Look How Far We’ve Come

Look How Far We’ve Come

Category : PROspective

By Lauren Christiansen-Lindquist, PhD, MPH


Over the last 14 months, a recurring theme for me has been a complete disorientation regarding time; some days have felt endless while others have gone by in a flash. I’ve done more than one double take as I’ve looked at my calendar and realized that it really is May 2021 and that the spring semester is coming to a close. 


Many of you have wrapped up your spring semester obligations, and others will be putting on the finishing touches in the coming days. Whether you’re graduating, preparing for a summer of thesis wrap-up, looking ahead to your APE, or awaiting some other adventure – I encourage you to take a moment to pause and reflect on all that you have accomplished over the course of this academic year. 


The circumstances under which you have studied, worked, and grown have been truly extraordinary. It can be easy to get caught up in our day-to-day challenges and lose sight of just how far we’ve come. One of the greatest lessons that I have learned over the course of the pandemic is that I am far more resilient than I led myself to believe – and I hope the same is true for you. 


ICYMI – Emory’s President, Greg Fenves, penned an open letter of recommendation for Emory’s Classes of 2020 and 2021, which ran in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday, May 4th. I read his letter with such pride and admiration for all that you have done (this goes for you, too, Class of 2022!). There is no exaggeration in President Fenves’s message – you are a remarkable group of students, who have made, and will continue to make the world a better place. 


Bookmark his letter – and when you find yourself feeling tired or worn down, pull it up and know that, yes, President Fenves was indeed talking about you when he wrote it. 


Graduation always stirs up so many emotions for me – but this one will be particularly special as the Class of 2021 is the first class that I had the privilege of welcoming as the Director of Graduate Studies for our MPH & MSPH programs. While I certainly wish we could have seen each other in person a whole lot more, I am so grateful for the ways that you have fostered growth not just in our program and department, but within myself as well. 


Wherever the next leg of your journey takes you – I wish you all the very best! We cannot wait for updates on all the incredible things you’ll go on to do! And above all, take good care of yourselves.


Congratulations on a job well done!




Dr. Lauren Christiansen-Lindquist, (PhD, MPH) is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for MPH and MSPH programs in Epidemiology. 

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