For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement
W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101
Touro University California Holds 2017 Commencement Ceremony
Esteemed institution of higher learning graduates 401 medical and education professionals
(Vallejo, CA – May 25, 2017) –Touro University California (TUC), its faculty and staff joined by community members, special guest speakers, students and their families celebrated its annual commencement ceremony on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Established in 1997, Touro University California has been deeply invested in the local community and working to educate future medical, education, and public health professionals in an effort to make a greater impact in the surrounding areas.
Festivities for the 2017 commencement began on Monday morning as students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine crossed the stage while later in the day the College of Education and Health Sciences bestowed honors amongst its students. On Tuesday morning, the College of Pharmacy held its commencement ceremony to celebrate student achievements.
“Our students have achieved great success in their time at the university under the guidance of our faculty and staff,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of Touro University Western Division. “Today is truly a celebration of their hard work and dedication to their education and goals. At Touro, we are extremely committed to our local communities receiving the very best healthcare providers and educators.”
Guests attending the College of Osteopathic Medicine Ceremony on Monday morning were treated to remarks from Dr. Ronald Blanck, Lieutenant General U.S. Army, Retired. Dr. Blanck shared his expertise in military-focused issues, including healthcare policies and programs, as well as health care strategy development and executive planning and execution. Dr. Blanck began his military career in 1968 as a medical officer and battalion surgeon in Vietnam and retired 32 years later as a Lieutenant General, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command. During his distinguished military career, Dr. Blanck also served as commander of Walter Reed Medical Center North Atlantic Region Medical Command and director of professional services and chief of Medical Corps Affairs.
During the College of Pharmacy Ceremony on Tuesday morning, attendees were treated to guest speaker Dr. Jessica Nunez de Ybarra who serves as the Chronic Disease Control Branch Chief in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In 2014, she and a multi-disciplinary team authored the California Wellness Plan, the state chronic disease prevention and health promotion plan, to support and expand upon the priorities of the “Let’s Get Healthy California” Task Force by creating a detailed road map for CDPH and its partners to promote health, eliminate preventable chronic disease and promote health equity. “What an honor it is to have such impactful speakers from the community participate in our commencement ceremony,” said Marilyn Hopkins, PhD, Provost and Chief Operating Officer of Touro University California. “We strive to impact our graduates and encourage them to go into the community and make positive changes just as our guest speakers have done over the years. These ceremonies culminate many years of learning and commitment.”
This year also marks the final commencement for TUC’s Provost and COO, Dr. Marilyn Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins was conferred with emeritus status by the university for her stalwart leadership and commitment to the advancement of Touro students. Dr. Hopkins will retire with more than 39 years administrative and teaching experience in higher education.
“During her seven and a half years at Touro University California, she has changed the landscape of the campus by creating a vision centered on students and their learning experience at this great University,” remarked Senior Provost Berkley.
Student speakers included Robin Martin of the College of Osteopathic Medicine; Lisa Gottfried of the Graduate School of Education; Madelyn Garcia of the Public Health Program; Jimmy Bui of the Joint Physician Assistant/Public Health Program; Jason Hebard of the School of Nursing; and Franklin Gough of the College of Pharmacy.
About the Touro College and University System:
Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit www.tu.edu or call 707-638-5200.
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