New graduation cord being offered to GPPH students for their service work

 Carol Ewan Whyte launched the service cord initiative
Carol Ewan Whyte launched the service cord initiative

The Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) will begin recognizing students’ contributions to their community and their profession through their volunteer service work by presenting them with graduation cords. 

Cords consist of twisted rope-like strands with tassels on the ends that are worn around the neck during graduation. 

Carol Ewan Whyte, assistant director of Public Health Research and Service, developed the initiative to attach a tangible reward to service.

“It is human nature to desire a reward for work done and usually there is nothing tangible that students receive for doing this work,” she explained.

Whether you are an established public health professional gaining your advanced degree or new to the field of public health, Whyte says it is important to be mindful of the many benefits of performing service.

“Students gain so much when they make the time to give back to their community and their profession, and the organizations gain the help they need to get their work done,” she said. “Everyone benefits when you volunteer.”

Whyte says volunteering provides opportunities for students to expand their networks, put their knowledge into practice outside of an academic setting and learn new skills.

Beginning with the graduation ceremony in May 2019, all GPPH students who have completed a minimum of 100 hours of service while enrolled in their program can earn a service cord.