Touro College’s School of Health Sciences awarded degrees to 355 graduates at commencement ceremonies held at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, the largest campus of Long Island University, in Brookville, New York.
Associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees were awarded to students completing programs in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, physician assistant studies, speech-language pathology, biology, and psychology located at the school’s sites in Bay Shore, Mineola, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
The commencement address was delivered by Karen Jacobs, Ed.D., OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA, a clinical professor of occupational therapy and program director of the distance education post-professional occupational therapy programs at Boston University.
Presiding over the conferral of degrees were Dr. Louis Primavera, dean of the School of Health Sciences; Rabbi Moshe Krupka, executive vice president of the Touro College and University System; Dr. Nadja Graff, interim vice president of the Touro College Division of Graduate Studies and associate dean of the School of Health Sciences; and Dr. Gerald Barry, associate dean at the School of Health Sciences.
“The graduation was a wonderful event, with faculty, administrators, students, and families celebrating the accomplishments of the year and wishing the graduates great success,” Dean Primavera said, singling out Dr. Barry, who is retiring, for his special contributions and dedication to the school. “It was a great day for everyone.”
Rabbi Krupka received an award of Honorary Distinguished Professor for his dedication to the School and the Touro College and University System.
In her keynote address, Dr. Jacobs, a past president and vice president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), used the metaphor of a backpack to share with the graduates the resources they will need for the future. Among the tools they should load in their backpacks, she said, are leadership, creativity, and communication skills—including the ability to communicate in multiple languages, across disciplines, and utilize technological innovations, as well as diplomacy and negotiation skills.
“I hope you will choose to create and to engage in the future by being a pioneer, an explorer, an innovator,” Dr. Jacobs she said. “We must realize that individual backpacks and the items within them will not alone guarantee that we will flourish in the future. However, the increasing numbers of competent backpackers graduating from Touro College School of Health Sciences today will do so.”
The most outstanding student in each of the school’s full-time, professional degree granting programs received a special award, the Maimonides award, for exemplifying the highest professional ideals of a health sciences practitioner.
The Maimonides award winners announced at commencement were: Ariella Sarf of Lawrence, N.Y. (occupational therapy/Bay Shore); Leora Hirsch of Bala Cynwyd, Pa. (occupational therapy/Manhattan); Christine Heaney of Brooklyn, N.Y. (occupational therapy assistant/Manhattan); Jessica Russell of Laurel, Md. (physical therapy/Bay Shore); Janice Keung of Potomac, Md. (physical therapy/Manhattan); David Conway of Center Moriches, N.Y. (physician assistant/Bay Shore); Reny Daniel of Congers, N.Y. (physician assistant/Manhattan); Ethan Hersko of Brooklyn, N.Y. (physician assistant/Winthrop University Hospital); Perel Morgulis of Brooklyn, N.Y. (speech and language pathology).
Established in 1972, the School of Health Sciences provides programs in a broad range of allied health professions and the medical sciences. The school has grown considerably since its inception, and is committed to making professional education accessible to students of all backgrounds. Programs are offered in multiple locations and in innovative formats. Although based in Bay Shore, Long Island, the School also offers programs at Touro’s main campus in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, in two locations in Brooklyn, and at an extension center at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, Long Island. v