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Student Scholarship and Awards Breakfast Honors Exceptional Students From the Class of 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

 This was the first of three awards for Hadas Skupsky, who earned high marks in anatomy, pathology and cell & molecular biology.

Graduation festivities kicked off May 21, 2010 with the annual Student Scholarship and Awards Breakfast, held at the Southern Management Company Campus Center and presented by the Whiting Turner Contracting Company. The ceremony gave students who have been supported by scholarships the chance to recognize and thank the donors who established those rewards.

“Each scholarship award has a special meaning for both contributor and recipient and recognizes philanthropy in its truest form,” 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. “As donors, your contributions directly impact our mission to provide outstanding medical education here at the School of Medicine.”

The breakfast ceremony also honored those graduating students who have shown the most promise in each department discipline with awards from those departments. “I congratulate these students, who have worked so hard and achieved so much,” said Dean Reece. “Thank you for your efforts, and congratulations on your achievements in your own relentless pursuit of excellence.”

The students with the top three capstone projects were recognized as well. The capstone project became a requirement for graduation in 2009. It is a part of the fourth-year clinical medicine rotation (formerly known as AHEC), during which students do clinical work in rural and other underserved areas. For the capstone, students wrote on topics inspired by patients they met during these rotations. Casey Rice won first place for her essay “Rural Residencies: The Answer to Maryland’s Physician Shortage?” Tala Al-Talib took second place for “Iatrogenesis and IVDA: Routes of Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus in Egypt and Baltimore.” And Giselle Kohler took third with “Fast Foods and Thin Wallets: Shaping Food Environments in Low-Income Areas.”

Michael Grant, president of the Class on 2010, spoke on all of the students’ behalf. “Four years ago, the University of Maryland School of Medicine decided to make an investment in the lives of the students here today,” he said. “They placed us under the supervision of established scientists and physicians, guided us through the dichotomy between medical theory and medical practice, they nurtured our sensitivities about the health of humanity, and they helped us mature into the student physicians we are today. That investment has already paid off. We have in this room future stars, and not only in the field of medicine. These students are not only intensely dedicated to the profession, they have a love for life and strong personal character. Finding equal footing in their careers and their professional lives is no ordinary task. But then, these are no ordinary people.”

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 The Whiting Turner Contracting Company was the presenting sponsor of the awards breakfast.

 Normally given to just one person, the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research went to three successful student researchers this year: Nick Burris, Michael Grant and Jonas Nelson.

 Dr. Mary Dorcas Clark with Richard Bryson, this year's recipient of the scholarship that bears Dr. Clark's name.

 Dr. Frank Calia, Carol Frenkil and Dean Reece presented Donald Slack with the Dr. James & Carol Frenkil Award, given to a student who overcame medical hardship during med school.

 Dawn Roberts and Dean Reece presented Lisa Green with the Student National Medical Association Service Award.

 Shani Woolard was also the winner of a Student National Medical Association Service Award.

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