last message, carry the Jesuit principles of cura personalis and being men and women for others with you always.”
Also on Friday, the Department of Nursing hosted two additional events. The annual Pinning Ceremony celebrated 64 new BSN nurses, who received the unique Georgetown University nursing pin. And the Blessing of the Hands Ceremony honored 16 students from the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.
By Bill Cessato