Medical school hosts inaugural academic awards celebration

More than 300 gathered to celebrate academic achievements of inaugural class of medical students, dedicated faculty and staff

The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine’s inaugural graduation week kicked off with an awards banquet recognizing academic achievements of the charter class, as well as dedicated faculty and staff. The event was the first of three ceremonies to mark the historic graduation of 150 medical students from North Carolina’s newest medical school, launched in 2013.

“Remember one simple but significant fact as we take these next steps in our careers, the individual achievements are also each other’s collective achievements,” said Phillip Deal, Class of 2017 president. “Medicine in its purest form is  truly an honorable profession, but much like ourselves, it is not always perfect.  It can be a virtuous pursuit, but it is not always fair.

“All of us will undoubtedly face situations that aren’t black and white as newly minted physicians, and we need to be comfortable in that grey area — thrive in the unique subtleties that make medicine more an art form than a science.”

The awards presented: 

  • Distinguished Biomedical Science Award: Erica Brotzman
  • Distinguished Clinical Science Award: Erica Brotzman
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Family Medicine: Victor Appau Karikari, Alexander Maderia, Phillip Deal, Lauren Baumgardner, John Vu and Daniel Moses
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Pediatrics: Gaurish Soni, Oliva Mak, Elizabeth Willis, Angela Lee, Richard Baggaley and Jillian Hartwell Perry
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Obstetrics and Gynecology:  Sadia Mobeen, Matt Walker, Paul Poidomani, Marc Rodrigue, Brad Goforth, and Kathryn Brewer Key
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Internal Medicine: Richard Dobson, Meredith Haley, Jamie Campbell, Aleksey Tsarevskiy, Ilona Brown and Briana Promutico              
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Surgery: Renata Palmeri, Rachel Dellehunt, Michael Firtha, Anthony Parker, Amber Duda, and Patrick Downs
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Psychiatry: Jessica Parker, Sam Olson, Dan  Durocher, Ibrahim Daghner, Dan Kopatich and Erin Fitzpatrick
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Geriatrics: Evan Wenig, John Bunyasaranand, Blake Taylor, Travis Bridges, Flint Ray, and Kyle Levitt
  • Distinguished Clinical Scholars Emergency Medicine: Priyanka Kailash, Heather Wagner, David Gregory, Darin Fomin, Benjamin McMichael, and Christopher Benton
  • Distinguished Student of the Region Award: Victor Appau Karikari, Matt Walker, Kathryn Taylor, Gunjan Joshi, Jessica Hulbert, and Jonathan Stormer
  • Global Health Award:  Liza Kessling
  • Dr. Jerry M. Wallace Award: Stephanie Horan
  • Dr. William F. Morris  Award: Jonathan Stormer
  • Student Research Award: Michael Firtha
  • Dean’s Award: Melissa Davies

Faculty and staff honored at the ceremony included six physician preceptors who assisted in educating and training Campbell’s future physicians at each of Campbell’s five regional clinical campuses as well as faculty and staff in Buies Creek.

  • Preceptors of the Year:                                                    
    • Region 1 Lumberton: Dr. Richard Johnson
    • Region 2 Fayetteville:  Dr. Sumit Kalra
    • Region 3a Raleigh:  Dr. Andrew Buzan
    • Region 3b Harnett:  Dr. Steve DeMeo
    • Region 4 Salisbury:  Dr. Chris Magryta
    • Region 5 Goldsboro: Dr. Subodh Pal
  • Biomedical Faculty Award:  Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, chair and assistant professor of Clinical Pathology
  • Clinical Faculty Award:  Dr. Chris Stewart, vice chair and associate professor of internal medicine
  • Outstanding Staff Award:  Eddie Holder, security officer
  • Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence:  Dr. Andrea Mann, assistant dean for clinical education;  chair and associate professor of pediatric and internal medicine

The final recognitions for the evening were Dr. Michael P. Mahalik, vice dean for academic affairs, for his dedication and leadership over the past four years, and the founding board members and invaluable contributors to the Campbell Community Care Clinic — a student run free clinic that provides healthcare to the uninsured in the Harnett County community.  Founding board members included: Daniel Moses, Jeffrey Pennings, Jim Hooper, Elizabeth Willis, Phillip Deal, Mark Lorenzini, Anthony Parker. Invaluable contributors: Jordan Hitchens, Kate Taylor, Kelly Stanley, Rich Dobson and Chris O’Keeffe.

“The important thing about this clinic is that its been doing incredible things for the community,” said Daniel Moses, leader of the founding free clinic board.  “Every week this clinic is growing and growing and developing into something I could never have thought of when we got the mandate to found the clinic from Dr. Kauffman.  Literally, hundreds of people come in and say I have no where else to go and that’s an incredibly powerful thing…I wish that wasn’t’ the case, that they didn’t have to come to us, that we weren’t’ the last line of defense for anyone…I wish that there was a better way.  So, I do want you to join me in supporting these endeavors here and at other clinics and to support a day when they aren’t necessary.”