Master of Public Health Students Honored at Pinning Ceremony


Students from the Class of 2018 were honored at Mercer University College of Health Professions Master of Public Health Program's Pinning Ceremony, August 19, 2016 in Day Hall Auditorium.

“The pin that you will receive today symbolizes your commitment to upholding the Program's core values,” said Dr. Lisa Lundquist, Dean of the College of Health Professions as she addressed the class. “These values are collaboration, compassion, competence, excellence, integrity, respect and honesty, service, justice, and equity.”

The keynote speaker for the event was one of the program's graduates, Mitzi Fears, MPH (Mercer '14), Community Wellness Manager for Clayton County Board of Health District 3-3.  Fears was the perfect person to speak to this class as she ”fell in love” with the field of public health, and in particular health education at Mercer.

While at Mercer, Fears served as the Vice President of the Mercer Public Health Association and a member of the Public Health Student Advisory Board. Her career in public health began in November 2014 at the Clayton County Board of Health where she worked as the Safe Kids Clayton County Coordinator. While in this role she had the opportunity to provide child safety education to residents of Clayton County. 

After being in this role for exactly one year, Mitzi was promoted to her current role of Community Wellness Manager for Clayton County. In this role she supervises a team of health educators who conduct workshops on child safety, nutrition, chronic disease prevention and management, as well as other health education topics. In addition to this, Mitzi serves as the co-chair for the Health Literacy/Cultural Competency committee for the Clayton County Perinatal and Infant Health Coalition.

After the presentation of gifts by Dr. Turner, Dr. Cheryl Gaddis, DrPH, MPH, CHES, Assistant Professor and newly appointed Director, Master of Public Health Program & Public Health Faculty, presented the class with its pins.

“The pinning ceremony is a fairly new tradition for the MPH program at Mercer”, said Dr. Cheryl Gaddis. “We believe the ceremony promotes positive aspirations as these students begin the journey to becoming public health professionals and we are honored to have each of them carry the name of Mercer University Master of Public Health Program.”