Dr. Latania Broyls Logan ’93 received this year’s Young Alumni Award as she returned to Morgan Park Academy to address the Class of 2022 and their families, friends, and teachers at the annual Senior Breakfast on May 27, 2022.
Dr. Logan was born and raised in Morgan Park and is an MPA K-12 “lifer,” graduating from MPA at age 16. She attended the University of Michigan, were she studied biology and was pre-med, and then entered medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit.
After earning her M.D., Dr. Logan came back to Chicago to complete her residency and fellowship at Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. After completion of her training, she accepted a position at Rush University Medical Center, where she has worked ever since.
Dr. Logan is currently the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center, and a Professor of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She additionally serves as the Hospital Epidemiologist for Rush University Children’s Hospital.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Logan has served as Incident Commander for COVID-19 response for the Women and Children’s Hospitals of Rush. Dr. Logan’s federally funded research focuses on the epidemiology of pediatric infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and this work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health.
She is the proud parent of two MPA students. She is also a member of the MPA Athletic Hall of Fame.
Morgan Park Academy’s Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have achieved great success and offer inspiration as models for leadership and service to others. Previous recipients are Gregory Coleman ’91, Omar Raddawi ’03, and Dr. Lisa Daniel-Olimene ’89.
For more information about the award, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanted to start by thanking Mr. Drahozal and MPA for the invitation and honor to speak at your Senior Breakfast. Much of my time now at MPA is dropping off and picking up my two Lower School kids or running inside because somebody forgot a folder or an assignment, so it’s a very nice change of pace to be here with the Upper School and our graduating seniors.
It’s also nice to be here on Academy Day. Even when I went to school here, Academy Day was one of my favorite days from the time I was in Lower School winning prizes in the games or sports to when I was a high schooler helping out with all of the events and enjoying seeing all of those happy little faces eating candy. I think some of the games are the same ones that we used to play for prizes back in the day which is fun and funny to see also.
It was a challenge for me to figure out what I wanted to talk to you about today. So much has happened over the last 3 years that has changed all of our lives, much of which we will be sorting out for the next several decades. But what I don’t want to do is focus on the negatives that we all have experienced, but on what we were able to accomplish together.
As part of my job as the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Rush, I have to be a leader. I have to rally my troops, keep them motivated, make sure that we are teaching our next generation of doctors and taking great care of our patients. As a researcher and a scientist, I have to generate hypotheses and perform experiments in my lab to try to figure out why antibiotic resistant bacteria are infecting children, young adults and healthy people in the community. As the Hospital Epidemiologist, I have to be ready for the unexpected, deal with outbreaks of bacteria, parasites, viruses and other germs, and protect patients from getting infections inside the hospital.
And although I was part of the Ebola virus global response back in 2014, and the flu pandemic before that, nothing could really prepare me for becoming a COVID commander for our healthcare system since 2020. It was a new type of leadership, requiring countless hours of preparation and response with hospital leadership, dealing with multiple waves of this relentless virus, teaching about the virus and vaccines, calming people’s fears even when there weren’t answers, and taking care of many sick patients when supplies were limited.
But as busy as exhausting as this has been, nothing was more remarkable then watching what all of you as students, your parents and guardians, teachers, administrators, staff, and your families were able to do together during this unbelievably trying time. The world shut down in the middle of high school. You were forced to adapt to online learning, live at home with your family 24/7 (the good and the bad of that), and no going out when or where you wanted. But what did you do? You all got back into the game. You adapted. Doing your school lessons and presentations online, keeping track of your responsibilities when everything varied by the minute and had Zoom get-togethers with friends. You took advantage of new opportunities and found ways to have fun in and outside and with your family in ways I am sure you never would have imagined. My family figured out we like hiking. Who knew?
But you persevered, made mask wearing fashionable, and all throughout this, you continued to give back to the community through public service, you took part in social justice movements, represented the academy at many venues, won awards in academics, service and sports, and helped others get through this by banding together.
You are the definition of resilient, you exude excellence, and your mental and physical stamina are beyond compare. While I chose to take on my position, your hands were forced to take on incredible leadership responsibility as high schoolers, and here you sit today as graduating seniors who are capable of taking on anything. I believe because of your experiences, your hard work, determination, and dedication, you will be prepared for college and beyond in ways that generations before you never could.
Adaptability, the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions, is an essential piece to success in college and in a career. You have to be prepared to do things outside of your comfort zone, have strong focus, be willing to compromise, work with and listen to others, and speak up for those who don’t have a voice. Sound familiar? It should because you all have adapted to our new norm and continued to do so in solidarity. Though the college environment may look different, be in a different city or state, and the people will be new, your experiences at MPA, with each other and the world will allow you to adapt more easily than I am sure you anticipate. Life will continue to throw you curveballs, but I have no doubt that you will continue to knock it out of the park.
So when you look back at your high school days, instead of reflecting on the stressful times, remember how remarkable and resilient you are. Remember how you worked together with your friends, family, teachers, and even strangers to help your school, your community, Chicago, and the world adjust to an unpredictable present. Continue to expect the unexpected and accept all of the challenges that come your way. You are the leaders and best and as you step into the next phase of your lives, remember that there is nothing that you can’t handle, together.
Thank you for allowing me to speak to you all this morning, congratulations to the Class of 2022 on your graduation and go Warriors!