While UConn Health’s 51 . but mask was requiredscheduled tribe The opening ceremony on May 9 at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts in Storse, some even with smiling eyes and their faculty of more than 260 undergraduate freshmen, dentists, scientists, and public health experts, was attended by friends, and family.
Included in the class of 2022 49 new dentists Obtaining a Doctorate of Dentistry (DMD) degree, 103 new doctors with a Doctorate of Medicine (MD), and 109 new scientists and public health experts Graduate with a degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Science (30); Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (2); Master of Dentistry (27); Master of Public Health (42); Master of Science in Biomedical Science (5); and Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research (3).
“The past two years have presented unprecedented challenges in the fields of health and medicine,” said Interim University of Connecticut President Radenka Maric in her commencement address. “You are really up for anything. You are among the best representatives of our university community, and we are so proud of you.”
Dr. Bruce T. Liang, Interim CEO and Dean of UConn Health, shared, “Congratulations to each of you newly minted physicians and scholars for making it through these most challenging times – and together with – your fellow classmates, faculty. , with employees and families.” of the Yukon School of Medicine. “Not even a once in a lifetime pandemic can stop your pace.”
Liang said: “At Yukon Health we are celebrating ’50 Years of Doctors’ and Yukon is very proud to be Connecticut’s number one producer of medical professionals. To this day, you are now part of this proud legacy.”
In fact, UConn is the largest single source of new physicians, surgeons, and dentists for the state of Connecticut. The Dental School and Medical School has produced approximately 4,000 physicians and approximately 2,000 dentists over the school’s history. Also, it has trained more than 1,000 public health experts and 700 scientists.
Dr Steven Lepowski, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, commended the dental students for their resilience during COVID-19.
“I challenge you to continue to strive for excellence in everything you do – for this is the hallmark of Yukon grads. Your resilience, your resilience, your resolute drive, and an incredible amount of grace and maturity – all Have brought you to this point in the journey – in the context of a life-changing pandemic,” Lepowski said. “You have been given an incredible opportunity to improve the lives and wellbeing of others. Remember that the faith your patients will place in you is a wonderful gift – please accept, cherish and honor that gift.”
The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School, Kent Holsinger also addressed those seeking a bachelor’s degree in a Master of Public Health or Doctor of Philosophy.
“Our world needs people like you more than ever,” Holsinger said. “Your hard work has not brought you here because this is your destination. It brought you here because it is the beginning of a new journey. This ceremony is a beginning, a new beginning.”
The inaugural speaker of 2022 and the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Science, Dr. William G. Nelson, a champion in the fight to conquer cancer and a pioneer in translational cancer research. He is director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Marion I. of Oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Not Professor. Interestingly, his Hopkins classmates were Dr. Se-jin Lee and Dr. Emily Germaine-Lee, his own professor at the Yukon School of Medicine. Scientist of the Nelson V Foundation and Break Through Cancer Foundation, Stand Up 2 Cancer serves on the boards of co-chairs and executive editors. Cancer today,
“Your generation is astonishing: the most diverse, best educated, and most committed to a career in our history that emphasizes ethics, values, and social justice,” Nelson said. “You can see this reflected among your classmates who are now allies in your new health profession. More than half of you are women, more than 20% of you are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and each of you is going to be the best among doctors, dentists, scientists and public health officials.
Nelson concluded: “Looking at all of you today, I can’t imagine what your generation of health professionals will achieve. Your generation of new doctors, dentists, scientists and public health officials will be exposed to inequalities in health outcomes and life expectancy.” and I know you are ready and willing to work to end them.
Speaker Alvaria Wade, a 24-year-old graduate school student in Waterford, graduated from Yukon undergraduate summa cum laude in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in human development and family science. She plans to pursue a career in public health after graduation with a special focus on implementing health programs in minority populations. As a child, he noticed inequalities in access to health resources in communities that were predominantly minorities, and this led to his desire to understand these differences and eventually pursue the public health of his masters.
“I am incredibly proud of this class for being able to adapt to COVID-19. Despite these challenges, we excelled. We lived and studied during a pandemic. Some of us were even on the front lines,” Wade said. “We have been given the tools to shape the future of public health. We are ready to take action. We are agents of change.”
School of Dental Medicine student speaker Robert Violet addresses his class of 2022 graduates. “The pandemic left us with no choice but to become more adaptable … and because of that we are the better healers and Samaritans on this earth.”
“It is difficult to define such a diverse body of students with just one word. If I were to choose one, it would be flexible. As tough as these four years have been, it was our resilience in the face of adversity that still unites us today,” said Violet, who also attended Yukon for her bachelor’s degree. After completing a year of general practice residency training at Danbury Hospital, he plans to live in Connecticut with the hope of one day starting his own private practice.
Speaker Claire Lubonza, a 28-year-old medical student from Newington, was also a UConn undergraduate. His next stop is a general surgery residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.
Lubonza recently shared how challenging it was to be a doctor during the pandemic: “Living in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic was physically and emotionally challenging. However, our struggle as students paled in comparison to the experience of the attending physicians, nurses and support staff. They are true heroes and we students are grateful that they have subdued us even when the hospitals were full of sick patients. ,
Addressing his fellow medical students, Lubonza said, “Here we are graduating. We endured. Whatever challenges we faced in these last four years, we persevered. For this reason I have no doubt that we residency and beyond.”
“Congratulations! We did it!” shouted Lubonza.
In addition, the event presented the Yukon Health Board of Directors Faculty Recognition Awards for both 2022 and 2021 recipients. Among last year’s honorees was Dr. David Henderson, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Associate Dean of Multicultural and Community Affairs at the Yukon School of Medicine. The UConn-trained family medicine practitioner was recognized for her long-standing teaching and leadership contributions.
This year’s 2022 recipients are Frank C. Nichols, DDS, PhD, is a professor of periodontology at the Yukon School of Dental Medicine. He joined the faculty at Yukon in 1984 after completing a degree in dental science and specialized residency training in periodontics. They are recognized for their excellence in teaching, scholarship and discovery, service and patient care. He is a nationally and internally recognized specialist scientist in lipidomics and the role of complex bacterial lipids in inflammatory diseases spreading outside the oral cavity. His groundbreaking research has led to new understanding of the relationship between oral diseases and systemic disease, including cardiovascular diseases.
“This unexpected recognition reaffirms my commitment to students, staff, colleagues, patients, and the university at large,” Nichols said recently. “I am truly humbled and extremely grateful for this honour.”
And today the future of health care is bright with hundreds of new graduates from the Yukon School of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Graduate School entering the state and nation’s health care workforce.
Dean Liang insisted, “We can’t wait to see what you do next.”
Dean Lepowski also warmly shared: “You will always be a part of our Yukon dental family. I wish each and every member of the Class of 2022 the very best – wherever life takes you. Congratulations on everything you have achieved and I hope your journey continues to be filled with success, health and happiness.”
UConn interim president Marrick kindly concluded, “You’ll always have a place here, because you might not be the student you are today, yet you’re a husky forever.”