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Bachelor of Science in Public Health student Makayla Andre.

Makayla Andre to Deliver Student Address at 2018 Commencement

  • Commencement 2018 is right around the corner, and members of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) community, including Makayla Andre PH ’18, are preparing for the big day.

    Andre will be delivering the student address at the ceremony, held at Gillette Stadium, alongside keynote speaker Brigham Health president Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD. It’s an honor that Andre says gives her the opportunity to express her gratitude for her experiences at MCPHS and share a moment of celebration with her graduating class.

    We sat down with Andre to hear about how she’s preparing for her big speech and to gain insight into what it means to her to be a part of the MCPHS community.

    Congratulations on being selected to serve as this year’s student Commencement speaker! Are you excited?

    Yes! I am very excited and honored to serve as this year’s student Commencement speaker!

    How did you decide to apply to become the Commencement speaker?

    I decided to apply because I really enjoy public speaking and wanted to find a way to demonstrate how thankful I am for the support and opportunities that MCPHS has offered me.

    Tell us about auditioning to be the Commencement speaker. What was it like?

    Auditioning to be the Commencement speaker was nerve-racking but fun. I was nervous about having my speech recorded and wanted to make sure that I didn’t speak too quickly. But it was fun to be able to express to a panel how attending MCPHS has impacted me and to talk about how I felt I was really able to make a difference personally, academically, and professionally around campus because of the collaborative atmosphere between my peers, faculty, and staff and the interdisciplinary approaches of the University. I knew that even if I wasn’t selected I wanted to be able to share my gratitude for the experiences I have had here.

    In your speech, you will be talking about what it means to be part of the MCPHS community. Why are you proud to be part of this community?

    I am proud to be part of this community because of the opportunities that were offered to me, including international service trips, student leadership positions, mentoring initiatives, and even faculty-student collaboration. Because of these opportunities, I was able to serve in the medical community of Arequipa, Peru, and mentor my peers and incoming students as a resident assistant, senior resident assistant, peer mentor, and member of the executive board of the Public Health Student Association, and I will continue to be mentored by MCPHS faculty and staff through the Women in STEM initiative. MCPHS has encouraged and supported me in all that I have aspired to accomplish.

    In your speech, you talk about how the graduating class is now a network of healthcare professionals. What does it mean to you to be a part of this network?

    To be a part of this network of healthcare professionals means to be a member of a generation of professionals who were educated with a foundation of values—values that include excellence, honesty, efficiency, professionalism, service, and adaptability. Because of our shared knowledge and experiences, we will be able to positively transform the healthcare industry.

    How are you preparing for the big day?

    I am preparing by practicing my speech regularly to ensure that my timing will be consistent, and I am remembering to cherish each moment leading up to then as an acknowledgement of my appreciation for my experience as an MCPHS student.

    What is one of your favorite #MCPHSmoments?

    One of my favorite #MCPHSmoments was moving all the way from Arizona to Boston, sight unseen, and meeting a welcoming student from Massachusetts who lived two doors down in the residence hall and became one of my best friends. Sarah Gearty and her family became my Massachusetts family and included me on holidays and at times when I couldn’t go home. I’m excited for our friendship to continue as we both enter our professional lives!

    You are graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. What’s next for you?

    Next, I will be attending Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law in Orange, CA, pursuing a Juris Doctor degree starting in fall 2018. I am looking to concentrate in health and constitutional law.

    What are your career goals and aspirations? Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?

    I aspire to be a general counsel attorney for a hospital, healthcare corporation, or health insurance company. However, I also have a passion for politics, so I hope to be able to eventually be involved in that sector of law as well. In five years, I see myself graduating from law school, passing the bar exam, and beginning my career as an attorney in health law. In ten years, I see myself working successfully as a general counsel attorney, married with a family, and beginning to be more involved in the political arena.

    How will MCPHS continue to play a role in your life after graduation?

    MCPHS will continue to play a role in my life after graduation as I expand my professional network to include my faculty as fellow professionals. The University will also have provided me with the ability to work with many types of healthcare professionals and understand their roles in my future job as a health law attorney.