UTHSC Graduates 191 Health Care Professionals

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On Friday, December 7, UTHSC will graduate 191 students. The fall graduation ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in the Cook Convention Center, 255 North Main.

On Friday, December 7, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will graduate 191 students. The fall graduation ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in the Cook Convention Center, 255 North Main.

An honorary Doctor of Science degree will be awarded to Ann Bell, MS, emeritus professor of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in the College of Allied Health Sciences. Bell, a retired UTHSC hematology technologist (SH ASCP) and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, is an expert on blood cells. She helped develop a 1956 atlas titled, “The Morphology of Human Blood Cells,” which is currently in its seventh edition. The book is still used to teach medical students, interns, residents and medical technologists across the United States and in countries around the world.

Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, will give the charge to the graduates. Born and raised in West Tennessee, she is the first nurse to serve as commissioner of the state’s Department of Health. Commissioner Cooper is a master’s-prepared registered nurse who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Her priorities as commissioner — “to protect, promote and improve the health of all Tennesseans” — are closely aligned with the mission of UTHSC and the goals of the graduates.

Commissioner Cooper’s work at the state level includes serving as a special policy and health advisor to the governor. She has an extensive background in health policy, health care regulation, and evidence-based practice.

Hershel P. Wall, MD, interim chancellor of UT Health Science Center, will preside over the ceremony. University of Tennessee President John Petersen will confer the degrees.

The 191 graduates represent four of the UT Health Science Center’s six colleges: 32 from the College of Allied Health Sciences; 27 from the College of Graduate Health Sciences; 127 from the College of Nursing, and five from the College of Pharmacy. The other two UTHSC colleges, Dentistry and Medicine, graduate large classes in the spring.