School of Medicine & Health Sciences recognizes nearly 230 graduating health sciences students
In addition to the 75 new medical doctors graduating from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) this month, the School is recognizing nearly 230 students from its health sciences programs who are graduating on Saturday, May 13, 2023.
“I have learned so much about myself professionally as well as personally during my years at UND,” beamed Lakeville, Minn., native Dominique Menard, who is taking home an occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) degree this weekend. “I am so excited about being able to make an impact on the next generation of children and youth. I’m confident that the UND OT Department has prepared me for what’s to come.”
Menard, who is set to begin a position as a pediatric occupational therapist in August, is one of 48 Department of Occupational Therapy students graduating on May 13.
Occupational therapy notwithstanding, health sciences departments represented at UND’s Spring Commencement include not only one doctoral graduate of the new Department of Indigenous Health, but students from programs in medical laboratory science (77), physical therapy (49), physician assistant studies (33), public health (15), and athletic training (5).
Some programs will graduate students this summer as well. Both the SMHS public health program and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, for example, will see four August graduates from their respective programs, while the Department of Physical Therapy will see one student take a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree this summer.
“It’s really been an incredible experience,” added Eagle Butte, S.D., native Courtney Fischer-Claussen, who is part of the first graduating cohort of UND’s world-first doctoral program in Indigenous health. “The process of unlearning certain practices and focusing on Indigenous health, plus respectfully conducting research with Indigenous people and creating health programs, will be very impactful in Indigenous communities.”
Despite the pandemic presenting a variety of challenges, the vast majority of students remained on track and are excited to be starting – or continuing – careers in their health professions.
“I’m definitely excited for this next step, and I definitely believe the medical laboratory science program and its faculty have made me well-prepared not just for the field but for my professional career in general,” added Bowman, N.D., native Brady Roemmich, who is graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree in medical laboratory science and continuing his role at the Altru Health System hospital laboratory in Grand Forks, N.D. “We’re very fortunate to have such a great program here at UND.”
Over the past 50 years, the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences has graduated nearly 10,000 professionals working in the health sciences in North Dakota and around the country.
“We want to extend congratulations to all of the graduates of our many health sciences programs,” added David Relling, P.T., Ph.D., associate dean for health sciences at the School. “They have completed rigorous educational programs during a time of adversity and healthcare transformation. Most of all, we want to recognize the substantial positive impact that health sciences graduates will have on the thousands of patients they will work with throughout their careers.”