Today, the Mailman School Class of 2017 celebrates Commencement. Cheered by family, friends, professors, and other well-wishers, graduates will march in cap and gown, with degrees awarded to more than 600 Masters and 26 doctoral students.
Ertharin Cousin, former Executive Director of the United Nations Food Programme, will give the keynote address. In her eight-year tenure at the WFP, Cousin led a staff of more than 14,000 in meeting urgent food needs in 80 countries while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger.
Shivani Bhatia, an MPH graduate in Population and Family Health, will represent her class with a speech on frailty and the human capacity for empathy. Bhatia was chosen by a committee of students, faculty, and staff.
At an morning ceremony, Deans Julie Kornfeld and Marlyn Delva presented Ashley Brianna Gripper, MPH in Epidemiology, with the Bernard Challenor Spirit Prize for “building community, across department boundaries at the Mailman School,” and Divya Devli Shroff, MHA in Health Policy and Management, with the Campbell Award for “exceptional leadership and Columbia Spirit.” An additional 39 individuals received awards in 24 categories for departmental distinctions.
Many members of the Class of 2017 have already secured jobs with employers representing the breadth of public health. Examples include MHA graduate Ben Masur, who works for the consulting firm, BDO; Kendall LaSane, an MPH graduate from Sociomedical Sciences, an epidemiologist in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Stephanie Shiau, PhD in Epidemiology and the inaugural Mervyn Susser Post-Doctoral Fellow through the Sergievsky Center.
Follow the day’s festivities on the School’s social media accounts, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Students and others are encouraged to contribute on their accounts using the hashtag #CUPublicHealth.
Watch live video of Commencement here: