The night before their graduation ceremony, top achievers from the Class of 2017 gathered for the 11th annual Student Awards Ceremony and Dinner, held at the Marriott Inner Harbor. The awards dinner provided an opportunity to recognize the accomplished graduating students who received scholarships, awards, and other academic prizes. This event also recognized the donors whose generous contributions support these awards.
“The University of Maryland School of Medicine is fortunate to attract exceptional medical students, and those receiving honors and awards tonight are truly the best of the best” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to our extraordinary students who seized the opportunity to be part of this great SOM, and who have worked not only diligently, but also in the pursuit of excellence towards their medical degrees. Your dedication to excellence and your commitment to stand out from your peers have brought us together to celebrate this evening with you.”
The awards ceremony honored students across a variety of medical disciplines who have demonstrated high academic achievement, humanism, and professionalism during their time at the School of Medicine. Awards were presented from nearly every School of Medicine department, with many of the awards named in honor of influential department founders, former chairs or faculty members, or in recognition of donors who made generous personal gifts to establish an award or prize.
“Our donors have made countless contributions to the lives and future careers of our students,” said Dean Reece. “Your philanthropy has had a measurable and a tangible impact, and makes it possible for us to educate tomorrow’s physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals. We deeply appreciate your incredible support.”
Student speaker Anna Dusenbery was the recipient of the Balder Scholarship Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes the student with the highest academic scores across all four years of medical school. She thanked all who supported her during her medical school journey – her parents, the faculty, and especially her classmates. “I am honored to have gone through this process with you from day 1. We have come a long way together,” she told them. Anna is headed off for a residency in Pathology at the University of Virginia. “As I go through my residency, I know I will continue to rely on the incredible education that I have received here.”
In addition to students receiving recognition at the ceremony, two faculty members were inducted as fellows into the Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 and Richard M. Susel, MD ’66 Academy of Educational Excellence, which awards faculty members who demonstrate excellence in both patient care and classroom instruction. This year’s honorees were Erin Giudice, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Director of the Pediatric Residency program, and Joseph Martinez, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, as well as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Assistant Dean for Clinical Medical Education and Residency Programs Liaison. Faculty members inducted into the Academy are recognized on a plaque located inside the Pass and Susel Medical Education Facility in Howard Hall, and receive special pins to signify their membership into the Academy.
Drs. Pass and Susel established an additional award in 2015, The Medical Education Tool Chest, which rewards faculty members who introduce novel curriculum changes and provides funding for projects designed to augment medical student education. This year’s recipient was Neda Frayha, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, and Assistant Dean, Office of Student Affairs.
Also, for the fourth year running, the Pass and Susel Academy inducted a medical student. This year, Ekjyot Gill, MS-IV, was honored as the Student Teaching Fellow. The School of Medicine Class of 2017 received their doctoral hoods in a special graduation ceremony at the Hippodrome Theater on May 18 (see story). Commencement for the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was on May 19 at the Royal Farms Arena.