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Congratulations, TouroCOM-Harlem M.S. Class of 2016!

The Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences Harlem Class of 2016 celebrate their graduation at the Alhambra Ballroom.

May 17, 2016

During the ceremony, Dr. Arthur Prancan, Director of the MS Program, served as MC, while grand marshal Dr. Sushama Rich, Chair of Anatomical Sciences, led the processional of graduating students. The Pledge of Allegiance was directed by Dr. Tipsuda Bahri, chair of the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, after which Rabbi Baruch Fogel of the Touro College and University System offered the invocation address. Students also heard speeches from faculty members Dr. Jeffrey Gardere and Dr. Sushama Rich, as well as Dr. John Palmer and the newly appointed Touro College Graduate Division provost Dr. Patricia Salkin. 

“Oftentimes one’s eyes are on that prize of getting through to the D.O. program,” said Dr. Gardere in his speech. “But as we’ve talked about quite often in my classes, this degree alone is a crowning achievement. Never lose sight of the fact that your knowledge of medicine and science has now been greatly increased, and this degree has now made you a bona fide scientist.”

Local leaders also participated in the commencement ceremony, such as Ms. Jackie Rowe-Adams, co-founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. (Stop Another Violent End), whom TouroCOM-Harlem Executive Dean Dr. Robert Goldberg called “an inspiration to all.”

In her keynote speech, seasoned politician and councilperson C. Virginia Fields, MSW, President and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, praised TouroCOM’s high admission rates of underrepresented minority (URM) students—double the national average of URM requirements for osteopathic medical schools.

“It is now up to you,” she continued, addressing the graduates. “The seeds of providing better healthcare to underserved populations have now been planted. As you continue your journey to become a medical doctor, you are hereby charged with holding fast the mission and the vision of this program to make a difference and create healthier lives. You matter, and what you do matters. Given the state of racial healthcare disparities in underserved communities, you are being positioned to have a great impact on the health and wellbeing of populations who are routinely underserved.”

Congratulations, Class of 2016!