WHITTIER, CA – (Dec. 16, 2022) — Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) hosted its annual commencement ceremony today, conferring health science degrees to 368 graduates of the Class of 2022, who will now become Southern California’s newest healthcare professionals.
The ceremony is available for on-demand viewing via SCU’s YouTube channel.
The class of 2022 represents a variety of SCU academic programs, with the following numbers of graduates graduating from the following programs:
“We’re thrilled to be graduating 368 new healthcare providers, especially at a time in history when whole-person health is the most valuable asset of humankind. SCU is dedicated to increasing the number of healthcare providers in California, the nation, and beyond – by educating more students, as a result of increasing healthcare education programs and access,” said SCU President John Scaringe, DC, EdD. “Our goal is to train future providers how to transcend traditional healthcare barriers and boundaries through an integrated approach to coordinated care for the whole-person.”
With graduating healthcare students stepping into their roles at a most vital time, Dr. Scaringe spoke about the challenges facing today’s graduates, thanked them for their dedication, and encouraged them as they take the next step in their careers as healthcare providers.
“As we’re celebrating commencement near the beach, among the sea of caps and gowns are proud first-generation graduates, eager equity advocates, and dedicated healers. This moment offers a chance to stop and think about the journey you’ve taken together in our mission to transform and redefine health and healthcare education,” said Dr. Scaringe. “Wherever you go, you’ll help to make the world a better place, taking with you the values that make SCU truly special – integrative health, evidence-based practice, health equity, and inclusivity. You’re choosing a life that seeks to better the lives of others by challenging convention and embracing collaboration. And we can’t wait to see what you do.”
The University’s Class of 2022 commencement ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.
Graduating Master of Science in Medical Science (MSMS) student Mia Cotero was named as the SCU Class of 2022 valedictorian.
“It has been quite the journey navigating the pandemic-era remote learning of such vigorous material, but I have come out on the other side more confident and grateful than I could have imagined,” said Mia. “SCU provided me the best opportunity for incredible individual growth, and I couldn’t feel more prepared for my future in healthcare.”
This year’s SCU commencement speaker was Shirley Evers-Manly, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Dr. Evers-Manly is the founder and President of All Healthcare, Imani’s in Oakland, California, as well as Interim Dean for the School of Nursing at Alcorn State University, in Natchez, Mississippi.
Dr. Evers-Manly has more than 35 years of experience developing and implementing clinical, academic, and community-based health promotion and prevention programs; as well as working with vulnerable populations and speaking about diversity locally and abroad. She served as the Principal Investigator for the Aim 2 Care Multiple Chronic Conditions training grant, Bridges to the Doctorate and Song Brown Student Success grants.
She offered advice to the graduates, urging them to dedicate themselves to go beyond personally and professionally, to improve health equity through advocacy and collaboration.
“Now that you’re graduating from school, do not rest on your successes. Develop your passion to Go Beyond, to be more, to know when and how to do the right thing. As thought leaders, we will become the voice for the voiceless, and become advocates and policy makers to help implement programs from the grounds of training teachers; to theoretical foundation of understanding emergency responses,” said Dr. Evers-Manly. “You all made the decision to join the healthcare arena out of a desire and love of the community that thrives around you. The compassion, drive, and dedication to your patients, community and profession should always shine bright like a diamond….what better way to have a brighter world than to give back to those in need by serving in a profession within the healthcare industry!”
SCU’s first-ever Health Equity Award was presented at the Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony. The Health Equity Award recognizes a graduate who has contributed to improving health equity at SCU and their community through commitment to advocacy, mobilization, research, and community involvement, to increase inclusion and equality.
Nominees included Irene Nguyen, Jelena Bilong, Jeremy Yang, and Sandra Gadalla, and the first recipient of the inaugural Health Equity Award was Brianna Hadley.
Brianna served on the Student Diversity Chair position in the MSPA program where she worked to advance understanding and inclusivity for all by coordinating two key forums to build understanding and bridge differences. The Marginalized in Medicine forum brought together members of the community and students to share their experiences of marginalization and to build understanding and awareness. The Chill & Chat forums facilitated student discussions to allow understanding of different cultures, perspectives, and experiences among the diverse student body. Brianna also served on the inaugural Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and has a long history of volunteerism to improve equity, including developing an ongoing Sickle Cell blood drive. Her efforts to build understanding and serve the community, both within and without SCU, have helped create future healthcare providers who use understanding, sympathy, and compassion to overcome equity gaps and reduce health disparities.
SCU, Southern California’s first and only chiropractic school, has educated more than 18,000 healthcare providers since it was founded in 1911.