School of Nursing & Health Studies Commencement 2013

Posted in GUMC Stories

The School of Nursing & Health Studies hosted its Commencement on Saturday, May 18, at 12 noon. The Class of 2013 included 199 students who earned bachelor of science degrees in health care management & policy, human science, international health, and nursing, and one completed an independent study. Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP, president and CEO of AcademyHealth, delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary degree. In addition, human science major Lindsey Mahoney (NHS’13) led the student procession and carried the school’s banner. Mahoney graduated with the highest cumulative GPA in the class.

Undergraduates at the School of Nursing & Health Studies Commencement ceremony 

Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD (right), executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine, read the citation for Simpson, who is a nationally renowned health policy research and pediatrician.  He said, “In her medical practice, in her service at AHRQ, and particularly now in her direction of AcademyHealth, we not only see that intertwining of research and practice that defines the school, but also an individual model to whom today’s graduates, and indeed all our students, can be encouraged to aspire.”

Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies, served as the master of ceremonies at the Commencement.  He noted that the school was celebrating its 110th anniversary this year and that it had held its first graduation in June of 1906 in Gaston Hall.  To the graduates, he said, 

“Always look for ways to improve the human condition, particularly for those who are underserved in the health care system.  I hope you will remain connected to Georgetown through your shared values, sense of common purpose, and service to others.”

NHS commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Dr. Lisa Simpson, president and CEO of AcademyHealth, conveyed to the audience, “Health care in this country is too often unkind.  A kind word, a kind touch, a kind smile – these are small but oh-so-effective salves for the pain and suffering that so many experience in their lives. You will touch the world with your training and your passion, but you will be remembered for your kindness. We are all of us part of a greater whole.”

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia addressed the graduating class of the School of Nursing & Health Studies and offered a message of appreciation and conviction. “It’s a great pleasure to be here with you—to celebrate your achievements and to thank you for your many contributions to our community during these last four years.  With your talents…your passions…your ideas, you have enlivened our community…helped us to reimagine our tradition in powerful new ways…and animated the spirit that defines us.  We are grateful for all you have done. I urge you to trust in what you have learned and studied and contemplated at Georgetown—to trust in what you have found to be most true for yourself…and to trust in your ideals and your dreams for your lives and our world.” 

Ayesha Ibrahim (NHS’13), a nursing major, was selected to address her classmates at the school’s Tropaia Ceremony on Friday.  About Georgetown (this is a quote separate from her speech) she says, “When I stepped foot onto campus for the first time as a Hoya in August 2009, I never would have imagined all of the great memories the next four years would have in store. Through the laughter and the tears I have grown to become a global citizen who strives to exhibit the value of ‘cura personalis’ in my day to day interactions.  It is my hope that following graduation I will continue to use what I have learned at Georgetown to better the lives of others.  The combination of my experiences both inside and outside the classroom has developed my interpersonal skills, fed my curiosity, and fueled my passion for social justice. Georgetown has been a blessing I will always be thankful for.”  

Lindsey Mahoney (NHS’13), a human science major, earned the Dean’s Medal for Highest Cumulative GPA at the Tropaia Ceremony.  At Commencement, she led the student procession and carried the school’s banner.  About Georgetown, she says, “Attending Georgetown has been a life-changing experience for me.  At first, it was very difficult for me to leave my family and my hometown, but as graduation approaches, I’m realizing that it will be much more difficult to leave this incredible community that I have grown to love over the past four years.  The variety of classes that I have taken in the NHS and otherwise have pushed me to my full academic potential and provided me with the skills and confidence to pursue my dream of attending medical school and becoming a doctor.  The faculty here are not only incredible teachers and mentors, but they have always been so supportive, especially as I worked to figure out exactly what I wanted to do after graduation. Lastly, the lifelong friends that I made at Georgetown are some of the most interesting, genuine, and kind people I have ever met and they have truly brought out the best in me.”

The 2013 School of Nursing & Health Studies Commencement Cermony is available for viewing at:


(Published May 20, 2013)