May 26, 2015

2014-15 Graduating Class Largest Yet for COPH

2014-15 Honor Graduates at Convocation

2014-15 Honor Graduates

The UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health on May 16 honored the largest graduating class in its history – 60 students in all, with 43 spring semester graduates joining the 17 summer and fall semester graduates of the 2014-15 academic year.

This year also marked a break with COPH tradition necessitated by the larger cohorts of graduates in recent years: The Convocation and Awards Ceremony was moved from Bruce Commons at the College to the Double Tree Hotel in Little Rock, to make more room for family and friends who wished to share the special time with their new graduates.

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and COPH Founding Dean Jim Raczynski, Ph.D., reminded the graduates of their importance as public health professionals and their potential impact on the health of Arkansans.

“The educational programs of the College are the most important way we are to realize our mission – by training the public health workforce so that they have the skills they need rather than having to learn them on the job,” Dr. Raczynski said. “You, as the new graduates today, are joining that academically prepared workforce.”

Dr. Rahn exhorted them to them use the skills and knowledge they have gained to impact chronic disease and the inequities in health status and life expectancy prevalent in Arkansas.

“Be actively engaged to improve the quality of life, to raise all boats on the same tide,” Dr. Rahn told them. “The voice and perspective you bring are incredibly important in changing the future.”

Twice honored at the ceremony was M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., 15th US Surgeon General and Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management at COPH. Dr. Elders received the 2015 Public Health Policy Award and was the 2015 Faculty Inductee into the Delta Omega Honorary Society.

Other Convocation Awardees:

Delta Omega Student Inductees: Syed A. Abid, Stewart L. Clark, Amanda N. Lemp, Tam D. Vuong, Brian R. Mader, Jacob A. Robinson

Dr. Jan S. Richter Health Behavior & Health Education Scholarship: Cody Burnett, Karis Strevig

Edward F. and Carol C. Stewart Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Public Health: Clare Brown and Nakita Lovelady

Fay W. Boozman Textbook Scholarship Award: Nakita Lovelady, Stephanie Williams

Fay W. Boozman Public Health Community Service Award: LaKaija Wood

David Bourne, M.D., MPH Public Health Physician Memorial Scholarship: Elena Magrans, Syed A, Abid, Claire Chessir

Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching: Rosalind Penney

Faculty Award for Excellence in Research: Mohammed Orloff

Sonya T. Askew Student Council Award for Outstanding Public Health Student: Clare Brown

Student Council Award for Outstanding Public Health Faculty Member: D. Keith Williams

The 2014-15 Graduating Class:

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Public Health Graduates

Syed A. Abid*

Elizabeth N. Emerson*

Angela Jimenez-Leon


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Environmental and Occupational Health Graduates

Joseph D. Ritchie*


Master of Health Administration Graduates

Stewart L. Clark*

Matthew Hazel

Benjamin M. Jackson

Derek L. Jones

Ashley B. Martin*

Kyle P. McWilliams, Sr.

Aaron M. Pilkington

Paul E. Rebsamen*

Jacob A. Robinson*

Melissa F. Yandell*


Master of Public Health Graduates

Syed A. Abid*

Reid P. Adkins

Jason Arthur*

Alexandria Beebe

Winnie C. Bennett

Ashley N. Broughton-Richison

Clare C. Brown*

Robin M. Brown

Desiree Burroughs-Ray*

Aaron W. Carroll

Cathryn L. Chandler

Jake Coffey

Carla D. Coley*

Felisha D. Crosby

Elena M. Davis*

Abhishek A. Desai

Antedra A. Finger*

Kaitlin Fitzpatrick

Alex M. Handfinger*

Amanda M. Hickman*

Umair Iqbal*

Bianca K. Johnson

Kemmian D. Johnson

Jarred W. Kibbey

Amy Louise M. Lallier*

Amanda N. Lemp*

Bryan R. Mader*

Salima Merchant

Nicole M. Nash*

Samantha L. Norwood

Taylor Quattlebaum*

Courtney Radcliff

Jenna D. Rhodes*

James C. Rineheart

Marie E. Saylors*

Salma Z. Siddiqui

Sha’Roda L. Springfield

Andrea J. Sutton

Kenneth E. Thompson, III

Tam D. Vuong*

Jennifer B. Wessel*


Doctor of Philosophy Graduates

Marisha B. DiCarlo

Teresa J. Hudson


Doctor of Public Health Graduates

Becky A. Adams

Beverly M. Foti*

Jimmy Parks

Nathaniel Willis, II


*Honor graduate