The UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) is celebrating the 57 new graduates who received their degrees this weekend.
DEOHS Chair Michael Yost presided over a Friday ceremony at Foege Auditorium honoring the students, who earned Bachelor of Science, Master of Public Health, Master of Science and PhD degrees.
Student speaker Claire Pendergrast, MPH in Environmental & Occupational Health, urged her fellow students to listen and learn from others, especially to those who are often left out of the decision-making process. "I believe the first step of all public health work . . . is to listen," she said.
Undergraduate speaker Kate Tokareva, BS in Environmental Health, highlighted the department's focus on equity, diversity, justice and inclusion as "the core of everything we have learned."
"Whether through opening one-of-a-kind clinics that serve both homeless individuals and their pets, or by improving agricultural worker safety and health, our department is consistently leading by example and advocating for the needs of those who are often voiceless," Tokareva said.
"I urge us to use the privilege of the education we've been given to continue to be advocates for those who are unable to advocate for themselves."