Thursday, May 16, 2013
Graduation celebrations kicked off on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, with the seventh annual Student Awards ceremony. The dinner was held at the Southern Management Company Campus Center and sponsored by The Whiting Turner Contracting Company. It provided an opportunity to recognize the accomplished graduating students who have received academic awards and prizes. This event also recognizes the donors whose generous contributions fund these awards.
“Our donors have made countless contributions to the lives and future careers of our students,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Your philanthropy has a measurable and notable impact upon our mission and vision of excellence in medical education. Your commitment to furthering the mission of the School of Medicine has made it possible for us to fulfill one of our top priorities: to educate the physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals of tomorrow. We deeply appreciate your incredible generosity.”
The ceremony also honored students who have shown great promise in a variety of medical disciplines. These students were presented with awards from nearly all of the School of Medicine departments, some of which are named after department founders or former chairs, or after generous donors to those departments. “For over 200 years the University of Maryland has been at the forefront of medical education. Our curriculum changes continuously to meet the needs of our students, and to remain responsive to the demands of patients and the changing healthcare landscape. Now in its third century, the School of Medicine continues to approach medical education in innovative ways, blending cutting-edge technologies, traditional lectures, broad elective opportunities, and self-directed learning into our core curriculum. Through these varied experiences and methods, we hope to instill in our medical students a relentless desire to be life-long learners, and to actively seek solutions to health care now and in the future.”
Other awards are named in honor of special teachers who have had a profound impact on students at the School of Medicine. Such was the case with a new award given by the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology. Gregory Gasbarro was the recipient of the first Anderson Award for Excellence in Applied Anatomy, named in honor of Larry Anderson, PhD, the beloved anatomy professor who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. The Class of 2013 was the last class Dr. Anderson taught. “I feel honored to be the inaugural recipient of this award, which is particularly meaningful to me,” said Greg. “Dr. Anderson was a wonderful mentor and friend with whom I grew very close to throughout our first year of school. He had an incredibly profound influence on my career, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Larry Anderson was one of the first faculty members inducted into the Carolyn J. Pass, MD ’66 and Richard M. Susel, MD ’66 Academy of Educational Excellence, which was established in 2008 to honor faculty members past and present who demonstrate exceptional innovation in, and dedication to, medical education; who embody the highest ideals of the medical and/or science professions; and who display a singular commitment to the best interests of medical students. At this year’s awards dinner, two more faculty members were inducted into the Academy: Donna Parker, MD, FACP, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine; and Dan Schulze, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Their names will be engraved on a plaque on permanent display inside the Pass and Susel Medical Education Facility in Howard Hall.
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