On Friday, June 10, the Department of Global Health (DGH) gathered to honor the Class of 2022 with an in-person graduation celebration. Graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 were also invited to join the celebration. During the annual event, the 15th since the department was founded in 2007, speakers acknowledged the unprecedented years and challenging circumstances that the class of 2022 experienced in pursued their education.
“I applaud all of your for your resilience and perseverance when it comes to learning under very challenging circumstances,” said Department of Global Health Interim Chair Carey Farquhar in her opening remarks. “Each of you who is graduating today will walk out of these doors as a global health professional. You’ll have new roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.”
This year’s celebration honored 75 graduate students from 14 countries. The class of 2022 is made up of 57 Master of Public Health (MPH) students, three Master of Science (MS) in Pathobiology students, and 15 PhD students in either Pathobiology or Global Health Metrics & Implementation Science.
“These graduates have spent years dedicating themselves to the three pillars that are the foundation of our department – academics, research, and service. I'm very proud of the work they have done and the dedication that has seen them through their respective programs in these challenging times,” said Susan Graham, associate chair for academic programs.
In his address to this year’s graduates, professor of global health and director of the MPH program Deepa Roa expressed her confidence in the new graduates. “I stand in awe of the cohort of students. We’ve heard a lot about imposter syndrome, which tends to run rampant in our hallowed halls. While our students questioned that rigidity, they pushed against it, they changed it. And that is why I can confidently say that is not only why you belong here in this global health space, graduates, you own this space.”
Many of the graduates took to heart shouldering the responsibility of helping to transform the world. “It is our responsibility as global health professionals to advance the field in ways that it's significant colonizing legacies that are going to be passed onto us are dismantled in the future,” said Health Metrics and Evaluation MPH graduate Horarcio A. Chacon Torrico.
Rahmeh AbuShweimeh, MPH Graduate addressed her fellow graduates, “the survivors of the Covid and Zoom era,” with a optimism. “I am confident that we own the future. Fellow alumni, I trust that you will be the continue to be the global health and global justice advocates that you are. That you will continue to take unapologetic stances towards injustice. That you will continue to amplify voices everywhere.”
The Department of Global Health has over 2,000 alumni. This international network includes more than 460 graduates of DGH degree programs who came to UW from over 20 nations and now work in more than 25 countries across five continents working to improve health and eliminate disparities of health . As the class of 2022 joins their ranks and transform the world. “There is no question in my mind that together, you are poised to tackle all the current and the new challenges” said Farquhar. There has never been a time of greater urgency and need for your knowledge, your skills, passion, your commitment. For all of your, for all of us to come together to speak out and apply what we all learned and to act strategically, constructively, and professionally for change.