Sunday, June 23, 2024

Geisel Celebrates Health Sciences Education Class of 2024

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Photo by Eli Burakian D’00

On the pleasant early-summer afternoon of June 7, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth celebrated the academic accomplishments of 84 of its Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science (MS) graduates at the 2024 Health Sciences Education Class Day.

The annual Class Day ceremony, at which students were hooded and awarded their diplomas, was held on Dartmouth’s Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center lawn. The milestone event gave the graduates, along with family and friends, an opportunity to reflect on their educational journeys and the special relationships they have formed as members of the Dartmouth community.

Geisel Associate Dean for Health Sciences Craig Westling, DrPH, MPH ’09, MS, welcomed everyone to the ceremony, which featured keynote speaker Irene Dankwa-Mullan, MED ’97, MPH, and student speakers Max Portnoy, MPH ’24  and Shontay Delalue, MPH ’24, PhD.

“To our graduates, I say the world needs you now more than ever,” said Westling. “We need you to apply what you’ve learned about framing difficult challenges, choosing appropriate research methods, interpreting results with a dose of healthy skepticism, and communicating ideas in a way that leads to real change.”

Dunkwa-Mullan, who among her various leadership roles serves as chief health officer at Marti Health as well as a member of Geisel’s Board of Advisors, shared her family’s story, describing how the resilience, determination, and social responsibility of her ancestors has profoundly shaped her life and the lives of generations of Black Africans in Ghana, West Africa.

“As you move forward, carry with you the wisdom and strength of those who came before you,” Dunkwa-Mullan told the students. “Honor their legacy by striving for greatness and making a difference in the world. Your education has equipped you to elevate neglected voices, to shift paradigms, and to think globally—it is not merely a pathway to opportunity, it’s a powerful catalyst for societal transformation.”

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Photos by Eli Burakian D’00

Portnoy, the student speaker for Geisel’s Residential MPH/MS program, urged his classmates to keep the same energy and passion that brought them to Dartmouth as they move forward.

“As future public health leaders, we know that there’s no better thing to give to someone else than the opportunity to live a healthy life,” said Portnoy. “We will now turn to a new chapter of our lives, and the beautiful thing about public health is that the next chapter differs for all of us.”

Delalue, the student speaker for Geisel’s Hybrid MPH program who also serves as Dartmouth’s Senior Vice President and Senior Diversity Officer, talked about the important role the Native American community played in the founding of Dartmouth, and the school’s recommitted efforts to educate Native youth over the years.

“I share this history because it helps to situate our future,” she said. “Earning an Ivy League degree, a Dartmouth degree, is a privilege that many of us would not have had the opportunity to participate in had it not been for the vision and fortitude of people who chose to be on the right side of history.

“With public health degrees, we have the opportunity to change lives and communities and contribute in our own way to being on the right side of history,” said Delalue.

The Class Day ceremony also recognized student accomplishments, which included:

Henry Masters Awards

Residential: Kathryn Giordano

Hybrid: Amy Bianco

Karen Ashley Leadership Awards

Residential: Manasvini Ranganathan

Hybrid: Jay Campisi

Teaching Excellence Awards 

Residential: Daniel Lucey, MD, MPH

Hybrid: Robin Larson, MD, MPH

Social Justice Awards

Residential: Lauren Baltrus, Rosemina Bazeghi, Filipa Carvalho, Zachary Christensen, Sydney Cochrane, Jasmine Denny, Paityn Edwards, Kathryn Giordano, Ella Harper-Schiehl, Shea Herlihy, Isabella Kong, Nawal Maklay, Ivan Marrufo, Mei Maxwell, Paula Medina Diaz, Yakout Mezgueldi, Karim Mina, Erin Morris, Ananya Pani, Max Portnoy, Nilima Prasad, Mona Pudasaini, Tajrean Rahman, Alondra Ramos, Manasvini Ranganathan, Rhea Sachdeva, Abhishek Saxena, Laila Andaloussi Serraj, Mina Shahinfar, Samad Siddiqui, Trisha Singh, Aman Sinha, Katie Spaude, Jenna Spero, Sharanya Subramaniam, Noel Tufts, Anji Zhu

Hybrid: Matthew Anton, Jasiah Ballenger, Amy Bianco, Katherine Bjerregaard, Jay Campisi, Shontay Delalue, Victoria Garcia, Chelsea Hoffman, Eryne Jenkins, Katelynn Johnson, Carina Liebeknecht, Adrienne Lodise, Emily Meseck, Franziska Mbonglou, Inna Podgornaya, Nicole Rapfogel, Sara Rodriguez, Sophia Shaw, Marissa Singer Rosenberg, Sophia Chang Stauffer, Danielle Spragan, Peter Tatum, Raymond Teer, Nora Vedder, Jonathan Weatherly

John E. Wennberg Award

Aravind Ponukumati, MD

Independent Internship Awards (and their projects)

Jasmine Denny – Strategy Assessments for Rare Disease Therapeutics and Innovative Technologies Through Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Alchemy Health

Kathryn Giordano – Comparative Community Engagement Studios, a Quality Improvement Initiative to Enhance a Cognitive Self-Management Program for People with Epilepsy with the Hopscotch Research Team at Dartmouth

Max Portnoy – A Historic Perspective on the Decline of Vaccine Delivery in Primary Care in the U.S. with the Center for Professionalism and Value

Manasvini Ranganathan – A hospital Fair Share Project Assessing State-Level Community Benefit Policies for Non-Profits with the Lown Institute

Integrative Learning Experience Awards

Kathryn Giordano, Paula Medina, Aravind Ponukumati, Alondra Ramose, Mina Shahinfar, Trisha Singh

Practicum Awards (and their projects)

Victoria Garcia – Advancing Health Equity in Digital Health Adoption, Developing an Artificial Intelligence Course for Clinical and Public Health Programs

Peter Guan – Office Ergonomic Program in Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders=

Inna Podgornaya – A Framework to Improve Provider Digital Health Literacy Around Health Equity Data

Sara Rodriguez – Promoting Best Practices for Intersex Data Collection in U.S. Health Care

Eri Shindo – Enhancing Care for Lactation After a Second Trimester Abortion or Fetal Loss, a Qualitative Stud

Marissa Singer Rosenberg – A Rapid Realist Review and Descriptive Evaluation of Current Medical School Curricula for the Implementation of a Critically Conscious Education

Delta Omega Inductions

Residential: Jasmine Denny, Kevin Matuszewski, Yakout Mezgueldi, Alondra Ramos, Aman Sinha, Katie Spaude

Hybrid: HeeEun Kang, Craig Klinger, Franziska Mbonglou, Inna Podgornaya, Nicole Rapfogel, Sara Rodriguez, Eri Shindo, Rachel Spallone

Student Speakers

Residential: Max Portnoy

Hybrid: Shonty Delalue, PhD

Class Marshalls

Residential: Kathryn Giordano

Hybrid: Jonathan Weatherly

You can watch video of the event below.

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