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RUTGERS School of Health Professions GRADUATES 570 AT NJPAC

NEWARK, N.J. –The Rutgers School of Health Related Professions celebrated the graduation of 570 students at Convocation 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 13.

Degrees were awarded in 38 academic areas during the ceremony, which was hosted for the first time at NJPAC. More than 370 students attended the event. Students stepped up one by one as their names were called, accepting a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or a 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 at the Rutgers School of Health Profession,” Gwendolyn Mahan, dean said in her address to the Class of 1016.

 “I hope you will direct your efforts and talent to doing good, not just doing well, and that you will speak for those in need or underserved. And, in the years to come, that you will lead and inspire change in our healthcare system.”






The Class of 2016 also heard from graduating students, Terris Moss, Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Informatics, and Shane Mata, Doctorate in Physical Therapy, as well as the chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Dr. Brian Strom.

Dr. Strom referenced the merger of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers University in 2013, saying it formed a “truly comprehensive and truly massive institution.”

He spoke of how the Affordable Care Act had transformed healthcare, and said Rutgers was positioning its health and sciences programs to be in the forefront of changes in healthcare delivery.  “Your soon-to-be Alma Mater,” he said, “will be at the vanguard of this revolutionary movement in healthcare.”


During the Convocation, annual Awards for Excellence were presented to:

  • Dr. Heidi Ganzer, who received the Stanley S. Bergen Jr. M.D. Medal of Excellence
  • Dr. Michael Connors, who was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • Dr. Allison Brown, who received the Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Dr. Laurie Snowden, who was given the Distinguished Service Award
  • Dr. Peggy Swarbrick, who was awarded the Excellence in Research Award

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Anita Van Wingerden, vice president of the school’s Alumni Association, reminded the graduates of Rutgers’ proud heritage as the nation’s ninth oldest college, founded 250 years ago. From just one graduate at the first commencement , Rutgers now boasts nearly a half-million alumni around the world, 10,000 of them from the School of Health Professions.

“I encourage you to embrace Rutgers’ revolutionary spirit, stay connected and commit yourself to being an active School of Health Related Professions alumni,” Dr. Van Wingerden said.  
Elated graduates gathered outside of NJPAC to accept flowers, snap photos and accept congratulations from friends and family.

“My Rutgers experience was the best of my life,” said Dr. Terris Moss, noting that the age of 52, she was thrilled to be getting her doctorate.

To see more photos, please visit our Facebook page.



Rutgers School of Health Professions



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