Larner Changemakers Recognized at Celebration of Gender Equity

March 10, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur

The Larner College of Medicine's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion held its second annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science on March 4, which featured a keynote by Diane Magrane, M.D., and an awards ceremony.

Over the past year since the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's first-ever Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science, our community – and the world – has experienced something that Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., described as "different from anything we could have imagined" during his opening remarks at the 2021 event on March 4.

Held via Zoom, the celebration provided an opportunity to recount the hurdles, brought more sharply into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, that many members of society have faced throughout history, and highlighted the urgent need to enact change.

Gender Equity Liaison and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Anne Dougherty, M.D., M.S., delivered a welcome to attendees, noting that, "it is in times like this that it is most important to persist, to hold firm for what we know is right.” She said that the evening’s event, in part, brought folks together “to reckon with these inequities, to look at them head on, and name them out loud,” adding that “we are also here tonight to lift each other up."

After recognizing the work of the Gender Equity Steering Committee, Dougherty introduced and welcomed Diane Magrane, M.D., former Larner associate dean for medical education, back to the College as this year’s keynote speaker. Magrane, who is immediate past director of Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) and former Association of American Medical Colleges associate vice president for faculty development and leadership, delivered a keynote address, titled “Bystander or Advocate? Who Do You Choose to Be?” In her talk, she recounted first-hand experiences with inequity throughout her 40+-year-long career, discussed such topics as the critical role of equity in ensuring diversity and inclusion, how individuals contribute to cultural changes, and engaged attendees with Q&A and polling features.

The following awards were introduced by Joanna Conant, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and chair of the Gender Equity Steering Committee Education and Professional Development Working Group, and presented by Dean Page at the celebration:

  • Gender Equity Champion Award: Pamela Gibson, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; and Stellar Levy, Class of 2023 medical student. (Nominees: Evan Eyler, M.D., M.P.H.; Laura McCray, M.D., M.S.C.E.; Katie Wells, M.D., M.P.H)
  • Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award: Elizabeth Bonney, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. (Nominees: Sarah Heil, Ph.D.; Sally Herschorn, M.D.; Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.; Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D.)
  • Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship: Melissa Davidson, M.D., Interim Chair of Anesthesiology and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education. (Nominees: Elizabeth Bonney, M.D., M.P.H.; Alicia Jacobs, M.D.; Halle Sobel, M.D.; Elizabeth Watson, M.D.; Katie Wells, M.D., M.P.H.)
  • Rising Star Emerging Professional Award: Katie Wells, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine. (Nominees: Joanna Conant, M.D.; Margaret Graham, M.D.; Amanda Hernan, Ph.D.; Hannah Perry, M.D.)

Watch the video recording of the 2021 Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science on YouTube.

View the event program.

We foster brilliant teachers, who educate talented students, who become the caring, knowledgeable physicians and scientists of tomorrow.

Voices of the College 


Paola E. Pena Garcia

Finding community and cultural connections at UVM has had a profound and positive impact on me. I found the sense of belonging and support I was searching for from people who had a mutual understanding of my experiences and struggles in graduate school.

— Paola E. Peña Garcia is a Ph.D. candidate in the CMB Sciences program, in a UVM Larner Med blog post titled “The Importance of Community Within Academia"


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