NEWARK, N.J. –The Rutgers School of Health Professions celebrated the graduation of more than 500 students at Convocation 2017 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, May 17.
Degrees were awarded in 38 certificate and degree programs during the ceremony, which marked the 40th graduating class of Rutgers School of Health Professions.
About 330 students attended Convocation 2017. Students stepped up one by one as their names were called, accepting a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate in their field.
“As your Dean, I do admit to some bias, but I believe there are few health professions schools anywhere that offer the education and training that you have received here at Rutgers School of Health Professions,” Dean Gwendolyn Mahon, said in her address to the Class of 1017.
“Be confident you are ready for the challenges ahead. You now belong to a profession that has the tools and training to improve the lives of many, whether it is through the care you provide, the research you conduct or through public service. What you do will matter.”
The Class of 2017 also heard from graduating students Clifton Manning and Leandro Enriquez, a Sgt. 1st Class and Casualty officer in National Guard and a Paterson firefighter.
“When a child shares a smile, or we feel the warmth of a hand thanking us, we will know we are true to the mission of our school, our professions and ourselves,” said Enriquez, who shared that he succeeded in school only after four failed attempts, and
was proud to be earning his graduate certificate from the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
During the Convocation, awards were presented to:
· Kate Willcutts, DCN '15, the Stanley S. Bergen Jr. M.D. Medal of Excellence
· Major Susan Stankorb, DCN, MCN, RD, CNSC , the Distinguished Alumnus Award
· Jane Ziegler, DCN, RDN, LDN, the Excellence in Teaching Award
· Jodi G. Handler, P.T., DPT, the Distinguished Service Award
· Gerard Fluet, P.T., DPT, Ph.D, the Excellence in Research Award
A division of the New Brunswick-based Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, the School of Health Professions provides education for both entry-level health professionals and practicing health providers seeking specialty and advanced degrees.
The school opened in Newark in 1976 as the College of Medicine and Dentistry – School of Allied Health Professions, with 11 certificate programs. It has grown into the largest, leading health professions school in the country, with than 50 programs ranging from post-high school to doctoral at locations in Newark, Piscataway, Scotch Plains and Blackwood. Merging with Rutgers in 2013, the school serves approximately 1,700 students.