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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

University at Buffalo 2017 Commencement

The 15th annual University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions commencement ceremony took place on May 20 at 1 p.m. in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

[Photo: Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende handing out degrees]

A total of 215 public health and health professions students participated in the commencement ceremony, 185 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by maintaining greater than a 3.6 departmental grade point average, and 120 students received scholarships throughout their time in the school.

This year’s featured commencement speaker was Dr. Carlos Roberto Jaén. Dr. Jaén is the Holly Distinguished Chair, Patient-Centered Medical Home, professor and chair of Family and Community Medicine, and professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UT Health San Antonio.

In his speech to the SPHHP graduates, Dr. Jaén stated, “After today, you have a gift that has the power to change the world for the better…the world is eager for your contributions. Use your eyes to see opportunity for change. Use your ears to listen to those who you encounter. Use your hands to build more just and equitable systems, and your heart to rekindle the flicker of hope in the communities and patients you will touch. I look forward to all the ways you make our world a more just and loving place. Go forth and make it so. Don’t hold back on your excellence.”

Dr. Jaén’s research interests focus on improving preventive care for individuals of all ages and preventing complications from chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. He is also passionate about building and studying high performance primary care offices.

To listen to Dr. Jaen’s full speech and to watch the complete SPHHP ceremony, visit