NHS Commencement Speaker: 'Use This Education Well'

Posted in GUMC Stories

MAY 17, 2014 – An internationally known scientific leader advised the newest graduates of the School of Nursing & Health Studies to use their education to benefit others.

“With your diploma you are told you now have the rights and responsibilities of a Georgetown graduate,” said Alan I. Leshner (H’14), PhD, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  “…[T]he responsibilities part means ‘use this education well’ – for the betterment of others, as well as yourself.”


Leshner received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at today’s Commencement, where 195 students earned bachelor’s degrees in health care management & policy, human science, international health, and nursing and 268 students received master’s degrees in health systems administration and nursing.

“As Albert Einstein once said, ‘It’s high time the ideal of success becomes replaced with the ideal of service,’” said Leshner, also the executive publisher of the journal Science.  “And your education here at Georgetown has done a great job preparing you for being of service.”


Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD , the school’s dean, echoed a similar theme in his remarks to the students.

“Access to health care, advancing scientific discovery, improving health globally, and ensuring health equity are issues that you will face in your careers,” he said.  “Through your programs at Georgetown, you have acquired the knowledge to tackle these issues.  And through this institution’s Jesuit values, you have developed a framework for addressing them – one that supports the common good and social justice.”


Before Commencement, the school hosted a number of events to celebrate student achievement.  On Friday, a school-wide Tropaia Ceremony honored undergraduate accomplishment.  [Click here to download the print program.]

Thomas Brooke (NHS’14), an international health major, was selected to address his classmates, who were recognized for academic achievement, honor society inductions, community outreach efforts, and ROTC commissioning.

“These four years of growth towards adulthood have glued us together in a lifelong bond,” he said.


At the event, the school’s four academic departments recognized outstanding student achievement with Michael Croglio (NHS’14) being honored in human science, Giulliana Gonzalez (NHS’14) in nursing, Juan Dent (NHS’14) in international health, and Julia Fenelan (NHS’14) in health care management & policy.

Three school-wide awards were also conferred.  Caroline Cotto (NHS’14) earned the Dean’s Medal for graduating first in the undergraduate class.  Antonia Kopp (NHS’14) garnered the Rose Anne McGarrity Service Award.  And Margot Le Neveu (NHS’14) won the Sister Helen Scarry, RJM, DMin, Award for Commitment to Social Justice – newly named this year in honor of the school’s longtime chaplain.


The Department of Nursing hosted two additional events. The annual Pinning Ceremony celebrated the new BSN-prepared nurses, who received the unique Georgetown University nursing pin. And the Blessing of the Hands Ceremony honored students from the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.

Cotto, a human science major who carried the school’s banner and led the undergraduate procession, said her time at Georgetown helped her realize the importance of serving others.

“I know that the value of service and reflection that my Georgetown education has instilled in me will follow me not only in Taiwan but for the rest of my life,” said Cotto, who will teach English in Taiwan as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

By Bill Cessato
NHS Communications