Class of 2017 Honors Night Recognizes Students’ and Faculty’s Accomplishments

May 18, 2017 by Jennifer Nachbur

The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont recognized the many accomplishments of the Class of 2017 and several of their teachers in UVM’s Davis Center on May 15 at Honors Night.

The Department of Family Medicine is awarded the Clinical Department of the Year Award. (L to R): Dean Rick Morin, M.D., Tom Peterson, M.D., Bill Jeffries, Ph.D., Allie Brown '17, Martha Seagrave, PA-C, and David Reisman, M.D. (Photo: Dave Seaver)

The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont recognized the many accomplishments of the Class of 2017 and several of their teachers in UVM’s Davis Center on May 15 at Honors Night. A total of 30 individual student awards, eleven faculty awards, one staff award, and one department award were presented. In addition, the event featured the induction of members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. 

“Your excellent work has only just begun, said Larner College of Medicine Dean Rick Morin, M.D., in his welcome to the Class of 2017. “I’m sure there will be many awards and honors coming your way in the future, but tonight, we’re showcasing the best of your efforts here at this College.”

Honor Society Recognition Awards

Donald Laub, M.D., professor of surgery in the division of plastic surgery, announced the names of the students being inducted as new Gold Humanism Honor Society members. Each new member received a gold cord to wear with their Commencement regalia. Students chosen for this society are recognized for their excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion, and dedication to service. The 17 Class of 2017 students honored include: Hillary Anderson; Eric Bennett; Meaghan Breen; Mustafa Chopan; Elizabeth Cochrane; Alissa Correll; Justin Genziano; Dylan Hershkowitz; Amy Hopkins; Sarah King; Danielle Leahy; Chi An “Andy” Liu; Mohammad Mertaban; Kiyon Tavakolian; Ryan Nichols; I-Hsiang Shu; and George Taylor. Recipients of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards, presented by the Gold Foundation for excellence in both compassionate patient care and scientific achievement were announced, were Marvin Klikunas, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine, who received the faculty award, and Robin Leopold ’17, who received the student award.

The event also featured the induction of 20 members of the College’s Class of 2017 into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Students elected into this society have shown promise of becoming leaders in their profession. Heather Burbank, M.D., assistant professor of radiology, read the names of the honorees, who included: Murtaza Bharmal; Amy Hopkins; Sarah Kelso; Douglas Chieffe; Mustafa Chopan; Kyle Concannon; Laura Griesinger; Troy Larson; Laura Leonard; John McLaren; Imelda Muller; Ryan Nichols; Carol Nunziato; Colette Oesterle; Erin Pichiotino; Noah Quinlan; Catherine Suppan; Alexander Thomas; Jacqueline Wade; and Katherine Wang. Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society Award recipients included Jesse Moore, M.D., assistant professor of surgery and director of the surgery clerkship (Faculty Award); Andrea Steely, M.D., clinical instructor in surgery (Housestaff Award); Adam Paine, M.D., clinical instructor in surgery (Housestaff Award); and Cornelius Ferreira, M.D., clinical assistant professor of family medicine at Danbury Hospital (Volunteer Faculty Award).

Clinical Excellence Awards

Faculty members representing ten clinical departments presented awards to students:

  • Associate Dean for Student Affairs Christa Zehle, M.D., presented the John E. Mazuzan Jr., M.D. ‘54 Award for excellence in Anesthesiology to Christopher Mayhew ’17.
  • Mario Trabulsy, M.D., associate professor of surgery in the division of emergency medicine, announced the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award for excellence in Emergency Medicine recipient as Mary Ledoux ’17.
  • Thomas Peterson, M.D., professor and chair of family medicine, presented the Family Medicine John P. Fogarty, M.D. Leadership Award to Eunice Fu ’17, and the Edward E. Friedman Award for promise of excellence in the practice of Family Medicine to Alexandra Brown ’17.
  • Polly Parsons, M.D., professor and chair of medicine, presented two awards: The Ellsworth Amidon Award for outstanding proficiency in Internal Medicine, which was presented to Alexander Thomas ’17; and the Laura Weed, M.D. Award for qualities of excellence, service, and commitment in Internal Medicine, which was awarded to Sarah King ’17.
  • Timothy Fries, M.D., associate professor of neurological sciences, presented two awards: The American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for excellence in Neurology, which was given to John McLaren ’17, and the Herbert Martin Sr., M.D. Award for excellence in Neurology to Amy Yu ’17.
  • Ira Bernstein, M.D., professor and chair of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, presented two awards for his department: The Carbee Award for academic excellence in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, which was presented to Sruthi Sakamuri ’17; and the John V. Maeck, M.D.’39 Robe Recipient, who was Elizabeth Cochrane ’17.
  • Dr. Zehle presented the Dr. & Mrs. Nathaniel Gould, M.D.’37 Prize for outstanding achievements in Orthopaedic Surgery to Noah Quinlan ’17.
  • Lewis First, M.D., professor and chair of pediatrics, presented the Ralph D. Sussman, M.D.’38/Medical Alumni Award for excellence in Pediatrics to three students: Hillary Anderson ’17, Nicholas Bonenfant ’17, and Catherine Suppan ’17.
  • Jeremiah Dickerson, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, presented the William Sweetser Award for excellence in Psychiatry to Dylan Hershkowitz ’17.
  • Joshua Nickerson, M.D., assistant professor of radiology, presented the Radiology Achievement Award for excellence in Radiology to Kiyon Tavakolian ’17.
  • Jesse Moore, M.D., announced three awards from the Department of Surgery. Isobel Santos ’17 received the Harry Howe, M.D. ’52 Senior Student Award for excellence in Surgery; Bryce Bludevich ’17 received the H. Gordon Page, M.D. ‘45 Award for excellence in Surgery; and Laura Leonard ’17 received the Pilcher Award for representing the qualities of Eleanor & Lewis Pilcher of devotion to family and patients, with a high regard for ethics and honesty.
  • Dr. Zehle presented The Charles T. Schechtman, M.D.26 Award for Clinical Excellence. Colette Oesterle ’17 received the first-place award; Douglas Chieffe ’17 received the second-place award.

Senior Student Awards

Dr. Zehle also presented six senior awards, including:

  • The Lamb Fellowship Award for best exemplifying concern and care for the total patient: Hillary Anderson ’17 (first place); Gwendolyn Warren ’17 (second place); and Chi An “Andy” Liu ’17 (third place).
  • The Dean William Eustis Brown Award for broad cultural interests, and loyalty to the College of Medicine: Mohammad Mertaban ’17
  • The David M. Tormey Award for perseverance in the pursuit of medical education: Mary Ledoux ’17
  • The Kerzner Family Prize for service to the community: Catherine Suppan ’17
  • The Beth Kirkpatrick Citizen of the World Award: Bryce Bludevich ’17
  • The David Babbott, M.D. “Caring and Seeing” Award: Kyle Concannon ’17

William Jeffries, Ph.D., senior associate dean for medical education, presented the final student award of the evening – the Mimi A. Reardon, M.D.’67 Award for service to the Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont – which was given to Mohammad Mertaban ’17.

Class of 2017 Awards to Faculty, Residents and Staff

Several awards were presented by vote of the class to honor faculty and staff members who contributed to the students’ medical education in significant ways. Jenna Morris presented the Dignity in Medicine Award to Michael Upton, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and co-faculty advisor of the College of Medicine’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Bryce Bludevich presented the Colette Award to Emma Faustner, Office of Medical Student Education. Andy Liu presented the Clinical Resident of the Year to David Reisman, M.D., clinical instructor in family medicine. Bryce Bludevich presented the Howe Outstanding Faculty Award to Loic Fabricant, M.D., assistant professor of surgery. Mohammad Mertaban presented the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award to Elise Everett, M.D., M.S., associate professor and clerkship director for obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and the Clinical Department of the Year Award (The Silver Shovel Award) to the Department of Family Medicine.

These honors, as well as previously-awarded student honors, are also featured in the Larner College of Medicine at UVM 2017 Commencement brochure.