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OHSU commencement ceremonies to honor more than 1,000 new health care professionals, educators and researchers

A diverse new generation of health care professionals, educators and researchers are graduating from Oregon Health & Science University this month. Commencement ceremonies began today and will continue throughout June; approximately 1,186 degrees will be awarded.

Ceremonies for the OHSU School of Medicine and School of Nursing in Portland will be today, June 2. Ceremonies for the OHSU School of Dentistry, the Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy and for School of Nursing campuses outside of Portland will be June 13 and 14.

“This is a special day when we send new graduates out into the world to be health care providers, educators and research scientists,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. "The world is changing rapidly but that creates a lot of opportunity to make a contribution to the health and well-being of Oregonians. Our graduates have the skills and the commitment to do exactly that.”

Degree data are approximate, as degrees have not yet been awarded.

The OHSU School of Dentistry will award degrees and certificates to approximately 88 graduates.

"I am pleased to present the OHSU School of Dentistry Class of 2014," said OHSU School of Dentistry Dean Phillip Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D. "This is a close-knit group of dental professionals who have not only demonstrated their clinical excellence, but their compassion and community-mindedness, as well. We are proud to count these individuals as our new colleagues."

OHSU’s School of Medicine will award approximately 512 degrees to 502 graduates this year, with some graduates receiving combined degrees.

“Graduates of the OHSU School of Medicine are leaders in their fields, whether they choose to pursue health care, bioscience, health policy or any number of related professions. One-third of all practicing physicians in Oregon received all or part of their training at OHSU – a statistic that has been true for years and demonstrates our contributions to the state’s work force and our graduates’ commitment to serving Oregonians,” said OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., M.Sc.B.

The OHSU School of Nursing will award degrees and certificates to approximately 491 graduates.

“Through our full spectrum of baccalaureate, masters’ and doctoral degree programs, the OHSU School of Nursing is educating nurses with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to address health care needs across Oregon and beyond,” said Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing and Vice President for Nursing Affairs. “This year we are celebrating our first undergraduate class of gerontology honors students who are committed to improving the health of the elderly. Our graduates are prepared to contribute and lead as individuals and team members to improve health and education, transform care, translate evidence into practice and make new scientific discoveries for a better future.”

Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy will award degrees to approximately 95 graduates.

"The faculty and staff of the College of Pharmacy are extremely proud of the class of 2014 and their achievements,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Mark Zabriskie, Ph.D. “Their hard work and commitment to patient care has prepared them to advance the profession of pharmacy and become creative leaders for collaborative healthcare in our state and beyond. Whether they chose to practice in community or hospital settings, or pursue postgraduate training or public health opportunities, they are prepared to make significant contributions and lead efforts to improving health and wellness in the populations they serve."

More info about some of OHSU’s 2014 graduates

Dan Lafferty, D.M.D., 36, OHSU School of Dentistry

The journey to dental school was not easy for Dan Lafferty. Growing up in Salem, Utah, Dan struggled with a learning disability and the lack of a positive paternal influence. Dan's life spiraled downward when he started high school and he was expelled his junior year. But a job with decent pay, renewed faith, and a wife and children ultimately resulted in an inspiring 13-year journey of transformation. Dan started over by first working toward a General Education Degree, and then completed six terms at Portland Community College taking prerequisites to get into Portland State University. In 2008, he received a Bachelor of Science in General Science from PSU. He started dental school at OHSU in 2010, with a scholarship from the U.S. Navy. After graduation, Dan will be stationed in Norfolk, Va., for the first of his four years of service.

Theodore ‘Ted’ Braun, M.D./Ph.D., 32, OHSU School of Medicine

Theodore Braun grew up in Portland with a deep interest in biomedical research. The recipient of a scholarship from the Portland Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation and an individual National Research Service Award fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, he is graduating from the combined M.D./Ph.D. program at OHSU. His research focused on the causes of weight loss, or cachexia, in cancer patients and he was awarded a prestigious junior investigator award at the 2011 International Cachexia Conference. After graduation, Ted is heading to Seattle with his wife, also an ARCS scholar, and their young daughter. Ted will study internal medicine at the University of Washington, followed by subspecialty training in hematology and medical oncology. Eventually he hopes to combine clinical practice with translational research directed at improving outcomes for cancer patients.

Mahnaz Janghorban, Ph.D., 29, OHSU School of Medicine

Growing up in Iran, Mahnaz Janghorban knew she was interested in doing cancer research from a young age. She attended the cell and molecular biology program at Shiraz University, one of the top universities in Iran. After three years, in 2007, Mahnaz accompanied her father on his sabbatical to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She ended up staying stayed at UWM, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in biology in 2008. She came to OHSU to pursue cancer research and has worked since 2009 with Dr. Rosalie Sears. Mahnaz has focused her research on therapeutics and the mouse model of cancers and recently published a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is the first student to graduate from the OHSU Cancer Biology Graduate Program. Mahnaz’s ultimate goal: Focusing on drug discovery for cancer treatment.

Rajarshi Mazumder, M.D./M.P.H., 31, OHSU School of Medicine

Rajarshi ‘Raj’ Mazumder was born in the United States but grew up in India with his mother, who is one of a few certified special educators in India for children with neurological disabilities. Raj saw that a lack of access to proper health care led to a life of unnecessary suffering and stigma for the children at his mother’s school. Witnessing the silent despair among those children had a profound effect on Raj, and helped inspire his decision to study medicine. He joined OHSU’s M.D./M.P.H. program hoping to become a physician who would provide clinical care to patients, understand the broad context in which patients live and struggle, and expand understanding of neurological diseases through population-based clinical research. For his M.P.H. thesis, Raj focused on evaluating risk factors for falls among young people with multiple sclerosis. He recently spent several weeks in rural Uganda studying the cause of a little-known epilepsy epidemic called nodding syndrome, which affects hundreds of children in East Africa. Because Raj has seen significant disparities in neurological care globally, he hopes to do his part to address that gap. After graduation, he will intern at Legacy in Portland and then start a residency in neurology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Sandra Lafky, M.N., 58, OHSU School of Nursing
Evan Lafky, B.S., 31, OHSU School of Nursing

The School of Nursing is proud to have a mother-and-son team of graduates this year. Evan Lafky is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, summa cum laude. Meanwhile, his mother, Sandra, is a nurse who is graduating from the School of Nursing Masters’ program with a focus on health systems and organizational leadership. Evan’s interests are in critical care nursing and rural health, and he will start his internship in the Cardiac-Surgical Intensive Care Unit in July. In addition to his mom’s nursing career, Evan says that he was inspired to study nursing by friends with careers as EMTs, firefighters, and smokejumpers who were making the move into nursing.

Sandra currently works as the Nurse Manager of the Mother/Baby Unit & Lactation Services at OHSU. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from OHSU in 1999, and went to work in the mid-Willamette Valley at Silverton Health because of her interest in both rural community health and maternal services. Through her work at Silverton, she worked through the OHSU and Silverton telemedicine partnership to assist newborns at Silverton. She came to OHSU in 2013 and hopes to use her new degree to help further her work with new mothers and babies. She and Evan say they enjoyed being in nursing school at the same time and learned a lot from each other.

Tarah Authier, Pharm.D., 25, OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy

Tarah Authier grew up in Alaska, and after graduating from South Anchorage High School she moved to Portland to play soccer for the Portland State Vikings. While she was attending Portland State, she got the opportunity to shadow a pharmacist in a critical-care unit, sparking her own interest in pharmacy. After receiving a degree in health sciences at PSU, Tarah attended the Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy, where she served as the pharmacy representative for the OHSU All-Hill Council and won the OHSU Community Outreach and Clinical Service Award for outstanding commitment to serving the community. After graduation, Tarah is heading back to Alaska to practice as a clinical pharmacist in an outpatient infusion pharmacy.

Degree Data

Degree data are approximate, as degrees have not yet been awarded.

School of Dentistry degrees

Doctor of Dental Medicine - 72

Advanced specialty degrees

  • Endodontology - 3
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery - 1
  • Pediatric Dentistry - 5
  • Periodontology - 3
  • Orthodontics - 4

School of Dentistry Total — 88

School of Medicine degrees

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) - 117

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - 40

  • Behavioral Neuroscience - 6
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology PMCB - 1
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology EBS - 1
  • Biomedical Engineering - 4
  • Biomedical Informatics - 3
  • Cancer Biology - 1
  • Cell & Developmental Biology - 5
  • Computer Science & Engineering - 4
  • Environmental Science & Engineering - 4
  • Molecular Microbiology & Immunology - 4
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program - 7

Master’s degrees - 180

  • Master of Science in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology - 3
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics - 7
  • Master of Science in Biostatistics - 5
  • Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition - 4
  • Master of Science in Computer Science - 1
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - 1
  • Master of Science in Environmental Science & Engineering - 6
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management - 21
  • Master of Science in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology - 1
  • Master of Science in Neuroscience - 1
  • Master of Biomedical Informatics - 22
  • Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management - 27
  • Master of Clinical Dietetics - 1
  • Master of Clinical Research - 13
  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S) - 37
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H) - 30

Combined Degrees - 10

  • Doctor of Medicine & Master of Public Health (M.D./M.P.H) - 6
  • Doctor of Medicine & Doctor of Philosophy (M.D./Ph.D.) - 4
    1. Cell & Developmental Biology - 2
    2. Neuroscience - 2

Associate’s degrees - 29

  • Associate of Applied Science - Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic - 29

Bachelor’s degrees - 59

  • Clinical Laboratory Science - 50
  • Radiation Therapy - 9

Graduate certificates - 77

  • Biomedical Informatics - 24
  • Biostatistics - 3
  • Dietetic Internship - 16
  • Healthcare Management - 21
  • Human Investigation - 13

School of Medicine Total — 512

School of Nursing degrees

Bachelor’s degrees

  • Bachelor of Science - 379

Doctoral degrees

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice - 23
  • Ph.D. - 11

Master’s degrees

  • Master of Nursing - 67
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health - 8
  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing - 3

School of Nursing Total — 491

College of Pharmacy degrees

Oregon State University/OHSU Total – 95

Graduation Ceremony Details

OHSU School of Dentistry

9 a.m., Friday, June 13, 2014 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - downtown Portland

OHSU School of Medicine

9 a.m., Monday, June 2, 2014 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - downtown Portland

OHSU School of Nursing

Depending on the OHSU School of Nursing campus, graduation ceremonies will vary.

Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy

1 p.m., Friday, June 13, 2014 - LaSells Steward Center – Corvallis

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