Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) hosted its April 2022 commencement ceremony, celebrating graduates both in-person and virtually, including seven certificate graduates, eight master’s degree graduates, and 98 doctoral degree graduates from nine different academic programs and 36 US states.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Mark Horacek, PT, MS, PhD, told graduates that the commencement ceremony “represents the culmination of years of dedicated study, and the recognition and celebration of your academic accomplishments. You have demonstrated your ability to dedicate yourself to a noble purpose, to persevere in the face of difficulty, and to defer immediate gratification for something more important and more significant in the future.”
Founding President and CEO Richard P. Nielsen, PT, DHSc, ECS, reminded graduates that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. “It is now time for you to move onward and to invent your future,” said Nielsen. “You now have your entire lives ahead of you – unlimited opportunities in your personal and professional lives.”
Kenneth Simpson, PhD, CCC-SLP, was the commencement speaker. Simpson, a certified speech-language pathologist, served as the program director for RMUoHP’s Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) from 2013 to 2021, when he retired in fall of last year.
Simpson told graduates that everyone faces challenges in life, particularly students seeking to pursue a graduate degree, but despite that, joy comes from our own actions and attitude. Citing psychology research, he said that joy comes from three factors: reframing situations more positively, choosing to be kind and generous, and experiencing gratitude.
He encouraged all graduates to be healthcare providers who put their patients first.
Prior to speaking, Simpson was presented with professor emeritus status, signifying the impact he had on SLPD graduates and the university as a whole.
This commencement ceremony honored students from the following RMUoHP programs:
- Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Doctor of Medical Science
- Doctor of Occupational Therapy
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology
- Master of Science in Health Science
- Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science
- Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner
In conferring the degrees, President Nielsen charged graduates to “honor and respect that degree, certification and title in your personal and professional conduct, both inside and outside of the patient arenas, at all times, by all means, in all ways, in all places, and with all people.”
He repeated the oft-quoted university phrase: “advancing knowledge, advancing healthcare,” and reminded graduates that the faculty and university have worked hard to advance their knowledge so they can now go forth “to advance healthcare and to effect change–in your personal life, in your family, in your profession, with your patients, your neighbors, those you love, those you meet for the first time, those who cross your paths, and those who will be planted in your paths, and for the world at large.”
For more information on degree programs offered at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, visit rm.edu.