PCOM Georgia held a virtual commencement on Wednesday, July 29, for the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and graduate programs Class of 2020.
In a 47-minute online ceremony viewed 4,000+ times to date, 162 PCOM Georgia students ceremonially received master’s and doctoral degrees while family members and friends engaged online and cheered them on.
The commencement video hosted by PCOM Provost Kenneth Veit, DO ’76, MBA, premiered on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, on Facebook and YouTube. Veit said, “Your service will be to lead in an uncertain environment, to further biomedical research, to prevent disease, to cure when possible, and most of all, to comfort those who are ill and infirmed.”
He was speaking to the 95 Doctor of Pharmacy graduates, the 43 Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences graduates, and the 24 Master of Science in Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies graduates.
Following a rendition of the national anthem by Doctor of Pharmacy grad Taylor Bailey, PharmD ’20, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, PCOM President and CEO, addressed the class of 2020. He said, “Your job will require flexibility, adaptability and creativity, meaningful new ideas, approaches and discoveries.”
He added, “It will demand cultural sensitivity, a focus on equity, tolerance and justice for all. It will take time and touch, and it will demand that you show respect to patients and clients and to their families.”
Shawn Spencer, PhD, RPh, dean and chief academic officer of the PCOM School of Pharmacy, offered final words to the Doctor of Pharmacy students. He said, “Follow your passion, be compassionate with yourself, and be true to what you have become. Our nation needs you. The world needs you. Those who think they can impact the world are the ones who do. Press onward and upward.”
Following a recitation of the Oath of a Pharmacist, the class of 2020 Pharmacy Chair Obinna Ekechukwu, PharmD ’20, encouraged his classmates. He said, “The path is clear and it is up to us to choose what our legacy will ultimately be. Be sure to leave your mark because you are remarkable, and now you are ready to show the world just how remarkable you are!”
Greg McDonald, DO, dean of the School of Health Sciences, told the physician assistant and biomedical sciences graduates that they now have skills needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “If you’re a physician assistant, you play a key role in treating and curing the afflicted. Those of you in the biomedical sciences may soon be working on a COVID-19 vaccine or more accurate screening methods.”
“Please don’t shy away from these difficult times,” he said. “Given the societal changes, we need your technical skills and humanity now more than ever.”
After their final collegiate roll call, the graduates symbolically moved their tassels from right to left
Skyler Tuholski, was selected to speak on behalf of the biomedical sciences and physician assistant graduating classes. She said, “My hope for us all is that we thrive in our strengths and are humbled by our mistakes. That we find fulfilling joy in our work each and every day and never stop seeking the knowledge to change or save someone’s life.”
She encouraged her classmates to “treat each patient with so much dignity and respect that there’s no acceptable level of bias.” She added, “As prepared as we are, this next step is inevitably scary, but with diligence, collaboration and time, we will learn the art of medicine. Our experiences thus far have given us a canvas. Now let’s create a masterpiece together. Congratulations to the class of 2020!”
PCOM Georgia's Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine commencement ceremony was held on May 21, 2020.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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