Dr. Dianna Abney, Dean Jane E. Clark, and SPH graduate Lourdes Celius

January 3, 2017

The School of Public Health held its Fall 2016 commencement ceremony for 292 graduating students on December 21, 2016 in the UMD Armory building. Dean Jane Clark hosted graduates, along with their family, friends and other guests for a reception at Ritchie Coliseum after the ceremony. Congratulations public health Terps!

The keynote speaker was Dr. Dianna Abney, a pediatrician by training, and the current Health Officer for Charles County, Maryland. Dr. Abney earned her medical degree at Tulane University and did her residency in pediatrics at Howard University Hospital and the District of Columbia General Hospital. She has been a practicing pediatrician since 1992, and was recognized as Pediatrician of the Year by the Montgomery-Prince Georges Pediatric Society in 2010 and as Physician of the Year by the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants in 2009. She serves on the School of Public Health's Community Advisory Council and was appointed as a School of Public Health Professor of the Practice this year.

The student speaker was Lourdes Celius, a bachelor of science graduate from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Ms. Celius was born in Columbia, Maryland in a Haitian-American household, and is a first-generation college graduate who strives to make a positive impact in her community. She chose the University of Maryland because of its incredible public health program and the opportunities available in the surrounding area.

In recognition of her academic achievements at the School of Public Health, she was awarded the Jerry P. Wrenn scholarship award. Ms. Celius has been involved in a number of activities during her undergraduate career. She has served as a peer leader, working with faculty/staff and students at the Center for Academic Success and Achievement in the School of Public Health. She is also involved with Schools for Smiles, where she interacts with and teaches young children proper dental health practices. Ms. Celius is an active member of Charles R. Drew Pre-Health Society and Delta Epsilon Mu Pre-Health Fraternity. She also participated in a study abroad program in Thailand, for which she was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Ms. Celius works at the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation in the Sports, Health and Wellness Division, where she assists with program planning and outreach efforts to improve the quality of life of Prince George’s County residents.

Related Links

SPH Fall 2016 Commencement Program

Photo Album: