Class of 2023: Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Largest Graduate Class | John Hopkins

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recognized the Class of 2023, the largest class in school history, during its convocation ceremony on Wednesday, May 24 at Homewood Field on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University.

New graduates step into a changed world as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and other pressing public health issues — gun violence, global warming, substance abuse, mental health, health disparities — dominate headlines and public health programs.

The class of 2023 had 1,380 graduates from 59 countries, including the United States. There were 129 doctoral degrees and 1,256 master’s degrees conferred, including five joint doctorates.

In her opening remarks, Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM, Dean of the Bloomberg School, informed the class of 2023 that they will be challenged in their work ahead of them. “What I want to impress on you today is how important it will be for you to meet this challenge with knowledge, conviction and courage,” she said. “Our greatest discoveries? Our boldest ideas? They won’t save lives if we don’t fight for them.

Dean MacKenzie shared the story of two Bloomberg colleagues who, in their gun violence prevention work, persuaded police officers that a court order removing a gun from a home due to domestic violence was more than a “simple piece of paper”. Today, 20 states and DCs have passed emergency risk protection orders — also known as “red flag” laws — in part because these experts are encouraging “people to understand that a piece of paper has the power to save lives”.

“You will soon receive a very important paper: a diploma from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,” Dean MacKenzie continued. “And when you leave here today, more than anything else, I want you to remember this: it is you who will give this piece of paper its power. paper to save lives.

Keynote speaker Raj Panjabi, MD, MPH, encouraged the students to say that somehow their work in public health would turn despair into hope.

Panjabi currently serves on the White House National Security Council as Senior Director of Global Health Security and Biodefense and Special Assistant to President Biden. He earned an MPH from Bloomberg School in 2006. Panjabi was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia. When she was nine years old, her family fled civil war in Liberia and eventually arrived in the United States as refugees.

In his remarks to the Class of 2023, Panjabi stressed the importance of community work in public health. He returned to Liberia during his first winter break as a Bloomberg School MPH student. The war had left Liberia with 50 doctors to serve a country of 4 million people. This return visit to Liberia led him to co-found The Last Mile, funded in part by fellow Bloomberg School alumni who donated in lieu of gifts at Panjabi’s wedding. The Last Mile relies on community health workers to help those in need.

“Investing in communities is an antidote to the scourge of public health mistrust we face,” Panjabi added. “In the history of public health, communities are not the objects of change, they are the agents of change. It’s hard to find a health challenge where a community strategy is not only relevant, but vital. He highlighted the importance of community health workers during the Ebola outbreak in 2013-2014, in the ongoing malaria prevention effort, and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve seen community health workers help vaccinate the world against COVID, ensuring billions of vaccines go into guns – from the barbershops of Maryland to the forests of West Africa, on mobile vans in Massachusetts and on rickshaws in India,” he said. .

During the graduation ceremony, MacKenzie honored two individuals with the Dean’s Medal, the highest honor the Bloomberg School bestows on public health leaders: Panjabi and Jaume Casals, PhD.

Casals has been a professor of philosophy at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona since 2003. He led the creation of the Johns Hopkins-UPF Public Policy Center, a joint effort by the two universities to advance solutions for some of the most pressing public health issues. complexes in the world. challenges such as climate change and pandemics. Under Casals’ leadership, the Center became a world leader in health and social policy. He received his doctorate in philosophy summa cum laude from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 1984. Previously, he had been rector of Pompeu Fabra University and was recently elected president of the board of directors of the School of Management of the University.

Panjabi earned an MD from the University of North Carolina in 2007. In his current role at the White House, he works with President Biden and the National Security Advisor to protect the nation and the world from pandemics. and other biological threats. Previously, he led President Biden’s Malaria Initiative, which supports 30 countries in Africa and Southeast Asia to fight malaria.

As is tradition at the Bloomberg School convocation, faculty and students recited the International Bill of Health Rights, which was created by Bloomberg School students, faculty, and alumni. in 1991 on the school’s 75th anniversary. The Declaration is a commitment “to advocacy and action to promote the health rights of all human beings”.

The Bloomberg School class of 2023 will join a network of more than 27,000 Bloomberg School alumni in more than 160 countries. The Bloomberg School has been ranked #1 by US News & World Report since the rankings began in 1994.

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Media Contacts: Barbara Benham [email protected] and Kristine Henry [email protected]

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