School of Health Professions

School of Health Professions Hosts Class of 2023 Commencement Ceremony

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Photo of the 2023 Commencement Ceremony. All Graduates are pictured.
Nurse anesthetist, orthotics and prosthetics and physician assistant students graduated from the School of Health Professions on Dec. 2, 2023 on Rice University's campus.

Dec. 4, 2023 - Baylor College of Medicine’s School of Health Professions hosted its commencement ceremony for the class of 2023 Saturday at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall. Eighty-two students from the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nurse Anesthesia Program, Orthotics and Prosthetics Program and Physician Assistant Program walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nurse Anesthesia Program graduated 27 students. Twenty-three students graduated from the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program. The Physician Assistant Program graduated 32 students.

Graduates Andrea Albin, Theresa Dinh, Nicole Kelly, Raymond Martin, Jordan Wheeler and Lauren White received recognition, in addition to earning their diplomas, for completing Baylor College of Medicine’s Pathways in medical ethics. Pathways comprises programs that allow students at the college to explore certain interests and tailor their education to their specific career goals. The Medical Ethics Pathway provides students with in-depth knowledge on bioethics and its clinical applications. Students who enroll in the program must complete a scholarly project. Those who finish the program receive a certificate in biomedical ethics.

A graduate from each program earned an award for representing their profession well. Nurse anesthetist student Laura Parisi received the Agatha Hodgins CRNA Memorial Award for achieving the highest scholastic rank among her class. The Orthotics and Prosthetics Program awarded Erin Casey the Lucille Becker Clinical Achievement Award for demonstrating excellence, growth, innovation and commitment during the clinical portion of the program. Physician Assistant graduate Logan Buffett earned the Henry D. McIntosh Award. The Physician Assistant Program gives the award to a graduate who, in the opinion of classmates and faculty, achieved the highest degree of academic excellence and service and best exemplifies the concept of the profession.

Dr. James R. Walker, an associate professor for the Department of Anesthesiology and the School of Health Professions at Baylor College of Medicine, delivered the commencement address. Walker is the former program director for Baylor College of Medicine’s Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nurse Anesthesia Program. He is also the former president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

During his address, Walker encouraged graduates to reflect on Baylor College of Medicine’s values throughout the next chapter of their professional careers.

“Graduates, as you embark on the next chapter of your professions, it’s crucial to reflect on the values that guided you at Baylor College of Medicine: respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork and excellence,” Walker said. “These values are not just words. They are the pillars that will uphold the foundations of your professions. Each value is a compass directing you on the path of compassionate care and unwavering dedication to those you serve. In times of chaos, it’s essential to anchor yourself in the values that brought you here today.”

Watch the full commencement ceremony.