2022年度学位授与式 公衆衛生学研究科博士後期課程修了生代表 答礼のことば（2023年3月10日）
Bibha Dhungel, Doctor of Public Health Student Representative, Graduate School of Public Health
Dear fellow graduates, esteemed faculty, distinguished guests, and our beloved families and friends,
It is with great honour and joy that I stand before you today as the student address presenter for our graduation ceremony. I want to begin by sharing a quote that has inspired me throughout my academic journey: "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." We have all worked tirelessly to reach this momentous milestone, and I am filled with pride and admiration for each and every one of us.
I joined St. Luke’s five years ago as an MPH student, and I can confidently say that it was one of the best decisions of my life. The year 2020, which some people consider to be The Lost Year, turned out to be the Year of Opportunities for me as I joined St. Luke’s as a DrPH candidate. I gained valuable learning experience here as a student, teaching assistant and research assistant. The past five years have been filled with immense challenges, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, through our perseverance, and commitment to excellence, we have overcome the obstacles. As time flew by, we discovered new ways of connecting with each other and adapted to the new normal.
I am proud to have shared this journey with each and every one of my fellow graduates. You are all exceptional individuals with unique talents and passions, and I am confident that you will make a profound impact in your respective fields.
To our families and friends, thank you for believing in us, and for standing by us through thick and thin. We could not have done this without you, and we are forever grateful for your love and encouragement. And specially to my husband Shital Babu, thank you for being the pillar of my success.
I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks to President Horiuchi sensei, Dean Takahashi sensei, all the staffs at the academic and student affairs, International Partnerships, and all the St. Luke’s family who have stood by us and helped us carve our pathway to success.
To our faculty and mentors, thank you for your guidance, wisdom, and expertise. You have challenged us, inspired us, and shaped us into the public health leaders we are today. We are indebted to you and will carry your lessons with us for the rest of our lives.
As we stand here today, on the brink of completing our academic journey, I am filled with gratitude and indebtedness to Professor Stuart Gilmour, who have been more than just a supervisor to me. He has been a mentor, a guide, and a confidant who has supported me through every stage of my academic journey. His guidance and unwavering support have been instrumental in helping me become a better version of myself. His belief in my potential has inspired me to push myself beyond my limits and to never settle for anything less than the best. As a result, I will be taking the next step in my career as an academic as an Assistant Professor (Kōshi) at Waseda University. As I look back on my journey, I realize that I could not have made it this far without Stuart’s guidance and support.
Additionally, I would also like to express my gratitude to the Uehara Foundation for supporting my PhD, Kevin sensei for introducing me to the National Centre for Child Health and Development and Takehara sensei and Kato sensei at NCCHD for their continuous support and faith in me throughout the years.
Today, as we prepare to embark on the next chapter of our lives, let us vow to work together to create a better future for us and for the next generation. Our graduation marks not the end, but rather the beginning of a lifelong journey.
Let us continue to believe in ourselves and the world too shall believe us.
Congratulations, Class of 2022. May we all go forth and make a difference in the world.
Doctoral Program in Public Health
Graduate School of Public Health
St. Luke’s International University