UMB Holds Ceremonies for Class of 2014
As the University of
Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) held commencement ceremonies on May 16
for the Class of 2014, speakers urged the graduates to go forward
secure in their preparation yet ever questioning the value of their
contributions to others.
"What's your work? What is your purpose?" commencement
speaker Wes Moore, MLitt, asked the graduates, challenging them to
build careers that would provide gratifying replies at some point in
the future. In his remarks, the best-selling author and entrepreneur
said they should be concerned not so much where they will work but to
whom it will matter that they did so.
(See our Commencement 2014 photo gallery.)
Moore's address was but one part of a day of pageantry and pride for
about 1,450 graduates of the University's schools of dentistry, law,
nursing, pharmacy, and social work and of the Graduate School. The
commencement ceremony, held at the Baltimore Arena, followed earlier
convocations and celebrations for individual schools and disciplines.
Governor Martin O'Malley, JD,
a UMB alumnus who graduated in 1988 from what is now the UM Carey School of Law,
addressed the School of
Medicine at the Baltimore Convention Center. "Today is about
you. Today is about taking a moment to give you and your families a
chance to think about all that you have accomplished so far," he said.
"For you, I hope your life will be lived in the eyes of the people that
you are called to touch and to heal and to serve."
Across the city, another alum who has become a public official
addressed the School of Social
Work (SSW) Class of 2014 at the Patricia and Arthur Modell
Performing Arts Center at the Lyric. "Sustain your idealism," said Tisha Edwards, JD, MSW, interim
chief executive officer of the Baltimore City Public Schools. She
earned her degree in social work in 2000 and her law degree in 2001.
The law school held its hooding ceremony at the Joseph Meyerhoff
Symphony Hall, while the Graduate School had held its hooding ceremony
on May 15 at the Southern
Management Corporation Campus Center. The School of Nursing
assembled at the Arena; the School
of Dentistry at the Meyerhoff; the School of Pharmacy at the
The University's traditional procession from the Plaza Park was
canceled due to inclement weather, and the day began a rainy one. But
by the time of the main event, the skies had cleared so that there was
nothing to dampen the finery, or the jubilation, of the many families
and friends of graduates, such as Victoria Daka, JD '14, shown in the photo above.
President Jay A. Perman, MD,
in presiding over the ceremonies at the Arena, took notice of the supporters of the
Class of 2014 and urged its members to do the same. "See the people who
have helped to bring you to this day," he said to a wave of applause.
Jim Shea, chair of the Board of
Regents, represented the University
System of Maryland. "The education that you have gotten here has
prepared you well," he told the Class of 2014. He praised UMB for its
flourishing schools, and multiple accomplishments under Perman's
leadership. These include community involvement and development of the
city's Westside, entrepreneurship as exemplified by the UM BioPark, and collaborative
engagement that is represented by University
of Maryland: Mpowering the State.
Three recipients of honorary degrees were lauded for their exemplary
work. An honorary doctorate of public service was bestowed upon
Geraldine "Polly" Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, executive director of the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing; Michael Cryor, MS, president of
The Cryor Group, LLC, and chair, SOM Board of Visitors;
and Jack Shonkoff, MD, director of the Center on the Developing
Child at Harvard University.
Justin Taylor of the Graduate
School and president of the University Student
Government Association was the student remarker. He urged his
peers to renew their connections with one another in the future.
Looking forward was on the minds of many in the Class of 2014 including
Hannah Church of Ellicott
City, Md., who earned a Bachelor of Nursing degree to help her pursue
the goal that she had set while completing an earlier degree. Having
been moved by children at a special needs camp, she wanted to care for
kids. And what is she about to do? "Pediatrics," she replied proudly.
Gavin Michaels, DDS '14, is
looking forward to returning to his home state of North Carolina to
begin a career in private practice. "This feels like a huge weight
coming off my shoulders. Dental school has been a long road, but I'm
proud to reach this point," he said.
For Hannah Saulsbury, RDH '14,
the next chapter in improving oral health will take place among the
underserved on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. "I want to use what I've
learned to help those in need," she said.
David Knipp, MD '14, said,
"This is a day that we have looked forward to for four very long years,
a day that most of us have looked forward to since we were just
children." In his case, he had elders to emulate, being the first ever
fifth-generation Maryland medical school graduate. His
great-great-grandfather was in the Class of 1887. "I couldn't be
prouder to be part of the Knipp family and carry on the medical legacy
that we have here in Baltimore.
"I was never pushed into medicine. I came about it through my own
passions, and I think that is the way it should be. And because
of that, I will enjoy practicing medicine for years to come," he
said. Like his dad, he will specialize in radiology.
Onstage at the Arena was David's father, Harry Knipp, MD, FACR, who graduated
in 1976 and is a member of the SOM Board of Visitors and a trustee of
the University of Maryland
Baltimore Foundation, Inc.
Laura Dunn, JD '14, will
continue to work toward ending campus sexual assault, a cause she has
championed since became a victim as an undergraduate. In 2012 she
founded a nonprofit and as a Carey Law student, she worked on a
provision of the Violence Against Women Act that requires colleges and
universities to investigate reports of violence and mandates programs
for sexual assault and domestic violence education.
Nkem Nonyel, PharmD '14, of
Bowie, Md., is a dual degree student also enrolled in the Master of Public
Health program, which she plans to complete later. During the
course of her studies, she was saddend by the death of her brother. "I
am a single mother of four children, and I desired so much to give a
bright future to my children. I could not think of a better way to do
so than to return to my lifelong career aspiration, the pharmacy
profession," she said. Nonyel will spend the next year as a pharmacy
practice resident at Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, Md.
Loney Nguyen, MSW '14, intends
to support victims of child neglect and wants her achievements to send
a message to anyone who stereotypes or underestimates the potential of
foster youth. As a teen in child protective services, she was mentored
by a circle of adults who became an extended family. Among those who
came to the SSW convocation was Nguyen's first social worker, Monica Kraus, MSW. "She told
me I was a star, and I believed her," Nguyen said.
Nguyen stands in the front row in the photo below with LaToria Hickmon-Kern, founder and executive director, WHALER's Creation; middle row, left to right, Lt. Jason Moore, U.S. Army National Guard, who is Nguyen's fiance; Kraus; and Errol Bolden, PhD, MSW, chair of the Department of Social Work at Coppin State University; back row, Shirley Newton-Guest, PhD, MSW, associate professor at Coppin; and Akiba Freeman, MSW, and Walter O'Neil, MSW, both of Challengers Independent Living.
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