Photo of commencement ceremony
December 21, 2017


Congratulations, graduates!

The University of Maryland School of Public Health held its Fall 2017 graduation ceremony at 9 a.m. on December 20 for undergraduate, masters and doctoral students who successfully completed their degree requirements. It was a joyful, standing-room-only event at the UMD Armory. For those who weren't able to be here, or those who want to relive this milestone--

Enjoy our Flickr photo album with highlights of the day.


Watch the commencement as it was livestreamed on YouTube.

View the commencement program.

Dr. Nadine Gracia gave an inspiring speech about her own career path public health as a first-generation Haitian American who was called on to respond to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Student speaker Japji Bindra also gave a moving speech--and the audience got to hear part of it twice! SPH Dean Boris Lushniak brought Ms. Bindra back to the podium for a second reading so that her family, who had been delayed in arriving, could hear her speak.

Keynote Speaker

J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Nadine Gracia A visionary and nationally recognized leader with mission-driven focus and impact, Dr. J. Nadine Gracia served as a senior official in the Obama Administration, appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2011 to 2017. As Director of the Office of Minority Health, Dr. Gracia built and managed a talented and diverse team and oversaw a budget of $57 million dedicated to improving the health of minority populations in the U.S.  She strategically revamped the portfolio of investments; pioneered innovative, multi-sectoral partnerships through efforts such as President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to expand opportunity for all young people; and transformed the Office of Minority Health into a high-performing agency.

An honors graduate of Stanford University, Dr. Gracia received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and holds a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. A first-generation Haitian-American, Dr. Gracia is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a National President Emeritus of the Student National Medical Association and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the National Medical Association.

Student Speaker 

Japji Bindra
Bachelor of Science graduate, Community Health

Japji Bindra Japji Bindra is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health. She is fascinated by the complexity of the human body and is passionate about helping others through preventive and hands-on patient care. During her years at the University of Maryland, Japji worked as a teaching assistant for Anatomy & Physiology II and Human Sexuality, while engaging with her campus community by being a Sexual Education and Reproductive Health (SHARE) peer educator through the University Health Center.

She has also held leadership positions in the UMD Sikh Student Association and has been an active member of University of Maryland’s TerraPind Bhangra Dance Team. She seeks to further develop her interest in reproductive health and specialize in the area as she pursues her graduate degree. Japji will be attending the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore in the spring, pursuing the Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) graduate program.