The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Held a Rousing Master’s Commencement Ceremony on June 21
For the 220 graduates who had started—and completed—their academic studies entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic, this was an especially joyful in-person celebration that honored much more than degrees. This is the Class 2022—a highly diverse group of students who displayed fortitude, resilience, and altruism as they worked together to achieve their career goals and to serve the Mount Sinai community.
Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, Dean for Academic Affairs and Chief Scientific Officer for Icahn Mount Sinai, greeted the students and guests, saying that two words come to mind when he thinks of this class—grit and optimism. “Grit expresses the idea that a crucial component of success is a person’s ability to pick a goal and stick with it,” said Dr. Nestler. And, optimism “is especially poignant for today’s graduation because each of your master’s degrees…imbue you with the ability to make the world better.”
Marta Filizola, PhD, Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, told graduates: “You will be applying your new skills across biomedical and clinical research, data science, genetic counseling, public health, epidemiology, health administration, and health care leadership. We’ve worked together to prepare you to meet some of the greatest challenges these fields have ever faced, and we know you are ready for them.”
The Commencement address was presented by Torian Easterling, MD, MPH, the first Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who was appointed at the height of the pandemic in 2020. Dr. Easterling also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for a career committed to combatting longstanding complex public health disparities that include violence, maternal health outcomes, and chronic disease.
Dr. Easterling received his Master of Public Health degree from Mount Sinai in 2012 and passionately addressed the graduates. “When I’m asked to describe the work I do, I can answer in one word—change, and the work of change comes in three main forms: changing minds, changing lives, and changing society.” He asked each graduate to join “in solidarity, resolving to change the systems that imprison far too many of us, and by never settling for good intentions.”
There are 220 graduates from the following nine programs: Master of Science in Biomedical Data Science (7); Master of Science in Biostatistics (5); Master of Health Administration (29); Master of Science in Health Care Delivery Leadership (11); Master of Science in Clinical Research (23); Master of Science in Biomedical Science (61); Master of Public Health (62); Master of Science in Genetic Counseling (12); and Master of Science in Epidemiology (10), which graduated its first class.