Last night was the end-of-the-academic-year awards ceremony for our graduating Masters students, who sadly, will be leaving us in just a few days. One Donna Shalala graduation speech and a cap-and-gown later, our students will be heading off into the public health sunset to make the world a healthier place. And I don’t need to tell you that we could really use some of that just about now.
This is a group of students I will really miss. They have been wonderful towards me during delyphomatization. One student, Pam Kohol, raced a triathlon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team-in-Training program with me as one of her team “heroes.” And many other students stopped by for visits, wrote emails, and stopped by my office when I was around just to check in on me.
The event last night was special for me for a few reasons: it was the first night I was healthy and recovered and got to spend some nice time with both students and faculty, and, the students honored me in a few special ways.
First off, three of my students showed up at my table wearing “I Wanna Be Like Mike… Yudell That Is” t-shirts to honor me and my struggles this past year. I was totally shocked by their wonderful show of support, and I am deeply touched by their beautiful gesture. Thank you Linda, Deka, and Kelechi. They even printed up a wee-little shirt for Sophia.
The night ended on another high note when I was awarded the Golden Apple award by the student body for excellence in teaching during their two years at Drexel. The student who presented me with the award, Andi Rosso, read the following to the audience:
“Class of ‘07 Top 7 reasons why Prof. Mike Yudell deserves the Golden Apple Award
7. Getting us to attend Grand Rounds with Top 10 lists.
6. Giving us a copy of his book ‘Welcome to the Genome’ to impress our friends with.
5. Teaching a class in our first quarter as graduate students that didn’t require weekly learning issues and that wasn’t Biostats.
4. Being that young, cute professor.
3. Leaving NYC to come to the backwaters of Philly where you can’t even get a good bagel.
2. Sharing the trials of chemotherapy and the joys of his new daughter with us through his Bald Mike blog.
1. Despite his ups and downs, always being there for our ups and downs.”
Thanks Andi and the Class of 2007. I am honored by your honor.
Needless to say, I have been extraordinarily touched by the love and support my students have shown towards me this past year. I am truly lucky to have gotten to know all of them, and I wish them well in all of their endeavors.
Godspeed Drexel MPH class of 2007. Go kick some public health ass!!!