2018 Commencement Ceremony 

UTHealth School of Public Health holds its annual commencement ceremony at the end of each spring semester. All students who are awarded their degree during summer 2017, fall 2017, and spring 2018 from all campuses are encouraged to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Please note: UTHealth School of Public Health has a graduates-only participation policy. Only graduates from the semesters mentioned above are eligible to join the ceremony.

View photos from the 2017 ceremony on our Flickr site.

Event Details:

Date:         Friday, May 11, 2018
Time:        10:00am-12:00pm
                  Graduates must arrive by 8:30am
Location: NRG Center, One NRG Park, Houston ,Texas 77054

World-renowned Guinea worm disease eradicator to give convocation address

World-renowned Guinea worm disease eradicator to give convocation address - The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health

Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, Ph.D., director of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program at The Carter Center, will deliver the 2018 convocation address for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health commencement ceremony on May 11. Ruiz-Tiben is an alumnus of UTHealth School of Public Health, having earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the school in 1982.

The Carter Center leads the international campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease, working closely with ministries of health and local communities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and many others. Guinea worm disease is set to become the second human disease in history (after smallpox) to be eradicated. It will be the first parasitic disease to be eradicated and the first disease to be eradicated without the use of a vaccine or medicine.

Ruiz-Tiben joined The Carter Center in 1992 after serving for more than 27 years as a commissioned officer of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) at the CDC. In 1998, he became director of The Carter Center’s Guinea Worm (Dracunculiasis) Eradication Program. There, he has been working in conjunction with the WHO Collaborating Center for Research, Training and Eradication of Dracunculiasis at the CDC, monitoring and disseminating information about the status of the global campaign and provides technical assistance to national eradication programs.

During his tenure at CDC, Ruiz-Tiben headed the Helminthic Disease Branch, Division of Parasitic Disease, National Center for Infectious Diseases. He has worked to control the disease schistosomiasis in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, Brazil, Egypt, and Liberia and dengue fever in the Caribbean area. For this outstanding work, he received special commendations from the USPHS. Additionally, in recognition of his contributions to the global initiative to eradicate dracunculiasis, the CDC in 1990 awarded him the USPHS Outstanding Service Medal.

Ruiz-Tiben earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Catholic University in Puerto Rico; a Master of Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Public Health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from UTHealth School of Public Health. On a personal level, he says, “I remain an avid tennis fan, being an amateur ex-player, woodworker, husband (married 50 years and counting), father of two daughters a grandfather of three girls and one boy.”

2018 Pre-Commencement Reception

UTHealth School of Public Health hosts an annual pre-commencement reception on the day prior to commencement. All students who are awarded their degree during summer 2017, fall 2017, and spring 2018 from all campuses are welcome to attend the reception.

Event details will be posted as they become available over the coming months.

View photos from the 2017 reception on our Flickr site.

Event Details:

Date:         Thursday, May 10, 2018
Time:        4:00pm-5:30pm
Location: Reuel A. Stallones Building (RAS) First Floor Lobby, 1200 Pressler Street, Houston, TX 77030

Note: Parking in front of the building is limited. The most convenient visitor parking lots are Garage 2 on Bertner, and the TMC South Extension Visitor Lot where you can take the free TMC white shuttle directly to the building. View parking directions and rates here, and download the TMC Visitor Parking guide here.

Commencement Preparation





All graduates participating in commencement are required to wear regalia ordered from our vendor.

Graduates' regalia orders will be shipped to the address provided on the online order form.

Refunds are not available after the regalia is delivered.


  • Questions and assistance: Cizik School of Nursing bookstore or 713-500-9561

  • Supplier: Herff Jones


To order regalia, visit the School of Public Health's Herff Jones portal:

Click on "Order Now" under the "Cap and Gown" icon, and follow the steps until you receive a confirmation of your order.

Regalia Order Deadlines

  • Online orders with regular shipping charge:      April 15

  • Online orders with expedited shipping charge: April 19

See prices and shipping charges on the website.

Refunds are not available after the regalia is delivered.


  • The dress for graduates (under regalia and shoes) and guests is business casual.
  • Certain apparel appearing outside of the regalia (i.e. pants, long dresses or skirts, socks, shoes) should be neutral or dark in color.
  • Due to the warm weather conditions that are typical during May, lightweight clothing is recommended for apparel worn under the regalia.
  • Necklaces should be tucked inside of the regalia.
  • No props (i.e. feather boas, glow-in-the-dark or lighted items, bells, etc.) should be worn with the regalia.
  • DO NOT add decorations to the regalia.

UTHealth School of Public Health reserves the right to require you to remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate by authorized university officials before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.


Tassels are worn on the left before and during the ceremony and switched to the right at the end of the ceremony.


UTHealth School of Public Health announcements are also available through our Herff Jones portal.

Local Graduation Ceremonies


  • All recent summer, fall and spring graduates from the Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio campuses are welcome to attend both the local and Houston ceremonies.

View general event information on local ceremonies below.

  • Contact your campus coordinator(s) for details on the local ceremony.



Thursday, May 10, 2018




Texas Medical Association Building



Thursday, April 26, 2018




UTHealth School of Public Health Brownsville RAHC Building



Thursday, April 19, 2018




T. Boone Pickens Biomedical Building UTSW Med Center, 14th floor

El Paso


Thursday, May 17, 2018


6:00pm-9:00pm MST


DoubleTree El Paso Downtown

San Antonio


Friday, April 20, 2018




UTHealth San Antonio, Holly Auditorium Foyer