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Tuskegee’s public health grad students honored during annual pinning ceremony

February 11, 2019

Contact: Anissa L. Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine

Masters of Public Health Pining Ceremony participants
Standing (L to R):  Veale, Davis, Banks, Peaster, Egiebor, Akhter,
and Howard. Sitting (L to R): Warren, Davis, Perry, and James.

As part of its annual pinning ceremony on Monday, Jan. 28, Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine acknowledged graduate students for completing academic milestones in its Master of Public Health program.

During the ceremony, held in the university’s Patterson Hall auditorium, students received their official program blazer and pin. The blazer acknowledges the students’ completion of the basic requirements for their MPH degrees, and progress toward the final thesis/practicum requirements for second-year students. The blazer is only worn by students when presenting in professional and community settings. 

The official pin was presented to the students who have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours and who received their academic advisor’s recommendation after demonstrating their ability and readiness to enter the public health workforce. The Graduate Public Health Program pin was designed by the college’s dean, Dr. Ruby L. Perry, and the program’s director, Crystal James. 

“The annual pinning ceremony is a celebratory moment for our Master of Public Health students because a major academic milestone has been achieved. These students are our future advocates, educators and leaders in public health,” Perry said.

“I also commend the faculty and staff under the leadership of program head Crystal James for providing the mentorship needed to prepare our students to begin a very rewarding career in this healthcare discipline, which mandates a responsibility to saving lives by spreading awareness, assisting in disease prevention and disease control, and building a healthy society,” she continued.

Along with the pin and blazer, students received a challenge administered by Dr. Cheryl G. Davis, who also served as the event’s keynote speaker.

“I simply gave the roadmap to fulfill the challenge given to these students as they embark on their future careers in the public health profession,” said Davis, who previously served as executive director of The Gift of Life Foundation, Inc., as well as a former associate dean for strategic initiatives and external affairs and faculty member in the college. “Their challenge is to find their pioneering spirit and do their very best with the research and data analysis they critique to help find strategies to address health disparity issues.”

Students receiving their official blazers included the following, with their major professors who were in attendance also noted in parentheses: Kellon Banks (Crystal James); Ashanti Davis (Dr. Rueben Warren); Ronald Peaster (Crystal James and Dr. Marcia Martinez); and Denzel Veale (Dr. Lloyd Webb). 

Students receiving their official pins included the following, with their major professors who were in attendance also noted in parentheses: Samina Akhter (Dr. Lloyd Webb); Oyoyo Egiebor (Dr. Lloyd Webb); Mylo Howard (Dr. Ehsan Abdalla); and Ronald Peaster (Crystal James and Dr. Marcia Martinez).

Based in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Tuskegee University’s graduate program in public health prepares professionals to draw on knowledge and skills from a number of disciplines to define, assess critically, and resolve public health problems, as well as to promote populations health.  The program of study develops core competencies in multiple areas, including the quantitative sciences; health services administration; biological, social, behavioral and environmental sciences; ethics; health policy; and law.

For more information about the graduate public health program, visit

© 2019, Tuskegee University