– Good evening.

On behalf of the HudsonCollege of Public Health, welcome, and thank you for joining us.

It is now my pleasure to present this year's OutstandingSenior Leadership Award to Tabitha Foraker.

Tabitha has been anoutstanding student leader, on our campus and in our community.

She has a passion for servingvulnerable populations and the uninsured which was shown during her internship with World Neighbors of Oklahoma and in her research.

Additionally, she hasserved as the president of the College of PublicHealth Student Association and as the studentambassador from Oklahoma to the Association of Schoolsand Programs of Public Health.

Tabitha's commitment to helping the underserved andvulnerable in our society has guided her to pursue a career in non-profit internationalhealth care program.

Tabitha, congratulations and thank you for all youhave done for our college, the university, and your fellowstudents in our community.

We are proud of you.

– Congratulations fellow graduates, and welcome to family, friends, and all of our virtual viewers out there.

It's a wonderful dayto celebrate from home in our pajamas, isn't it? For many of us, this is theend of a formal education, but for others, it's just a small step on a much larger journey to come.

For all of us, it's a day thatmarks the end of a journey at the College of Public Health and the beginning of ajourney in our careers.

We are researchers, dataproviders, public protectors, informers, and so much more.

Now more than ever, adegree in public health is exponentially valuable.

There is no doubt in my mind that this degree will be apowerful tool in your toolbox as you step out into the world, especially in its current state.

Each of our diplomas today represents such a vastarray of experiences.

For some, your diplomarepresents achievements in research or presenting, where others representsfighting for social justice in our most valuable populations here at home, and abroad.

I want to give a big thank you to all the staff andfaculty within the college for your dedication inthe classroom and outside, your personal investment in our students, and even your hard work on making this virtualconvocation ceremony possible.

Again, congratulationsto my fellow students.

We did it.

– I would like to thank countycommissioner Carrie Blumert a distinguished alum of theHudson College of Public Health for taking the time torecognize our new graduates and celebrate their achievements.

Prior to being elected to public office as an Oklahoma countycommissioner for District 1 she worked for the OklahomaCity County Health Department managing healthcare partnerships and community-based prevention programs.

Commissioner Blumert hasbeen a tireless advocate for public health, championing issues frombehavioral pediatrics to criminal justice reform.

Thank you Commissioner Blumertfor your public service and for your continuingsupport of public health in Oklahoma.

– Congratulations, Collegeof Public Health graduates.

I am Carrie Blumert, County Commissioner.

I represent District 1here in Oklahoma County and I actually sat where you sit today eight years ago.

Yes, I received myMaster's of Public Heatlh from the OU College of Public Health and I'm here today towish you a congratulations and best of luck.

When I received my MPH, I had no idea where it would take me I had no idea it would take me to becoming an elected official.

I, when I graduated, I workedfor various non-profits I worked for the OklahomaCity County Health Department I worked in behavioral health and I received lots ofdifferent types of experience in all of those fields and now I get to take myexperience and expertise in public health to county government and a lot of my colleagues if not all of my colleagues don't have the background in public health that I have and I get to bring areally unique perspective to all of the work that we do here from reforming our county jail to serving peopleexperiencing homelessness to working on new subdivision regulations out in rural parts of the county.

I get to use my publichealth degree and experience in every aspect of what I do here.

So in this unprecedented time of COVID-19 the degree you are receiving is so unique and special and needed.

You are going to be an incredible asset to your community.

We need researchers, we need educators we need policy makers, we need advocates and you can use your public health degree to do all of those things.

So best of luck go out there and make a difference remember, especiallyright now, that community and doing this together is so important.

Do not leave anyone out, and you will do great.

Congratulations again, best of luck and go out and change the world.

– On behalf of the faculty of the Hudson College of Public Health we wish you a heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.

We are very proud of your accomplishments and we know that the future looks bright with your leadership in public health.

Congratulations again and go forward with yourcontinuing commitment to improving the health of your community.

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