Robert Larner, M.D. '42 Student Award
This award is presented annually to a current student(s) for his or her outstanding leadership and loyalty to the College and one who embodies Dr. Larner’s dedication to not only supporting his medical alma mater but to inspiring others to do so as well.
2018 Robert Larner, M.D.' 42 Award Recipient
Desiree DiBella, Class of 2019
Desiree received a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, summa cum laude, with a concentration in cultural anthropology, in May of 2013. She subsequently was employed by Teach For America and taught elementary education in Nashville, Tenn., for two years before entering the Larner College of Medicine’s Class of 2019.
She has been actively involved in many of the College’s initiatives, the local community, and national health concerns. She is a Student Ambassador and serves on the Student Admissions Leadership Team. She was also appointed as a student representative of the Larner College of Medicine Admissions Committee. In addition, Desiree has organized community-wide events such as “White Coats for Black Lives” and has served as a MedQuest Assistant Director for Vermont AHEC. She also volunteers her time as a member of multiple other student organizations, including the NICU Cuddling Program, Students of Medicine Involved in Local Education (SMILE Docs), Student National Medical Association, Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Special Olympics, and MedQuest Anatomy Outreach Day. She is a member of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society.
2017 Robert Larner, M.D.' 42 Award Recipient
Eric T. Schmidt, Class of 2018
Mr. Schmidt is a third year medical student in strong academic standing at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, thus far receiving honors in four out of five of his clinical rotations. He is from California, where he attended UC Davis, graduating with highest honors and receiving the Citation for Outstanding Achievement in Exercise Biology. Before enrolling at the Larner College of Medicine, Mr. Schmidt worked as an emergency room scribe and volunteered at Safe Harbor Crisis House. At UVM, he has been a Running Team captain, a member of the Admissions Committee, an MMI interviewer, and an LCOM Student Ambassador. He is the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2018 historian, and, of course, he excels in his academics.
2016 Robert Larner, M.D.' 42 Award Recipient
Erin R. Pichiotino, M.P.H., Class of 2017
A Burlington, Vt., native, Erin Pichiotino received her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont before graduating from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice with a Master of Public Health degree. During her time as a graduate student she held research positions with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Outcomes Group and the Hood Center for Children and Families. She has excelled in clinical rotations as a medical student. Comments include: “Erin was noted to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Several patients commented that she put them at ease, was very thorough, and caring.” Another evaluator wrote: “Erin is able to understand individual patient needs and obstacles in the context of larger system needs and obstacles.” As a 2014-15 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, she developed a program in collaboration with Support and Services at Home and Cathedral Square to empower seniors to take control of their health and wellbeing. Erin was selected as an American Medical Student Association Health Equity Scholar, and served as a student representative on the UVM College of Medicine Medical Curriculum Committee.
2015 Robert Larner, M.D.' 42 Award Recipient
Raj K. Thakrar, Class of 2016
A Westford, Massachusetts native, Raj Thakrar received a B.A. in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and an M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He is the first in his family to attend medical school. Before coming to UVM, he spent a year in the laboratory of noted Massachusetts Institute of Technology biomedical scientist Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., where he investigated a novel therapy for Type 1 Diabetes using islet isolation and transplant surgery. Though passionate about research, Thakrar has also excelled in his clinical performance during hospital rotations, earning praise from his clinical evaluators that includes: “He was a great team player with a great rapport with his patients. Raj is a combination of brilliance, professionalism, pure hard work and genuine personality”. One of his attending’s described him as “someone special” and undoubtedly one of the best students that has rotated on the service. Thakrar was elected to the UVM Board of Trustee – the highest leadership position offered to a student at UVM – in 2013. He has played a role in approving the construction of a new undergraduate STEM center, the new Larner Team-Based Learning Classroom for health professions students, and the rebranding of affiliated medical sites to the University of Vermont Medical Center and UVM Health Network.
2014 Robert Larner, M.D.' 42 Award Recipients
Emily A. Schloff '15
Emily is currently a third-year medical student in strong academic standing at the College of Medicine and is a Larner Loan recipient. She is one of many in her family to attend the University of Vermont and has a strong sense of loyalty to the university. She received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food Science from UVM, graduating cum laude in 2010. Emily’s clinical evaluators consistently comment on her excellent interpersonal and communication skills and her ability to always put her patients at ease. She is one of four in her class who serve on the Student Education group, a liaison between the administration and the student body on matters regarding the curriculum. Emily was also selected to serve on the Medical Student Executive Board, the highest student leadership committee that meets with the Dean of the College and other administrators. She is a leader of UVM’s Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association. Emily is expected to graduate with her class, with a Doctor of Medicine degree in May 2015.
Charles S. Hackett '15
Charles S. Hackett is currently a third-year medical student in excellent standing at the College of Medicine. Excerpts from his clinical evaluations describe him as "an excellent advocate for his patients and has an outstanding bedside manner." He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from UVM in 2011, was a Vermont Scholar, a Pizzagalli Vermont Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude as an Honors College Scholar. He also received the George Perkins Marsh Award in Biology. In addition to his academic accomplishments, he served the College of Medicine as a Peer Tutor, providing one-on-one tutoring to other medical students experiencing academic difficulty. He has also been a mentor in the UVM Premedical Enhancement Program, a formalized mentoring program for UVM undergraduate students co-sponsored by the UVM Honors College and College of Medicine Office of Primary Care. Charles Hackett is also the recipient of the William Street, MD ’59 scholarship. He is expected to graduate with his class with a Doctor of Medicine degree in May 2015.