APHA honors and recognizes the thousands of public health graduates who are embarking on new careers amid one of the most significant health crises in our history.

These 2020 graduates have shown resilience and spirit, even as their lives and studies were interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Their commitment to cooperation and community has already been proven, as many of them have spent time volunteering and supporting public health work during the outbreak.

Whether they are planning careers in the community or continuing their studies with other advanced degree programs, the decision of these graduates to pursue public health is testimony to their greater ideals of service.

They are choosing to follow a path — be it in a health department, laboratory, nonprofit organization or other setting — that will serve the health needs of others for years to come, and we salute them.

While some of these scholars may don caps and gowns as they virtually receive their degrees, they will miss out on the joy of gathering together to celebrate their achievements. But their accomplishments will not go unnoticed

“We applaud the perseverance and work these graduates have put forth, especially during this uncertain time,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, APHA's executive director. “In this hour of need, there is no better time to serve the public’s health. These graduates are the leaders of tomorrow, and the lessons they have learned during this outbreak will guide the future of public health.”