Highlights of the MD, PhD, and Dual Degree Ceremony
In his opening address, James S. Tisch, Co-Chairman, Boards of Trustees, Mount Sinai Health System, acknowledges the Class of 2022’s courageous participation in Mount Sinai’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including their involvement with the Student WorkForce. He reminded the graduating class that the degrees they’d be conferred, would be a symbol of making personal sacrifices, and a reminder that they will be called upon to continue learning and apply their knowledge to respectfully serve their patients and communities throughout out their careers.
Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Presiding Official of the 2022 ceremony, also shared a moment of reflection and pride over the graduates’ academic journey, stating that they were the among ‘the most impressive group of students to ever graduate Icahn Mount Sinai’ because of their consistent demonstration of excellence—both academically and in service to patients to the local and global community. Dean Charney marked the class as historic, noting the scientific and medical discoveries they made, as their volunteer efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other milestone world events.
“Adversity reveals character,” he says. “Your response to the pandemic demonstrated resilience, courage, and dedication, traits that will serve you very well in your careers as scientists and physicians.” Dean Charney also highlighted the inhumane war crimes happening in Ukraine, noting the misdirection of the moral compass and passion, and reminded the graduates: “We, physicians and scientists, play an essential role in working towards the common good of society because we bring moral passion to our work.” He continues, “We need you to be great physicians and scientists who are the light amid the darkness; we need you to selflessly engage in heroic acts.”
Icahn Mount Sinai hosted two keynote speakers: The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Addressing the class, Dr. Jackson reflected on and shared much of her experience and the perspectives she gained throughout her career. While acknowledging that the greatest challenges in research and education cannot be done alone, she reminded the Class of 2022 to lean in to the resources they were trained to have: collaboration among the brightest minds, embracing different perspectives, and embodying social consciousness, care, empathy, leadership, and service. “There’s never been a greater need for visionary and dedicated practitioners and researchers, such as yourselves,” she says. “You are equipped to be the caring and empathetic individuals who will make a difference in so many lives.” In her closing words, she reminded the class to always allow their ambition to be guided by their ethics—never the other way around. Dr. Levine, an alumna of Mount Sinai, touched` on many life lessons she learned while navigating her career, which she shared with the graduates: lessons about the impact of our decisions on the health of the world; the power of collaboration and communication over competition; and how diversity, equity, and inclusion enhances any organization when it is welcomed and celebrated. In her closing words to to the Class of 2022, she urges them to ‘plan and have big goals for their career,’ and to always keep their idealism. “Know that life may take you on many different turns and send you on unexpected paths, but I am confident that your education at Mount Sinai will prepare you for all of the expected and unexpected roads you may travel” she concludes.
During this year’s ceremony, the Icahn School of Medicine conferred four honorary degrees to: Faith Ringgold, Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego; Xiaowei Zhuang, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute David B. Arnold Professor of Science, Harvard University; The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Icahn School of Medicine granted a total of 171 degrees to graduates of the following programs: 103 MD, 43 PhD, and 25 Dual Degree (17 MD/PhD, 2 MD/MPH, and 6 MD/MSCR). In addition to graduating with high distinctions, the Class of 2022 have made scientific discoveries that will help us understand cancer growth and resistance in chemotherapy; worked to improve community health around the world and have unrivaled free health care locally through the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership, and much more. The Class of 2022 joins a network of accomplished alumni, known the world over for their integrity, discovery, altruism, and clinical research excellence.
The 2022 Commencement Ceremony program is available to view and download.
Commencement Week Activities
On Tuesday, May 10, the Icahn School of Medicine honored the Class of 2022 during the Achievement Awards. The awards were distributed during a Dean’s Reception and celebrated outstanding Medical, PhD, and Dual Degree students and their accomplishments. Students, parents, faculty, and guests were invited to share in the interactive event. The 2022 Achievement Ceremony program is available to view and download.