Milken Institute School of Public Health
2020 Virtual School Celebration
Thursday May 14 at 5:00PM
2020 Graduates, with their families and friends, can celebrate their commencement here via livestream. You are also invited to attend the May 2021 University-wide Bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall.
Dean Lynn R. Goldman, Milken Institute School of Public Health
To the 2020 Graduates of the Milken Institute School of Public Health:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
This famous opening to A Tale of Two Cities, although written in the 1800s, seems to sum up perfectly this unprecedented time we are living in. I don’t think any one of us could have imagined this brave new world of social distancing, quarantining, closed restaurants, shops, bars, malls, churches, gyms... and yes, universities. An although there is so much cause for worry and concern... I also believe that in this unpredictable environment there is also cause for hope. I am very proud at how quickly our GW leadership responded to this virus and outlined steps and protocols for keeping our students, staff and faculty safe. No doubt there have been bumps along the way but overall the goal of keeping our community healthy is paramount.
On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, I congratulate you for choosing to pursue a career in a field where you can truly make a difference in the health and well-being of people the world over, especially underserved populations.
As graduates of this school you have worked hard to achieve your educational goals. For many of you that meant making many sacrifices, juggling careers and families and foregoing other comforts in order to get your degree. You have showed determination, perseverance and strength, all qualities that will serve you well as you pursue a career in public health. There are many paths that you will walk after today. Some of you may dedicate your lives to HIV and AIDS research, obesity or clean water initiatives. For others, the call of global health may beckon. Still others may spend the rest of your lives pursuing careers in environmental health, tobacco control or health policy issues. Whatever you choose, the key is to never stop forging ahead to make the world a healthier and safer place. After all, we are world citizens and the health of the planet depends on vigilant and inspired stewardship.
The friends and colleagues you have made while here will be yours forever. I ask that you keep in touch with our school. Let us know about the exciting things that you are doing and how we can help. Stop by when you are in D.C. when it is safe to do so! Staying connected is so important to building a robust and successful career. I am so very proud of each and every one of you, and I know the field of public health will be forever enriched because you are in it.
We may not know what the future will bring, but as public health professionals we stand together in health and safety always.
All my very best,
Our Keynote Speaker
Professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology
and Immunology in the Division of Cancer
Medicine at The University of Texas MD
Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Sharma is a nationally and internationally renowned physician scientist whose research work is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that facilitate tumor rejection, with subsequent clinical benefit, or elicit resistance to immune checkpoint therapy. She is a trained medical oncologist and immunologist and the T.C. and Jeanette D. Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology. She designed and conducted the first pre- surgical trial, also known as a window-of-opportunity trial, with immune checkpoint therapy (anti-CTLA-4) in 2004, which allowed her to study the impact of immune checkpoint therapy on human tumors, with subsequent identification of the ICOS/ICOSL pathway as a novel target for cancer immunotherapy strategies.
Dr. Sharma continues to design novel pre-surgical trials to evaluate human immune responses to different immunotherapies and she is the Principal Investigator for multiple immunotherapy clinical trials that focus on translational laboratory studies. Her studies enable development of new immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. She is a Professor in the departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, and the Scientific Director for the Immunotherapy Platform at M.D Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the Co-Director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and received the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016 and the Coley Award for Distinguished Research for Tumor Immunology in 2018.
Hail Alma Mater
To thy spirit guiding,
Knowledge thy closest friend
In its strength abiding,
Pledge we fidelity
Ne'er its place resigning,
Hail thee George Washington!
The class of 2020 is invited to join GW at the bicentennial Commencement on the National Mall in May 2021. Specific details will be shared when they are available.