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16th Annual Student Awards Ceremony Recognizes Top UMSOM Medical Graduates

June 29, 2022 | Lauren Robinson

Kerri Thom, MD, MSFourth-Year Medical Students Receive Recognition for Their Academic Accomplishments

On May 18, 2022, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) held its 16th annual Student Awards Ceremony & Dinner at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. Fourth-year medical students in the Class of 2022 were recognized for their superior academic performance and modeling extraordinary humanism, compassion, and integrity over their four-year tenure in medical school. The event also publicly recognized generous donors, many being alumni, faculty, and friends, whose financial support afforded students with the various scholarships.

Kerri Thom, MD, MS, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at UMSOM, served as master of ceremonies. “I am glad we are able to reassemble in person to celebrate the accomplishments our students have made,” she said as she welcomed distinguished guests, donors, faculty, students, and their families. “Tonight, we pause to celebrate success in our academic community.”

Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBAAwards 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 those who had made generous contributions to the departments. Donors were also recognized for their generous contributions to fund these awards.

“Those receiving honors 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. “They have worked diligently throughout medical school in achieving their academic accomplishments. I would also like to recognize our generous donors who have made these awards possible. We are extremely grateful.”

Kelly M. Bridgham, MD ’22Among the evening’s awardees was Kelly M. Bridgham, MD ’22, who received The Balder Scholarship Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. She thanked all who supported her during her medical school journey.

Donna Parker, MD, FACP“I am thankful to everyone who has supported me over the past four years, including my family and the amazing faculty here at the School of Medicine,” she said. “I am honored to be the recipient of this award, and I consider myself very fortunate to have trained at this institution.” Dr. Bridgham will be completing a residency in Otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dean Reece, alongside Donna L. Parker, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, recognized three other students who received prestigious awards during the ceremony. Gaia Cicerchia, MD ’22, Jennifer Drechsler, MD ’22, and Madison Hill, MD ’22 were all recognized as this year’s Academy of Educational Excellence Fellows, established by Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 and Richard M. Susel, MD ’66. Dr. Cicerchia received the Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 and Richard M. Susel, MD ’66 Academy Student Teaching Fellows Award. Dr. Drechsler received the Richard M. Susel, MD ’66 Award for Outstanding Clinical Performance in Ophthalmology. Dr. Hill accepted the Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 Award for Outstanding Clinical Performance in Dermatology.

Gaia Cicerchia, MD ’22, Jennifer Drechsler, MD ’22, and Madison Hill, MD ’22 recieving awards.

UMSOM’s Class of 2022 received their doctoral hoods in a special graduation ceremony at the Hippodrome Theatre on May 19. This year’s University-wide commencement event for the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was also held on May 19 at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding.  As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies.  In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools.  The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


Lauren Robinson
Public Affairs/Community Health Specialist
Managing Editor, SOM News
Office of Public Affairs & Communications
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Office: 410.706.7508
Work Cell: 443.743.9047

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