The University of Maryland will be holding its campuswide Spring 2021 Commencement in person on Friday, May 21, 2021. In order to accommodate all graduates while practicing safe physical distancing, the ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. The School of Public Health's designated ceremony time is at 4 p.m.
The School of Public Health virtual ceremony will premiere on Thursday, May 20 at 1 p.m. It will be available via the UMD Commencement website or you may view it below.
The keynote speaker is Maryland Delegate Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk. Del. Peña-Melnyk has represented Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties as state delegate for fourteen years. She is a strong advocate for her constituents and has led the way on many public health issues for our state. She has been a great friend and supporter of our School of Public Health and her passion for public service is an inspiration.
Delegate Peña-Melnyk has represented Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties as state delegate for fourteen years. She is a strong advocate for her constituents and has led the way on many public health issues for our state. I consider her a great friend of our School of Public Health and her passion for public service is an inspiration to me and I know will be to our graduates.
As a child, Joseline emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. with her single mother and sister. Her mom worked in New York’s garment industry and often struggled to make ends meet. Like many immigrants, Joseline overcame tough circumstances, succeeded in school and learned English.
Like many of us in public health, Del. Pena-Melnyk feels an obligation to fight for people on society’s margins – the ones who are often overlooked. She is committed to making Maryland stronger, fairer, and more inclusive.
Delegate Peña-Melnyk is a member of the House Health and Government Operations Committee and its Government Operations and Public Health & Long-Term Care subcommittees. She is also a member of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and the Women Legislators of Maryland. She was appointed to the Joint Oversight Committee on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the Joint Committee on Behavioral Health and Opioid Use Disorders, the Public Safety and Policing Work Group, the Regional Revitalization Work Group, and Joint Covid-19 Response Legislative Work Group. She is a founding member of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus and served as its first Chairperson.
During her tenure, Delegate Peña-Melnyk has sponsored legislation in support of LGBTQ rights, increasing the minimum wage, and most recently a bill that mandates that Maryland’s healthcare workers participate in implicit bias training.
She is tenacious and doesn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeves, do the heavy lifting, or to take a controversial stand.
Delegate Peña-Melnyk's committee in the House deals with public health and she has made great strides to improve the healthcare system by making it more efficient and in line with the needs of everyday Marylanders. Her legislation to digitize medical records is improving health care delivery and lowering costs. She has also moved many bills into law dealing with women’s and children’s health, including bills on family planning, mammograms, childhood obesity and suicide prevention.
She also leads on matters of policing and criminal justice, and played a role in the passage of the Maryland Police Accountablity Act this year. Finally, Joseline is a strong advocate for a people’s democracy and supports public campaign financing to limit the corrosive effects of large contributions and constant fundraising on our democracy.
The ceremony also features remarks by Dean Boris Lushniak, Isabella Gordon ’21 and Fabian Doñate MHA ’20, along with photos of graduates and a scroll of all graduates’ names.
- Department of Behavioral and Community Health
- Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Department of Family Science
- Department of Health Policy and Management
- Department of Kinesiology
- Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
- Public Health Science