Health sciences students told to give back to community, embrace collaboration

Media Credit: Jack Fonseca | Hatchet Photographer

Jeffrey Akman, the dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, welcomed graduates to the school's commencement ceremony Saturday.

Updated: May 20, 2018 at 9:42 p.m.

About 300 graduates were told to commit their lives to helping others as they received diplomas from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Saturday.

Speakers reminded graduates to work together to find success in the ever-changing field of health care.

Here are some highlights from the ceremony:

1. Living in a post-truth world

In his address, Jeffrey Akman, the dean of the medical school, said it is important that graduates keep their integrity while practicing science in a “post-truth world” in which objective facts have become less influential.

“There are powerful forces along the way that will encroach upon your integrity,” he said. “Resist these forces and always remember that living your lives and practicing your art and uprightness and honor will always be how you measure success in your lives.”

Akman told graduates to keep their dedication, commitment and passion for helping others, which he said form the foundation of the health profession.

2. Contributing to the community

Chase Dannell, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in clinical health sciences and was given the outstanding undergraduate student award, told graduates as they find success in their careers, they should continue to focus on helping people and contributing to their community.

“We’re going to move on and find success in our respective fields and we’re going to contribute a lot of positive things to our communities, and you have to continually ask yourself, ‘how can I extend my contributions to the most people in a meaningful way?’” Dannell said.

Dannell encouraged students to base their success on how much they can help others, not the dollars on their paychecks. Money shouldn’t be your “sole metric of success,” he said.

3. Embracing collaboration

Reamer Bushardt, the senior associate dean for health sciences, concluded the ceremony with a charge to the graduates emphasizing the importance of working together to find solutions in the health field.

“You’ll never possess all the knowledge that you need, so my advice is, learn to harness it and be mindful of what you don’t know,” Bushardt said.

He said if graduates can “embrace collaboration” and solve problems together, they’ll spark change and find solutions they couldn’t on their own.

“Your teams and the patients and families and communities you serve will be better because of it,” he said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at:

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.