The Rutgers School of Public Health celebrated its 2017 graduating class with 145 graduates across Master of Public Health, Master of Science, PHD, DrPH, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs on Friday, May 12.
Dr. Richard Marlink, internationally recognized for his research and leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, was awarded the Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Award and provided the Convocation Address in Public Health. As the 2017 Lautenberg Award recipient, Dr. Marlink has demonstrated strong leadership in public health through three decades of work studying the impact of the HIV virus throughout sub-Saharan Africa and providing training for more than 14,000 healthcare workers through Botswana’s National AIDS Training Program.
[Photo: Dr. Richard Marlink]
Dr. Marlink’s address, being regarded as one of the most inspiring to-date, focused on the rising threats to science and our responsibility to fight against it. He closed by saying, “today, as we come together to celebrate your accomplishment, we also come together as a group of committed soldiers for truth – as change agents for the science of public health. Speak up against the denial of science and the presentation of alternative facts; advocate for a space at the table for the marginalized and vulnerable.”
Ms. Nilifa Desilva, MPH graduate, delivered the class address, inspiring students to reach for their dreams. By no coincidence at all, the mortar board of her cap was decorated with the quote “we create our own fairytales.” She took a moment to thank the audience, which included faculty, staff, family, and friends of the graduating class of 2017, for their unwavering support and guidance.
During the ceremony, fourteen Rutgers School of Public Health Class of 2017 graduates were inducted into Delta Omega, the honor society for public health.
Rutgers School of Public Health 2017 Delta Omega Inductees: