SMHS graduates share stories of perseverance at graduation ceremony

Vice President for Health Affairs John Williams urged graduates in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to strive to their fullest potential Saturday afternoon.

Williams advised graduates to do their best, “not the best on the planet, but the best that you can.”

Williams’ address was followed by graduates and professors who shared their stories on how they persevered and earned their degrees, and offered advice to the rest of the graduates on how to succeed in the future.

Kate Mirzozoda, who received the Outstanding Undergraduate Award, told of her struggle to get to GW.

Mirzozoda, who moved to the US five years ago, faced many who believed she would never go to college. She made a point to thank those individuals, because they enabled her to prove them wrong.

She urged her class to never stop dreaming.

“Dream big and above all believe in yourself. There isn’t anything in the world that you’re not capable of,” Mirzozoda said.

Kerstin Hildebrandt, who received her master’s, also spoke at the event. As a mother and adult learner from Germany, Hildebrandt spoke kindly of her experiences.

“Wherever we go, we know that GW has prepared us to be leaders,” said Hildebrandt.

Professor Joseph Bocchino charged the new graduates to remain passionate throughout their lives. He emphasized the importance of building upon the foundation that their degree provides them.

“It is your responsibility to keep your eyes open wide to the possibilities,” said Bocchino.

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