Students, faculty honored at School of Medicine commencement

On Saturday, May 7, the School of Medicine commencement ceremony took place at Memorial Hall. This year, UNC produced 154 new doctors of medicine. The class of 2011 chose Anthony Charles, MD, as commencement speaker. Read on for details about the class and the awards presented.

Facts about the 2011 class:

  • 90 percent of the class did community service while in medical school
  • 67 percent conducted research as medical students
  • Collectively, the Class of 2011 can speak 28 languages from Arabic to Urdu and including Haitian Creole, Hindi, Mandarin, and Turkish
  • 34 percent can communicate with their patients in Spanish
  • While in medical school, they studied or worked in 26 different countries on 6 continents, from Cambodia to Mexico, from China to Zimbabwe, and from Honduras to New Zealand

The following fifteen students received the degree Doctor of Medicine with Distinction on the basis of having earned a cumulative year-end grade of honors for all years of medical school in which the grade of honors is an option:

Timothy Alves
Kaitlyn Marie Bailey
Carolyn Cassidy Dicus Brookes
Sarah Bass Carroll
Steven Henry Cook
Matthew Morris Dedmon
Kirk Anderson James
Kristoff Anderson Olson
Suha Janine Patel
Hafiz Shabbir Patwa
Suzanne Bryan Rhodes
Matthew Adam Triplette
Kristine Folkerts Van Winkle
Daniel Paul Verges
Blake A. Wynia

The following Departmental and School of Medicine senior awards were announced at commencement.  (A description of each award follows this list.)

Departmental Awards:

Family Medicine Student Award
- Jennifer Nomides
George C. Thrasher Award (Department of Psychiatry) - James Bedford
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award - Cory Forbach
Paul F. Lachiewicz Award for Orthopaedics - James Fraser
The Best Physiatrist Award (Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) - Lee Shuping
George F. Sheldon, M.D. Award (Department of Surgery) - Lauren Allen
Cecil G. Sheps Award (Department of Social Medicine) - Jonathan Wells
American Society of Neurology’s Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology - Stephanie Wolfe

Awards for Scholarship:

The Glasgow-Rubin Commendation for Academic Achievement
- Kaitlyn Bailey, Sarah Bass Carroll, Claire Larson, Suha Patel, Suzanne Bryan Rhodes, Kristine Folkerts Van Winkle, Danielle Samulski
The Deborah C. Leary Award - Adam Campbell, Kristoff Olson
The Isaac Hall Manning Award - Lauren Abbate

Leadership and Contributions to the School of Medicine:

The Christopher C. Fordham III Award
- Allison Serra, Dan Verges
The James Bell Bullitt Award - Alicia Overstreet Galeano
The Merck Manual Award - Bethany Beasley, Michael Kelso, James Brooks, Danielle Samulski

Public Service:

The Terri Brenneman Award
- Sonya Williams

Humanism in Medicine:

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Student Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation
- Jonathan Wells
Daniel T. Young Peace and Social Justice Award - Christina Drostin
Gilbert J. Cuthbertson, MD and Megan C. Danton, MD Memorial Award - Bronwyn Southwell

Class of 2011 House Staff and Faculty Awards:

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation - Dr. Alan Cross, Departments of Pediatrics and Social Medicine
The Professor Award - Dr. Christopher Klipstein, Department of Medicine
The Henry C. Fordham Award (for a house staff member) - Dr. Joshua Unger, Department of Surgery

Description of awards:

Departmental awards:
The Family Medicine Student Award
- Each year, the Department of Family Medicine presents an award to a medical student in recognition of his or her accomplishments and dedication to the ideals of family medicine. The recipient is chosen on the basis of his or her embodiment of the principles of family medicine, service, intention of practicing family medicine, and overall scholarship.

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award - The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine makes available the Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award for a student who has been outstanding in the specialty.  The recipient is selected by the Department of Emergency Medicine.

The Paul F. Lachiewicz Award for Orthopaedics - The Paul F. Lachiewicz Award for Orthopaedics recognizes clinical or research achievement and is awarded to a student who has matched into an orthopaedic residency program.

The American Academy of Neurology's Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology - The American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology recognizes graduating medical students for excellence in clinical neurology.  The UNC recipient is selected by faculty in the Department of Neurology.

The Best Physiatrist Award - The Best Student Physiatrist Award was created by Dr. Michael Y. Lee in honor of his parents, Drs. Michael M. and Shine G. Lee, to recognize and honor the senior medical student who demonstrates the exemplary qualities necessary to care for persons with physical disabilities.  An exemplary physiatrist is caring, compassionate, and has a genuine interest in improving each patient's quality of life and function.  The recipient is selected by faculty and residents of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The George F. Sheldon, MD, Award - The Department of Surgery established the George F. Sheldon, M.D. Award to honor a member of the graduating class who demonstrated excellence in surgery.  This award is named for George F. Sheldon, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery from 1984-2001.

The Cecil G. Sheps Award - The Cecil G. Sheps Award was established in 1987 in honor of Dr. Sheps, former Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Department of Social Medicine.  The award recognizes a fourth-year medical student selected by the Department of Social Medicine who demonstrates academic excellence and practical commitment to the principles of Social Medicine.

The Thrasher Award - The George C. Thrasher Jr. Award was established in 1965 by the Department of Psychiatry in honor of the memory of Dr. Thrasher, a faculty member in Psychiatry who played a major role in teaching medical students.  The award is given to that member of the graduating class who, during his or her medical school experience, showed the most outstanding performance and ability in Psychiatry.

Awards for scholarship:
The Glasgow-Rubin Commendation for Academic Achievement
- The Glasgow-Rubin Academic Achievement Award and Citations are presented by the American Medical Women’s Association to recognize women graduates who have excelled academically throughout medical school.

The Deborah C. Leary Award – Established in 1958, the award honors Deborah Cushing Leary, M.D., Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UNC School of Medicine from 1952 to 1957.  The Leary Award is presented to a fourth-year student whose research paper is judged by a faculty committee to be the best paper submitted.

The Isaac Hall Manning Award - In 1954, an anonymous donor established a fund to provide an annual award in honor of Isaac Hall Manning, M.D., Class of 1895, who served the School of Medicine from 1905 to 1933 as a professor of Physiology and Dean.  Members of the graduating class are nominated by faculty for the Isaac Hall Manning Award on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership, initiative, and original investigative work.

Leadership and contributions to the School:
The Christopher C. Fordham III Award - The Christopher C. Fordham III Award was established in honor of Dr. Fordham for his outstanding and creative leadership in medical and higher education. He was a former dean of the medical school, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, and a chancellor of the University. This award recognizes graduating students for outstanding and creative leadership at the medical school. Nominations for this award were solicited from the chairs of the departments based on their faculty’s recommendations, from members of the senior class, and from senior class advisors.

The James Bell Bullitt Award - The James Bell Bullitt Award, given for the first time in 1962, honors Dr. Bullitt, formerly a professor of Pathology, who was a member of the faculty of the School of Medicine from 1913 to 1947.  Consistent with Dr. Bullitt’s contributions to the School of Medicine, this award provides an opportunity for recognizing unusual achievements or contributions to the medical school community by a member of the senior class.  Seniors nominate their classmates for this award.

The Merck Manual Award - Each year, the Merck Publishing Group offers the Merck Manual Award to outstanding medical students.  The qualifications for the award are at the discretion of the School of Medicine.  At UNC, the award is given to graduating students based on contributions to the medical school community.  The staff members in the Office of Student Affairs and the Admissions Office select the recipients.  

Public Service award:
Terri Brenneman Award - The Terri Brenneman Award was established in memory of a member of the Class of 1984 who died in her third year.  This award recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated a commitment to serve the underserved.   Members of the senior class nominate classmates for this award and the recipient selects a charitable cause to receive a donation in his or her name from the Terri Brenneman Memorial Fund.

Humanism in Medicine:
The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation - The Arnold P. Gold Foundation makes it possible for an award to be presented to one graduating senior and one medical school faculty member who integrate humanism into the delivery of care to patients and their families.  The recipients consistently demonstrate compassion and empathy in the  delivery of care, show respect for all, demonstrate cultural sensitivity, display effective communication and listening skills, adhere to professional ethical standards, understand a patient's need for interpretation of complex medical diagnosis while showing respect for a patient's viewpoint, pay attention to patients' psychological well-being, engender trust and confidence, and remain personally committed to self-evaluation.  The student recipient has helped others and accepted help from others when necessary, engaged in volunteer activities showing concern for the welfare of the community, and sought and accepted criticism for improvement of performance.  Students are nominated by faculty members and classmates.  

The Daniel T. Young Peace and Social Justice Award - The Daniel T. Young Peace and Social Justice Award goes to the graduating student who, in the opinion of his or her classmates, has demonstrated—through extracurricular activities—the most steadfast dedication to the advancement of peace and social justice.  Students are nominated by their classmates.

The Gilbert J. Cuthbertson, M.D. and Megan C. Danton, M.D. Memorial Award - The Class of 1983 established the Gilbert J. Cuthbertson, M.D. and Megan C. Danton, M.D. Memorial Award to honor two physicians, husband and wife, who died in a plane crash in 1988.  Graduating students nominate classmates who exhibit the personal qualities of these two doctors, including caring for others; an ability to make people smile; joy in living; and, in particular, a quiet compassion for all humankind.

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