LCOM & Department News

Virtual Online Foundations Celebration Honors Medical Class of 2023, Faculty, Staff

January 29, 2021 by Jennifer Nachbur

Members of the Larner College of Medicine’s medical Class of 2023, leaders, medical educators, and staff gathered virtually January 28 to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize the faculty and staff who have supported them during an online Foundations Celebration event.

A collage of video screen images of Larner Medical Class of 2023 Student Council members (clockwise, from top left) Vinh Le, Lud Habtu, Cyrus Thomas-Walker, and Kyle Kellett.

Members of the Larner College of Medicine’s medical Class of 2023, leaders, and medical educators, and staff gathered virtually January 28 to celebrate the students’ achievements and recognize the faculty and staff who have supported them during an online Foundations Celebration event.

A special Foundations Celebration event web site launched January 28 at 3:30 p.m. and featured videotaped remarks from Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., Interim Associate Dean of Students Lee Rosen, Ph.D., Foundations Director Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., and Level Director for the Core Clinical Clerkship Elise Everett, M.D. The event provided an opportunity for leaders to congratulate Class of 2023 medical students on their achievements and completion of the Foundations level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum and recognize the challenges they navigated while taking courses during an unprecedented pandemic.

Student Council representative Vinh Le delivered the Class of 2023 Foundations Ceremony speech, highlighting the students’ collective accomplishments over the past 18 months of their medical school careers.

“As we prepare to begin this next stage, let's take a moment to reflect on how far we've come: Over the past 18 months, we, as a class, have attended 100s of sessions, conquered 49 TBLs, taken 306 readiness quizzes, and completed 34 major exams . . . and served our community on local and national levels during this pandemic," said Le. “We have to remember that our calling is to care for one another as much as we would for our patients . . . Our strength as a community hinges on every member feeling cared for, valued, and understood."

Le and Class of 2023 Student Council representatives Lud Habtu, Alex Jenkins, Kyle Kellett, and Cyrus Thomas-Walker, presented the following awards from the Class of 2023:

  • AMWA Gender Equity Award: A. Evan Eyler, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine. This award honors a male or female faculty member who promotes a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians and gender diversity in the field.
  • The Dean Warshaw Integration Award: William Raszka, M.D., Course Director, Attacks & Defenses, and Professor of Pediatrics. This award recognizes the faculty member whose teaching best captured the spirit of the VIC.
  • The Silver Stethoscope Award: Nicholas D’Alberto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. This award recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education.
  • Above and Beyond Award: Nicholas D’Alberto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. This award recognizes the faculty member who went above and beyond the call of duty to help the students in their learning objectives.
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Sean Meagher, Class of 2021. This award recognizes the teaching assistant who was the most helpful in teaching and facilitating within a Foundations course.
  • Best Support Staff (Non-teaching) Award: Julie Chiappinelli, Curriculum Coordinator, Foundations. This award recognizes the staff member who best supported students in areas besides teaching.
  • Standardized Patient Award: Nicole D'Elisa. Standardized Patients play an integral role in the education of Larner College of Medicine medical students. They foster an environment in which students can practice interviewing and examinations skills and receive honest feedback. The ability of a physician to develop rapport with a patient, perform a focused examination, and gather an accurate history are vital skills that Larner College of Medicine students are fortunate to practice early and often. The Standardized Patients share their experience, knowledge, and time with students during both Foundations and Clerkship years.
  • Foundations Course Director Award: Andrew Hale, M.D., Course Director, Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Systems, and Assistant Professor of Medicine. This award recognizes the foundations course director who showed the highest degree of dedication to the successful design and implementation of their course curriculum.
  • Foundations Teaching Award: Ronald Bryant, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. This award is presented to the faculty member who provided the most outstanding teaching activities within the Foundations curriculum.
  • Curriculum Innovation Award: Jesse Moore, M.D., Director of Active Learning and Associate Professor of Surgery. This award is present to a faculty member in recognition of contributions to new curriculum development.

Students and faculty members presented the following awards to members of the Class of 2023:

  • B. Albert Ring, MD, Memorial Grant Award for best exemplifying compassion, humor, humility, and devotion to family and friends, and intellectual curiosity – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Class of 2023 students Isaac Adams, Sydney Chatfield, Kisha Kalra, and Sean Muniz.
  • CVRI Summer Research Fellowship Merit Award – presented by Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont (CVRI) Director and Professor of Medicine David Schneider, M.D., to Samuel Short ’23 (mentor: Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc.).
  • Durwood Smith Award for Excellence in Pharmacology – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Joel Feier ‘23
  • Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology – presented by Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., associate professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine to Jennifer Risi ’23
  • Exemplary Clinical Exam Skills Award – presented by Shirley McAdam, Standardized Patient educator, to Class of 2023 students Anna Corbalan, Aggie Forstein, Catrina Hood, Stellar Levy, and Alexy Novelli.
  • Helen and Phyllis Wasserman Phorplus Prize for excellence in the Basic Sciences – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Class of 2023 students Delaney Sztraicher, Joel Feier, and Sydney Chatfield.
  • Summer Research Fellowship Merit Awards – presented by Renee Stapleton, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical student research and professor of medicine, to Class of 2023 students Dana Allison (mentor: Marilyn Cipolla, Ph.D.), Valerie Braddick (mentor: Bader Chaarani, Ph.D.), and Emma Dunne (mentors: Stas Amato, M.D., and Gary An, M.D.).
  • Wellness Award: presented by Class of 2023 Wellness Committee members Jesse Naumann and Aggie Forstein to classmate Vinh Le ’23.

 

Department Highlights

Terri Messier, Research Analyst and Lab Manager of the Cunniff lab was recently awarded a Dean's Excellence in Research Award from the Larner College of Medicine. Terri has served the UVM community for over 25 years both as a scientist and steward of professionalism. Congratulations Terri!! (11/2020)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D. on her selection as a new Fellow of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM) in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of redox biology and to SfRBM. (09/2020)

Congratulations to Dr. Joanna Conant, M.D. on her acceptance into the Teaching Academy's Medical Education Fellowship Program. Only 8-10 faculty from across the Larner College of Medicine are selected for participation in the program. Well done, Jo! (08/2020)

Associate Professor, Dr. Laura Greene, MD, has been appointed Interim Assistant Dean for Admissions for the Larner College of Medicine. (08/2020)

Congratulations to Bei Zhang, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, the newest graduate of the Medical Education Fellowship Program. The cohort style program is for Larner College of Medicine educators who seek additional preparation for teaching across the medical education continuum. (07/2020)

UVM Health Network’s Genomic Medicine Program is highlighted in the recent issue of Vermont Medicine Magazine, read it here. (05/2020)

Department efforts in COVID-19 research & testing are ongoing at UVM LCOM and the UVM Medical Center. The Rutland Herald/Times Argus ran the following story on these efforts. Teamwork & Testing (04/2020)

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LCOM Gender Equity Awards Department Chair, Dr. Debra Leonard received the Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Additionally, Dr. Pam Gibson was nominated for the Gender Equity Champion Award; Dr. Rebecca Wilcox was nominated for the Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award and Dr. Christi Wojewoda was nominated for the Rising Star Emerging Professional Award. (03/2020)

Excellence in Education The department was well represented at the Class of 2022 Foundation Awards. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. received the AWMA Gender Equity Award, the Above & Beyond Award, the Foundations Course Director Award and the Foundations Teaching Award. Well done, Dr. Wilcox. Additional department nominees were Dr. Pam Gibson and Dr. Christi Wojewoda for the AWMA Gender Equity Award and Dr. Pam Gibson and Dr. Rebecca Wilcox for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award. Congratulations to our outstanding faculty for nominations and awards! (1/2020)

Dr. Bei Zhang, Associate Professor on the Education Scholar Pathway has been inducted into the Teaching Academy at the Larner College of Medicine at the Master Teacher level. Congratulations, Dr. Zhang! (1/2020)

Dr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph. D., our department chairand the Genomic Medicine Team announce the start of the Genomic Population Health Initiative. A pilot project offering Genomic DNA Testing is now underway within the University of Vermont Health Network. Read more here... (2019)

Dr. William Pendlebury, M.D., professor emeritus of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2019 Vermont Medical Society’s (VMS) Founders’ Award. The award recognizes Pendlebury’s leadership role and advocacy in “the fight for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Vermont for the past 35 years.” He will receive the award November 2 at the VMS 206th Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt.(2019)

Yvone Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Jos van der Velden, Ph.D. (both Pathology & Laboratory Medicine faculty) and senior author, Charles Irvin, Ph.D. (Medicine), published "The Effect of Flavored E-cigarettes on Murine Allergic Airways Disease" in Nature Scientific Reports. The study has been cited in stories by several news outlets: U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay; American Journal of Managed Care; Medical News Bulletin; and Medical Daily. (2019)

Dr. Mark Fung, M.D, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Population Health, was recently named to the board of directors for the Project Santa Fe Foundation, which “focuses on demonstrating the power of longitudinal clinical laboratory data to proactively augment population health in a value-based healthcare environment.” (2019)

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Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D. was named a 2019 Frymoyer Scholar for her project, “Validating Entrustable Professional Activity-Based Assessment to Determine On-Call Competency in Pathology Residents”. (2019)

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Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.DDr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was selected, by the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019, to be the commencement keynote speaker. Read more... [Photo credit: Andy Duback 2019] (2019)

Please join Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger in congratulating Allison Manuel and Evan Elko

 

Dr. Allison Manuel is a post-doctoral fellow in our group.  Her abstract to be presented at the American Thoracic Society conference was chosen to receive an Abstract Scholarship . The scholarship includes a full In-Training Registration to the 2019 ATS International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  

 

Evan Elko is a PhD student. He just received notice that his F31 NIH application entitled: “Role of peroxiredoxin-4 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”  will be funded.

 

Congratulations to Evan and Allison.

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Department alumni, Dr. Bobbi Pritt, M.D. featured in Vermont Medicine Magazine. To read her story click on the photo below.

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Dr's Leonard and HuberA Remarkable Gift from Dr. Sally Huber, Ph.D.

At the end of last week's Research Day, Dr. Leonard gave a surprise announcement: a very generous bequethment of $5 million by research faculty emerita, Dr. Sally Huber! The funds will go toward two endowed professorships for junior investigators in our department. The endowments will be named for her parents, Elmer R. Huber and Blodwen S. Huber, and will support junior research faculty for five years.(9/2018)

This amazing support will allow junior faculty time and funds to gain independence while pursuing the milestone achievement of being awarded their first R01 grant.

Heintz Awarded 2018 Distinguised Graduate Alumni Award

Dr. Nick Heintz, Ph.D. received the 2018 UVM Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award​, which is presented to Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in basic, clinical or applied research; education; industry; public service/humanitarianism; and/or outstanding commitment to the LCOM community.

He accepted his award at the college's Celebrating Research Excellence event at the end of October. (September 2018)

Kida Received Certificate of Commendation

Dr. Kida receives award from the State of Vermont...read more here. (August 2018)

Leonard and Committee Publish Through National Academies Press

Dr. Debra Leonard, along with a committee under the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ​published "Returning Individual Research Results to Participants: Guidance for a New Research Paradigm" through The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2018 (Committee Member). (August 2018)

Excellence in Education

The Larner College of Medicine’s second year medical students nominate and elect faculty who they want to recognize for their outstanding teaching and support over their first years of the Foundations education. (February 2018)

Pathology nominees (winners in bold):

AMWA Gender Equity Award  - Pamela Gibson; Sharon Mount; Rebecca Wilcox

Dean Warhsaw Integration Award - Rebecca Wilcox

Silver Stethoscope Award - Scott Andreson; Maureen Harmon; John Lunde

Above and Beyond Award - Ronald Bryant; Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Course Director Award -Rebecca Wilcox

Outstanding Foundations Course Award

  • Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Systems: (Ron Bryant; Kelly Butnor; and Pam Gibson are the primary pathologists in each section of the course, respectively)
  • Nutrition, Metabolism & the Gastrointestinal System: Course Director is Rebecca Wilcox

Foundations Teaching Award - Ronald Bryant; Pamela Gibson; Rebecca Wilcox; Christina Wojewoda

Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger Receives Patent

Yvonne Janssen-Heinger was awarded a patent on the ​concept that strategies to inhibit GSTP has utility for the treatment of patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Congratulations, Yvonne! (January 2018)

Drs. Bronwyn Bryant and Phillip Munson inducted into the Teaching Academy

Last week Bronwyn and Phillip were inducted into University of Vermont's Teaching Academy. The Teaching Academy sustains and supports an interdisciplinary community of educators who value the scholarship of teaching and learning while facilitating educator development; improve the efficiency and quality of medical education through collaboration and scholarship; and promote an academic environment that increases the value and impact of educators locally, regionally, and nationally. (January 2018)