WesternU Bestows Doctor of Podiatric Medicine Degree on 30 Graduates from its College of Podiatric Medicine

WesternU Bestows Doctor of Podiatric Medicine Degree on 30 Graduates from its College of Podiatric Medicine


(L-R) Founding President Dr. Philip Pumerantz, Aisha Ahmed, DPM '15, , and College of Podiatric Medicine  Dean Dr. Lawrence Harkless (Photo: Jeff Malet)

Western University of Health Sciences' Commencement 2015 got off to a fast start, as the keynote speaker for the first ceremony on May 20 – for the colleges of Allied Health and Podiatric Medicine – was not only a high-profile political figure, but a visionary speaker.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor and likely 2018 gubernatorial candidate, told the 211 graduates (30 from CPM, 181 from CAHP) that they have an advantage over those from other universities: WesternU is the largest and most diverse graduate health sciences university in the nation, situated in the most diverse county in the most diverse state in the most diverse country in the world.

“We don’t tolerate that diversity, we celebrate that diversity,” he said. Applauding WesternU’s, and especially Dr. Pumerantz’s, commitment to humanism and improving the human condition, Newsom noted, “As Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.’ We are all better off when we are ALL better off.”

But what does that mean in a world that changes so rapidly? How do we get to “better off” for everyone? Technology is part of the key, Newsom opined, but so is respect for collaboration, appreciation for the importance of communication, and acknowledgment that individuals are empowered to make change.

One doesn’t have to BE something to DO something, the lieutenant governor concluded.

“Don’t let life de-genius you. Step up, step in, and recognize your voice. Success is synergistic with environment. Create the conditions where success becomes irresistible.

“I want you to appreciate your chance to take advantage of this opportunity. The future’s not in front of you. It’s inside of you.”

Michael Demian, father of College of Podiatric Medicine graduate Jeffrey Demian, DPM ’15, said his son first became interested in medicine as a 16-year-old while volunteering at a local hospital. His son will begin his residency at Chino Valley Medical Center in June.

“I’m so excited. It's the best moment in my life,” said Michael Demian, adding that his son will be caring and loving to his patients. “He doesn’t care about money. He cares about being merciful and helpful to people.”