LSTM has held its annual graduation ceremony today, being held virtually and delayed from its usual December slot because of COVID-19. This will mark the third ceremony since LSTM received degree awarding powers in 2017.
A total of 235 students graduated, with around 130 joining the ceremony from all over the world.
Prior to the ceremony graduands were given the opportunity to catch up with their course mates and tutors in virtual meeting rooms before the ceremony was opened with a welcome from LSTM’s Director Professor David Lalloo. Congratulating the Class of 2020 for all of their hard work in the face of difficult circumstances, he said: “LSTM is a global institution rooted in Liverpool but focused overseas. In many ways this virtual ceremony emphasises our global outlook, everyone coming together, wherever you are to celebrate your achievements together.
“Graduation is not just a time to celebrate, it is a time to look back over your studies and think about your future. As you on to the next phase of your career, I hope that your time as a student at LSTM has inspired you, that wherever you end up and whatever you do, some of the values that LSTM seeks to promote will stay with you.”
As part of the ceremony LSTM conferred honorary Doctor of Science Degrees to alumnus Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah and Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela.
Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah won a WHO scholarship to undertake his MSc in Community Health in 1989, opting to stay on for a further year as a lecturer after his studies, describing his years in Liverpool as one of the best times of his life. He has had a long and esteemed career in medicine and public health, becoming Deputy Director General of the WHO in 2007.
In 2020, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo appointed him as the Presidential Coordinator for the government’s Coronavirus Response Programme, where he is currently responsible for coordinating all aspects of Ghana’s Covid-19 response.
On receiving his honorary doctorate form LSTM he said: “I am appreciative of this recognition and honour and I wear it with pride. Allow me to send special regard to all those graduating students. Passing through LSTM is a great privilege, but it is also a great responsibility. You are now ambassadors of LSTM and I have no doubt that you will make the School proud.”
Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela is Director of Department for the Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the WHO and has dedicated her life and professional career to the eradication of NTDs, in particular lymphatic filariasis (LF). In 1998, when the World Health Organization announced a plan to eliminate LF, Dr Malecela’s extensive experience meant she was central to developing a plan for Tanzania, the programme which first saw her work in partnership with LSTM.
Her dream of the eradication of LF in Tanzania seems within reach as the country is on track to follow its neighbour Malawi in eliminating lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem by 2024. Throughout her illustrious career it is the impact her work has had on the lives of millions of her fellow Tanzanians which is most noteworthy and the reason she has been awarded this honorary degree.
She said: “I am humbled to be receiving this honorary doctorate and would like to express my sincere gratitude Professor David Lalloo and LSTM, whose pioneering work has been a source of inspiration and support throughout my career. I will dedicate it if I may to the next generation of African women scientists who I have no doubt will move us to higher heights and I already look forward to learning from them."
Following congratulations from Sue Russell, Acting Chair of LSTM’s Trustees, the ceremony was brought to a virtual close by LSTM’s President Sire Richard Evans CBE.
LSTM’s Director of Partnerships, Michael Lurie, who led the Graduation team in producing the ceremony, said: “Marking this milestone of our students is more important than ever. Whilst we cannot celebrate in person due to COVID-19, through the virtual ceremony we wanted to reach out our students and their families across the globe and recognize their incredible achievements in such challenging circumstances. We hope to welcome them back to Liverpool in the future.”
LEAD: LSTM's Graduation Magazine: Issue 3 is now available including interviews with our honarary degree recipients.
A total of 66 students graduated from LSTM having received scholarship support for their studies. Find out more about how you can support future global health leaders to study at LSTM.