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UIC SPH Celebrates its 39th Annual Commencement

UIC SPH Celebrates its 39th Annual Commencement

UIC SPH Graduates with tassels

"Go out and shake up the world!"  This was the message delivered by Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here and producer of “The Interrupters,” at the 39th UIC SPH commencement.  Kotlowitz praised the graduates for embarking on the noble path of public health and challenged them to “make the rest of society see what you see. "  Kotlowitz is a storyteller and believes that "stories are how we make sense of the world.  Stories guide us," Kotlowitz believes, by helping to inform policies and create laws, ensure that we not forget the past, and inform us about the future.  

Having spent two years with SPH to document the work of its CeaseFire program, Kotlowitz said that he drew great strength from the personal stories of three violence interrupters whom he got to know well: Ameena, Cobe and Eddie.  "They taught me about humility, forgiveness and empathy," Kotlowitz said.  "They were persistent in telling their stories so we could see where they failed and could gain strength from where they triumphed!"  As new public health professionals, "it is your obligation to tell the stories of those whose story is lost."

During the ceremony, Dean Paul Brandt-Rauf recognized two distinguished and prominent faculty members for their service to UIC SPH.  Dr. Louis Rowitz, who is retiring from UIC SPH after four decades, was honored with tokens of appreciation.  Dr. Paul S. Levy, who passed away in March, was remembered for his role as a founding faculty member at UIC SPH and serving as the first director of the epidemiology and biostatistics division.

The Office of Student Affairs awarded the Alan W. Donaldson Endowment award to MPH graduate Wesley Epplin for his strong commitment to social justice and the Golden Apple Teaching Award to Dr. Jennifer Hebert-Beirne.

Congratulations Class of 2012!

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