Dear colleagues, students and friends,

We held our SPH commencement a few weeks ago and celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of our 675 students who graduated this spring. And what a celebration it was! I always enjoy the opportunity to personally connect with so many students and families on this joyous occasion and to send off our new alumni as they begin their public health career path.

I thank Dr. Leana Wen, commencement keynote speaker, Aparna Pooleri, student speaker, and Dr. Alyssa Todaro-Brooks, alumni speaker, for their energizing and inspirational words to graduating students. Congratulations to all our 2019 graduates!

LGBTQ Pride As we celebrate Pride Month during June, I am pleased to share some news related to our school’s commitment to LGBTQ health. Through the leadership of Professor Brad Boekeloo, our Prevention Research Center will receive new funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch an initiative focused on mental health among LGBTQ+ communities. With diverse expertise throughout our school and across UMD, the center will conduct research and promote evidence-based training for mental health care providers in culturally sensitive and inclusive practices for LGBTQ+ people. In collaboration with LGBTQ+ partner organizations, the PRC aims to eliminate health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ persons and improve access to high-quality mental health care. We can also be proud that UMD was once again named one of the top colleges for LGBTQ+ students by Campus Pride!

Plans are underway for an official launch of the new PRC on October 11 - National Coming Out Day. Stay tuned for details!

While our campus operates on a different rhythm over the summer, there’s still plenty of activity at the School of Public Health, including the preparations for the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival that we are hosting at the UMD Xfinity Center on September 13 and 14 in partnership with the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Volunteers and donations are welcomed! Your contribution will support the effort to provide free dental services to adult patients in need, as well as free health screenings and other preventive services to this underserved population.

The SPH e-newsletter will take a hiatus during July and August and return in September with the start of the fall semester. Stay connected with us by following the SPH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and engaging with our SPH extended community of alumni and friends on LinkedIn.

I hope you enjoy a happy and healthy summer!

Boris D. Lushniak. MD, MPH
Dean and Professor
University of Maryland, School of Public Health