Touro University Nevada Celebrates COM and MHS Graduates with In-Person Commencement

Nearly 200 new graduates from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Masters of Science in Medical Health Sciences (MHS) Program finished their Touro journeys
May 11, 2021

Nearly 200 new graduates from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Masters of Science in Medical Health Sciences (MHS) Program finished their Touro journeys during the university’s Spring Commencement ceremony.

Held at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Spring Commencement was Touro’s first in-person Commencement since 2019.

“I am so proud of our wonderful students whose lives were turned upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO & Senior Provost. “The work that they have been able to do in these circumstances is a testament of their dedication. Their commitment gives me so much hope for our future.”

Each student was permitted to have six guests in attendance, with CDC guidelines followed throughout the ceremony. The event marked the culmination for the fourth-year medical students who spent the end of their third years and a portion of their fourth years learning remotely.

“Our new graduates finished medical school during a period where a global pandemic was going on. They persisted and rose not only to the unprecedented challenges but also surpassed expectations in virtually every aspect. We are in excellent hands with them, and so is the future of medicine,” said Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “These graduates worked tirelessly on the frontlines throughout this pandemic to help keep the community safe and sound, and I have no doubt that they will continue to excel beyond anyone’s expectations after graduation. The 2021 graduates are tough and outstanding.”

Allison Boynton, a native of Tri Cities, Wash. and Touro’s “Student Doctor of the Year” for 2020, said she was unsure if an in-person Commencement was even possible but was ecstatic when she heard it would be happening.

She said the connection she developed with the Southern Nevada community throughout the last four years solidified her decision to stay in town to do her residency. Boynton is one of nearly 40 Touro graduates to stay in Southern Nevada after graduation and begins her emergency medicine residency with Sunrise Hospital on July 1.

“I am so happy with my decision to stay in Southern Nevada. Over the last four years, I’ve watched this community grow and come together through all of the adversity it has faced,” she said. “This is my home now, and I love everything it has to offer. The diverse population of locals and tourists, and wide variety of pathologies, make Southern Nevada the perfect place to practice emergency medicine.”

The MHS Program’s Class of 2021 completed its entire year online, although they still prospered during their Touro journeys.

Nearly half of the graduating MHS students will matriculate into Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Physician Assistant Studies.

“Congratulations to all of our MHS graduates for accomplishing this incredible milestone,” said Dr. Vladimir Bondarenko, Director of the MHS Program. “It was a challenging year for our students who have all been affected by the extraordinary circumstances. Despite all the challenges they faced this year including social isolation, online learning, and the risk to get infected, we were still able to come together to celebrate their success.”