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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Texas A&M Celebrates Largest Graduating Class in History

Addressing the need for highly trained state and national health care professionals, Texas A&M Health Science Center graduated students at commencement ceremonies across the state last month. This is the largest graduating class to date, and is indicative of Texas A&M’s commitment to educate exceptional health care leaders in public health, medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and medical sciences.

The School of Public Health held its commencement ceremony in Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. Commencement featured Dr. James F. Sallis, distinguished professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego and director of Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Sallis is one of the world’s most cited authors in the social sciences, and has been featured in Time magazine as one of the four most effective scientists currently working to address America’s obesity problem.

The ceremony for College of Medicine also held its commencement ceremony in Rudder Auditorium and featured Dr. Geoffrey Ling, founding director of the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Ling has launched several well-publicized projects at DARPA, including the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, which is trying to develop a robotic human arm, and the PREVENT program, which focuses on blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI). Prior to joining DARPA, Ling was an Army doctor and a professor of neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is considered to be the Army’s premier subject matter expert on TBI and was one of the doctors who treated U.S. Senator Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in 2011. The College of Medicine exceeds the national benchmark with a 97 percent pass rate on the national medical licensing exam.

Dr. Maxine Fienberg, president of the American Dental Association, was the featured speaker at the commencement ceremony for the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry, which was be held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. The college has the highest percent of under-represented minority students in the nation, and nearly one-third of all dentists in Texas are graduates of the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry.

The College of Nursing held its commencement ceremony in Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus and featured Ms. Janelle Shepard, senior director of care transitions for the Texas Health Alliance and a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Texas A&M College of Nursing holds special commendation status from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for pass rate excellence.

Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy held commencement at the Steinke Physical Education Center in Kingsville. Dr. Thomas Menighan, executive vice president and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association, was the featured speaker at the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy’s commencement ceremony. Dr. Menighan has founded several pharmacy-related companies, including SynTegra Solutions Inc., SymRx Inc., and CornerDrugstore.com©.