Class of 2020, your last semester and online graduation ceremonies didn't go as planned. But you persisted. You banded together and exemplified immeasurable strength.
You are the future of healthcare.
We are grateful for your courage.
We are motivated by your passion.
We are determined to celebrate you.
TIME'S UP Foundation and the American Public Health Association sponsored a commencement event that went live on May 28th, 2020. It features diverse voices of health STEM.
"You're a shining star. I think about all of the people who came before me who were shining stars but doors closed on them.
We stand beneath the shade of trees we did not plant. This is your time."
"Keep asking questions.
Especially 'why' questions, because questions drive STEM forward.
Ask hard questions and don't stop."
"Think about how your unique impression - as a beautiful contribution to this field - is going to impact those words, those sounds, those experiences that we are having in today's time."
"Let life happen. Meaning, whatever it is that you want to do or need to do to fulfill your whole person - do it! Call your mom, have a baby. It's on you to carry us forward"
"My advice is to go forward with open hands. It's really hard when your hands are open to have an ego, or to not learn from your mistakes, or to struggle alone."
"I recommend you leave some type of item outside of patient rooms - like a stethoscope. You can tell the patient you 'accidentally forgot something', exit the room, run down the hall and Google all info you have forgotten."
"Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all."
--Ithaka by Cavafy
"My wish and my hope for you is that you find the communities to help you nurture your curiosity and humility and your ability to find safe spaces to say I don't know."
"I want you to know that you belong.
I hope that you will use your knowledge and skills to improve health equity in the United States and abroad."
"Continue to plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected"
--Continue by Maya Angelou
"You and everything you've done have value and importance in the world. Resist the urge to see yourself through the eyes of others. Only you know who you really are."
"In your work, remember, that what you are doing is to help people and to impact people. Don't forget about your relationships."
"Connnnngrats!" - Baby Daneshjou
"Thank you for choosing to join us on the frontlines of this fight for science and information. It's not easy, but it's worth it. And we need you."
"You may feel that you don't belong. Others may make you feel as though you are an imposter or that you shouldn't be here. And I'm here to tell you when that happens; screw that."
"My wish is that you maintain your passion for learning, lead with your heart, cultivate a network of rich and meaningful relationships, and continue to have the courage to pursue your dreams"
"You must forge a new path. We've prepared a seat for you, but that seat is not perfect. It's up to you to shape it in your image and to add more seats to the table."
"Thank you for still entering the field of medicine, and healthcare, and global health, and public health, and the frontlines when they are this important but also this scary."
Find your posse."
"Make sure you don't let anyone steal your shine, and know you are special. Be whoever you are in your full authenticity."
"Doris Kearns Goodwin said, 'does a leader determine the times, or do the times determine the leader?' I think it is an incredible question to ponder as you move forward and go be the change-makers I know you are destined to be."
"We need your science more than ever. We need you to help heal, to find the cure. I am so happy that you made it. You made it!"
Keep an open mind."
"The people who are most happy and at peace with the world are those who float on the waves, not those who fight against them."
Create a community.
Don't give up."
"1. Make sure you find a mentor.
2. Do not accept the status quo. Change happens when we advocate for equity.
3. Be yourself unapologetically.
4. Know your self-worth. Invest in yourself. Become a leader."
"Life is not the thing you do after you establish your career. These journeys are traveled together, so be sure to enjoy life and the other things you love while you are working on this career."
"If you had extra obstacles to overcome then your talent and your resilience got you here."
"You've been baptized by fire during a global pandemic. Nailed it! The greatest achievement is a life of giving to others. Avoid tribalism.
Be kind to those who disagree with you.
Love people in spite of your differences."
"Be open. STEM careers will take you in different directions.
Your journey in STEM is not set in stone once you graduate."
"It is so very important that we continue to diversify our workplaces. Hold on to those special and unique qualities that you have and share them."
"May you find success. Not success that is measured by the letters after your name, by fame, by fancy titles, by dollars in the bank. But success that is defined by personal fulfillment, your impact on those around you, your family, your friends, your patients, your colleagues."
"Know that you bring value to the team even though you are not always made to feel that way, especially in the beginning.
Speak up! Step up! Stand up! Lift up!
And bring it. Because you've got this."
"Please know that you should always trust your gut. Your gut and what your gut tells you is what's right for you. It's your truth."
"Don't waste this crisis.
Continue to use all your grace, all your talents, and all your humanity to change the world. We're counting on you."
"You now have the knowledge, not just from the halls of academia, but from the halls of your home and the halls of your ancestors' homes. What you do with that knowledge is up to you.
Which questions will you ask?"
"As you learn and search for answers don't forget the person that you are providing care to. Truly see and hear the person who comes to you in need."
"There are so many ways to do STEM and have a family, or travel, or do whatever it is that you want to do. Pave your own path. Make your own way. This is your life."
"Get business, finance, and strategy experience...it really helps you to understand how things fit together."
"When opportunities come your way that are true, good opportunities don't say no. But when things come your way that aren't worth your time learn to say no. Your time is precious. It's valuable, and you're never getting it back."
University of Minnesota Medical School
Class of 2021
Lewis Katz Medical School at Temple University
Class of 2021
Oregon Health Science University
Class of 2021
University of Minnesota Medical School
Class of 2023
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