University Park, IL,
15:09 PM

Dear Health and Human Services Graduates

As you step out our door, I hope that you will turn back from time to time and give us a wave here at GSU.
Dr. Catherine Balthazar, Dean, College of Health and Human Services

A Message from Dean Catherine Balthazar

On behalf of the College of Health and Human Services, I would like to congratulate all of our graduating students. I am so proud of you for your accomplishments. When you began your program at GSU, you committed yourselves to a challenging and intense journey – you chose to take a path toward a career helping others. Completing a rigorous degree program like yours is a huge undertaking even under the best of circumstances. Finishing out the final stretch of this marathon during a pandemic, with the world turned upside down, is monumental.

This semester didn’t go the way any of us planned. We have faced uncertainty, disruption, fear, isolation, and many other adversities. We have had to be more self-disciplined and determined than ever before, and we have also had to be flexible and extend grace to each other in ways we never anticipated. But although 2020 has thrust us into uncharted territory, what your accomplishments have shown me is that you have incredible power and resilience. And now, because you have completed this part of your educational journey even under these extraordinary circumstances, you have resources you didn’t have before.

The professional and disciplinary knowledge and skills from your program are what you intended to achieve when you began. You have had to develop new tools of thought, expand your ways of learning, and hone your ability to communicate. And you have learned that you can face adversity and still meet your goals. The resources you have developed will be with you for a lifetime. This gives me even more cause for celebration.

Thank you to the instructors, family, and friends who have supported you on your journey. I know how much energy, love, money, and sacrifice it takes to get a student through. And I know all of your supporters share the joy I feel in knowing that you did it. You made it. All of our collective energy is now being transformed into a new power. The power to make a difference, to share your knowledge and skills and empower others. You carry this power with you out into your future.

As you step out our door, I hope that you will turn back from time to time and give us a wave here at GSU. I hope you will extend your hand back to the next generation of students, by offering them your expert guidance and mentoring. And I hope you will always stay a part of our community. As we celebrate this landmark in your lives, I wish you every success in your future. You have worked hard, and there is more hard work ahead, but I know that you have the tools to do the job. Congratulations, Class of 2020!