Get out of your head and into your heart


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By: Sally Crocker

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Dr. Christine A. Moranetz, in presenting her Last Lecture to School of Public Health students, offered this bit of advice: Get out of your head and into your heart.

Quoting Helen Keller, Dr. Moranetz said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

The tradition of The Last Lecture, initiated by the UNTHSC Public Health Student Government Association, provides students a chance to hear closing thoughts and gain inspiration from professors they have studied with over the years.

Final Lecture Thoughts

In addition to advising students to listen to their hearts, as well as their heads, Dr. Moranetz urged students to:

  • Live in the moment.
  • Stand by your faith and convictions.
  • Cultivate friendships.
  • Strive for equality and social justice.
  • Leave a legacy.
  • Serve others.
  • Develop compassion and empathy.
  • Be courageous.
  • Dream big.

For nine years, Dr. Moranetz has served in a number of leadership posts in the School of Public Health, including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, DrPH Program Director, PhD Program Director and Chair of the Department of Public Health Education. As Associate Professor, she will retire this summer.

“I’ve been working on this presentation for quite a while, and I’ve prepared 180 slides for our three-hour workshop today,” Dr. Moranetz joked, opening her talk. “Seriously, I have so much to tell you, but I think you’ll be glad to know that I’ve condensed it into a one-hour presentation.”

SPH graduate research assistant Md Abdullah Al Mamun, who has been mentored in his PhD studies by Dr. Moranetz, described her in opening introductions as “a professor who shares compassion with each of her students, who nurtures us and lets us thrive.”

Dr. Dennis Thombs, SPH Dean, echoed those thoughts in his remarks, saying, “She always puts students first.”

Former student Allen Applegate, DrPH, MPH, CPH, traveled to Fort Worth from San Francisco to attend the presentation.

“Dr. Moranetz had such a positive impact on me as a student and on my career,” he said. “It was an honor to be part of her final lecture as she reflected on her meaningful career and those who helped her achieve success. The wisdom she shared was heartfelt and inspiring.”

Applegate now serves as Lieutenant Commander for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s been said that great teachers inspire, and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that I’ve been an inspiration to you, as you have been to me,” said Dr. Moranetz, who will retire from UNTHSC this summer.

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