LCOM & Department News

Medical Class of 2022 Honors Night Recognizes Faculty, Students & Staff

May 18, 2022 by Jennifer Nachbur

On May 13, the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont held Honors Night for graduating medical students in the Class of 2022. Accolades presented included the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society faculty, housestaff, and community physician awards; the Arnold P. Gold Foundation's Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine faculty and student awards; Area Health Education Center Scholars; department awards to students; and awards from the Class of 2022.

[Graphic features partial green UVM Old Mill image on the left and a the words "Class of 2022 Honors Night" and a laurel wreath graphic on a green background.]

On May 13, the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont held its first in-person Honors Night since 2019 for graduating medical students in the Class of 2022. Among the accolades presented at the event were the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society faculty, housestaff, and community physician awards; the Arnold P. Gold Foundation's Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine faculty and student awards; the inaugural group of Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholars; department awards to students; and awards from the Class of 2022.

“We’re gathered here today to take a look at where you’ve come from, and how you have excelled in your time at the Larner College of Medicine and overcome all the complications the pandemic could throw at you,” said Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., during his welcome remarks.

Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education Christa Zehle, M.D., served as emcee at the event in the UVM Davis Center’s Grand Maple Ballroom.

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Awards

First to present awards were Class of 2022 medical students Richard Brach, Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society president, and Alexa Pius, AOA Honor Medical Society vice president. The AOA awards recognize faculty and housestaff who embrace the AOA tenants of professionalism, scholarship, leadership, and service. Faculty awardees are Jesse Ritvo, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, Central Vermont Medical Center, and Katie Wells, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the UVM Medical Center. Housestaff awardees are Ali Jandal, M.D., and David Steinmetz, M.D., both clinical instructors/residents in internal medicine at UVM Medical Center. The Community Physician awardee is Toby Sadkin, M.D., clinical assistant professor of family medicine, from Primary Care Partners in St. Albans, Vt.

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards

Brach also presented the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards. The Faculty Award recipient is Tim Lahey, M.D., M.M.Sc., professor of medicine and director of clinical ethics at UVM Medical Center. The Student Award recipient is Noorin Damji.

AHEC Scholars

Charles MacLean, M.D., associate dean for primary care and professor of medicine, announced the names of the inaugural class of Vermont AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) Scholars. According to MacLean, "the goal of the AHEC Scholars program at the Larner College of Medicine is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the social and cultural factors that influence an individual’s overall health as well as their access to healthcare." AHEC Scholars have supplemented their education and completed projects that have addressed such priorities as social determinants of health; interprofessional education and collaboration; integration of behavioral health into primary care; impact of opioid prescribing in our communities; cultural competence and cultural humility; and using quality improvement approaches to transform healthcare delivery. The following medical students were recognized as AHEC Scholars: Michael Barnum; Elizabeth Baumgartner; Richard Brach; Alexander Braun; Sara Brennan; Magalie Carey; Kelly Chan; Sally Clark; Julia Clemens; Marlijne Cook; Noorin Damji; Emily Eakin; Gia Eapen; Adam Fakhri; Faith Genereux; Catherine Gereg; Emma Hall; Ryan Harned; Luke Higgins; Seneca Hutson; Sylvia Lane; Kelly MacPherson; Rachel Madhur; Taylor Marquis; Colby McGinn; Collin Montgomery; Adessa Morano; Michelle Oberding; Alexa Pius; Megan Prue; Adam Ross; Claudia Russell; Lauren Struck; Irene Sue; Nikkole Turgeon; Allison Tzeng; Jenna Wells; Nicole Wershoven; Hakeem Yousef.

Department Awards

Kevin Abnet, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology, presented the John E. Mazuzan, Jr., M.D.’54 Award for excellence in neurology to Adam Morehead.

Emergency Medicine
Katherine Dolbec, M.D., assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine, presented three awards. Taylor Marquis received the American College of Emergency Physicians Medical Student Professionalism and Leadership Award. Nikkole Turgeon was presented with the American College of Emergency Physicians/Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association National Outstanding Medical Student Award. Tierra Lynch was given the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award for excellence in emergency medicine.

Family Medicine
Amanda Kolb, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine, presented three awards. The Fischer Award for the demonstration of excellence in family medicine was given to Emma Hall. The Family Medicine John Fogarty, M.D. Leadership Award was presented to Lauren Struck. The Edward E. Friedman Award for promise of excellence in the practice of family medicine was given to Mary Ann Kelly Barnum.

Mark Pasanen, M.D., associate professor of medicine, presented the Ellsworth Amidon Award for outstanding proficiency in internal medicine to Erick MacLean.

Dennis Beatty, M.D., associate professor of medicine, presented the Laura Weed Award for scholarship, service, and clinical excellence in internal medicine to Ashleigh Peterson.

Fatemeh Sobhani, M.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences, presented two awards. Magalie Carey received the American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for excellence in neurology. Adam Morehead received the Herbert Martin Sr., M.D. Award for excellence in neurology.

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Justin DeAngelis, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, presented the John V. Maeck, M.D.’39 Award for overall excellence in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences to Kalin Gregory-Davis. Erin Morris, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, presented the Carbee Award for academic excellence in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences to Gia Eapen.

Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Dean Zehle presented the Dr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Gould, M.D.’37 Prize for outstanding achievements in orthopaedic surgery on behalf of the department to Alexa Pius.

Lewis First, M.D., M.S., professor and chair of pediatrics, presented the Ralph D. Sussman, M.D.’38/Medical Alumni Award for excellence in pediatrics to Phuong “P.J.” Tran. The inaugural Jerold and Ingela Lucey Early Career Investigator Prize for Innovations in Infant or Child Health was presented to Jennifer Holland and Melanie Parziale.

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Christina Wojewoda, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, presented the American Pathologist Distinguished Medical Student Award to Garrett Chan.

Jeremiah Dickerson, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, presented the William Sweetser Award for excellence in psychiatry to Rachel Harrison.

Professor and Chair of Radiology Kristen DeStigter, M.D., presented the Walter Dodd, M.D. Award in Radiology for excellence in radiology to Adrian Berg.

Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, presented three awards. Nicole Wershoven received the Harry Howe, M.D.’52 Senior Student Award for excellence in surgery. Megan Boyer received the H. Gordon Page, M.D.’45 Award for excellence in surgery. Emily Eakin was presented with the Pilcher Award for representing the qualities of Eleanor and Lewis Pilcher of devotion to family and patients, with a high regard for ethics and honesty.

Awards from the Class of 2022

Clinical Department of the Year Award: Emergency Medicine

Clinical Resident of the Year Award: Ali Jandal, M.D., Clinical Instructor/Resident in Medicine

Clinical Teacher of the Year Award: David Kaminsky, M.D., Professor of Medicine

Colette Award: Emma Faustner, Advanced Integration and Residency Placement Coordinator

Dignity in Medicine Award in recognition of respect, inclusion, and support for LGBTQ students, colleagues, and patients: Rachel Harrison ’22

Dean William Eustis Brown Award for broad cultural interests and loyalty to the College of Medicine: Jose Calderon ’22

Harry E. Howe, M.D. & Theo O. Howe Outstanding Teacher of Surgery Award: Katherine Dolbec, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine

Lamb Fellowship Award for best exemplifying concern and care for the total patient: Adam Fakhri ’22

Awards from the Office of Medical Student Education

Joseph Cleary, M.D. Award for ensuring the success of the educational and clinical experience at the Larner College of Medicine Connecticut Nuvance Campus: Alim Esemenli ’22 and Zeynep Tek

Charles T. Schechtman, M.D.’26 Award for Clinical Excellence for excellence in the clinical care of patients during the Clerkship Year: Faith Genereux, Malla Keefe, Elena Martel, Colby McGinn, and Nikkole Turgeon

Kerzner Family Prize for outstanding service to the community: Nikkole Turgeon

David Babbot, M.D. “Caring and Seeing” Award for commitment to medical education and patient care: Jose Calderon

Mildred A. Reardon, M.D.’67 Award for service to the Larner College of Medicine: Luke Higgins and Matthew Hill Brandt

Link to a video of the Class of 2022 Honors Night event on YouTube.


Past Department Highlights

Congratulations to Jessica Crothers, M.D., Assistant Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on achieving the Notice of Special Interest Team Science award from NIAID for: "Effects of the gut microbiota on oral vaccine response in adults and children." (10/2023)

Nicole BouffardCongratulations to Nicole Bouffard on being awarded the "Scientific Research Staff Award" for 2023. This was presented to Nicole at the September 21, 2023, LCOM Research Excellence Award Ceremony. This is a great honor for Nicole and the Department of Pathology and recognizes her contributions and importance to the department and MIC. (10/2023)

Congratulations to Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on being awarded a $1.6 million R01 grant by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to study the role of mitochondrial trafficking in regulating cell migration, a key feature of metastatic tumors. (9/2023)

Congratulations to Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on becoming a University of Vermont Cancer Center Program Co-Leader, Cancer Cell. (9/2023)

Congratulations to the following pathology members on receiving research support funds in April 2023. Recipients were: John Kennedy, M.D., $6520 for morphologic and immunohistochemical re-evaluation of renal cell carcinomas exhibiting papillary architecture, with emphasis on tumors demonstrating "type 2" morphology. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., $15,000 for a joint initiative between RBP, UVM Cancer Center, and faculty in the Department of Chemistry. Megan Tarte $745 for Stem Cells, Cell Therapies, and Bioengineering in Lung Biology and Disease ConferenceAlbert van der Vliet, Ph.D., $14,400 for Redox processes in macrophage activation in IPF. (9/2023)

Congratulations to the following faculty members on their promotions: Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., to Professor with tenure, Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., to Associate Professor, John DeWitt, M.D., Ph.D., to Associate Professor, Sarah Nowak Ph.D., to Associate Professor, and Christi Wojewoda, M.D., to Professor. (6/2023)

Bei Zhang, M.D., M.S., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, did an educational scholarship session titled "Activate Students Learning Outside Classroom." at the 8th International meeting of the Association of Biochemistry Educators. Dr. Zhang also conducted two additional workshops with other ABE members titled "Linking Clinical Presentations to Their Biochemistry: A novel ABE Clinical-Biochemistry Curricular Treat Mapping Educational Tool.", and "Getting to Clerkship and Beyond: Crafting Biochemistry Learning Objectives that Connect and Integrate Basic Science Concepts with Clinical Application." (5/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Maureen Harmon, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and Dr. Amer Abu Alfa, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine for being recognized by medical students for their professionalism. Dr. Harmon was recognized for social responsibility and Dr. Abu Alfa was recognized for compassion. (5/2023)

Congratulations to Mary Cushman, Ph.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine and pathology and laboratory medicine, on being named a University Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Division, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (5/2023)

View the story Mammograms of a study by Sarah Nowak, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and researchers at the UVM Cancer Center showing data that fewer women being screened for breast cancer. (4/2023)

vandervliet-habibovic420x280A new study by Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and a team of University of Vermont (UVM) researchers is honing in on why people with asthma often have worse symptoms if they are obese. This new research demonstrates that the gene DUOX1 likely contributes to the connection between obesity and asthma.  The research was published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was highlighted as an APSselect article for March 2023. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., was the senior author on the paper, along with department of pathology and laboratory medicine coauthors Aida Habibovic, lab research technician;Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., visiting scholar; Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., associate professor; University Distinguished Professor Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.; and additional team members and authors from UVM. Read the full LCOM News story LCOM News (4/2023)

Congratulations to Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, for having your proposal, Consequential Validity of Entrustable Professional Activities in Pathology Residency Training selected to receive a Frymoyer Scholars Program project of $48,000 to be funded July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Martin Chang, M.D., Ph.D., on accepting the new role as Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs. (4/2023)

Congratulations to Joanna Conant, M.D., on becoming the new Pathology Student Fellowship Director starting July 1, 2023. (4/2023)

Congratulations to The Cunniff Lab, on receiving funding to support research focused on malignant mesothelioma. The funding was from The Butler Family Foundation Fund for Cancer Research at the University of Vermont Cancer Center. The Butler Fund was established by the Butler family in memory of two loved ones lost to mesothelioma. (03/2023)

Congratulations to the following recipients that received pathology research support funding. Nathaniel Shannon in Brian Cunniff's, Ph.D., lab was awarded $1800 towards the cost of travel to the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM). Litiele Cruz, Ph.D., and faculty mentor Albert van der Vliet, PhD., were awarded $2622 for her project "Characterization of Laminin Oxidative Modifications by Peroxidasin in Pulmonary Fibrosis"Nels Olson, PhD., MPH., $14,582 for the purchase of an Agilent BioTek 405 TS Touch Microplate Washer, Model 405 TSRS. Ashley Volaric M.D.Joanna Conant M.D., and David Seward, M.D, Ph.D., were awarded $13,680 for their project, "The Effect of Epstein Barr Virus Latency on Cellular DNA Methylation Profile of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma". (3/2023)

A number of faculty and students from the pathology and laboratory medicine department presented research at the American Heart Associations Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health (EPI/Lifestyle) Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston February 28 - March 3. Students presenting were Maggie King, a master in science pathology degree student who was mentored by faculty scientist J. Peter Durda, Ph.D. pathology and laboratory medicine.  Maggie presented on "Complete Blood Count Analysis in the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) Cohort Study with a Point of Care Instrument." Her study is supported by NHLBI. And second-year medical student and 2022 Cardiovascular Research Institute Summer Research Fellow Megan Zhou, mentored by pathology and laboratory medicine associate professor Nels Olson, Ph.D. Megan presented on  "Coagulation Factor IX and Incident Diabetes Risk: The Reasons for Geographic and Race Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study." Also, pathology and laboratory faculty members that were coauthors of presentations given, assistant professor Margaret Doyle, Ph.D., and University Distinguished Professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Russell Tracy, Ph.D. (3/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bei Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected for a Distinguished Scholar Award by the Association of Biochemistry Educators for her submission entitled "Activate Students' Learning Outside Classroom". Dr. Zhang will be presenting this submission at the 2023 Association of Biochemistry Education Conference. (3/2023)

Congratulations to our 2023 Gender Equity Award Nominees. Gender Equity Champion Award nominee, Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Our departmental nominees for The Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship- an award for informal or formal mentorship for women or gender diverse college community members, Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Pam Gibson, M.D., Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Christi Wojewoda, M.D. (2/2023)  

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., on being selected to receive the Association of Pathology Chairs 2023 Margaret Grimes Distinguished Achievement Award in Graduate Medical Education. This award was made in recognition of Dr. Anderson's outstanding contributions to graduate medical education and his stature as a nationally recognized leader in pathology education. (2/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Dr. Kelly Butnor, M.D., Dr. David "Bebo" Seward, M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Sharon Mount, M.D., on their news story in The Charlotte News, on their "giant steps in cancer research." Read the full article here:   Humble Superstar (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Bundock, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Examiner of Vermont and clinical assistant professor of pathology, for her appointment by the American Board of Pathology, to the Test Development and Advisory Committee for Forensic Pathology 2023. (1/2023)

Dr. Beri Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., MLS(ASCP), associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, presented a panel, at the Snow Season Education Retreat, titled "The Pearls and Pitfalls of Publishing in Medical Education", with three clinicians Dr. Hale, Dr. Halle, and Dr. Rideout. (1/2023)

Congratulations to Dr. Bronwyn Bryant, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine on her Awards for  Teaching and Educational Excellence, Learner Assessment, conferred at the Teaching Academy Induction and Award Ceremony on January 11, 2023. (1/2023)

Albert in JapanCongratulations to Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., pro-fessor of pathology and laboratory medicine, for being selected as an Invited Fellow to Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, to participate in research in the laboratory of Takaaki Akaike, M.D., Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine and molecular toxicology. The invitational fellowship relates to a Tohoku University initiative that allows Tohoku faculty members to host invited researchers to promote collaborative research in the host lab for up to three months. The objective is to promote joint publications and expand international collaborations. Dr. van der Vliet's visit coincided with a medley of scientific meetings and symposia collectively termed  Redox Week In Sendai 2022 and held October 27-November 1, 2022. The events brought together leading scientists from around the world in the specific research fields of nitric oxide biology, polysulfur biochemistry, and biology. Van der Vliet was co-organizer and speaker at one of the symposiums, and Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., both professors of pathology and laboratory medicine, also participated as invited speakers. Additional Japanese federal funding supports the exchange of invited researchers, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars to collaborate on research. Read more about the  redox research collaboration  between UVM and Tohoku University. (01/2023) 

Congratulations to Dr. Douglas Taatjes, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and director of the Center for Biomedical Shared Resources, at the UVM Cancer Center's recent annual scientific retreat he and Dr. Alan Howe, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, were chosen from a group of five cross-disciplinary teams that competed for $25,000 in seed funding. They were chosen by a vote of the membership. Each team had 30 minutes to develop an idea with an actionable research plan that aligned with one of several proposed Cancer Center initiatives to address research relevant to the populations of Vermont and northern New York. The funds were awarded for the "Spatialomics and Precision Medicine Pipeline" project. This will be co-led by Dr. Taatjes, Ph.D., and Dr. Howe, Ph.D. (12/2022)

DebraDr. Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., was the invited speaker for the Women in Cytometry reception at the 2022 International Clinical Cytometry Society Annual Meeting in Montreal on October 23. Dr. Leonard presented a talk titled "Leading from Within". Dr. Nicholas Haslett presented a poster at this same meeting. (10/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., on her Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association. Read the full article here: VermontBiz (10/2022)

Larner Medicine profiles Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., and her research. Read the full profile here: Probing Oxygen's Mysteries (10/2022)

Research News see the news on UVM vaccine trials on eradicating polio and lead investigator Dr. Jessica Crothers, M.D., Read the full article here:  Research News (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Laura Greene, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and assistant dean for admissions, who recently accepted an appointment as program director of the Pathology Residency Program, effective July 1, 2023. Thank you to Dr. Scott Anderson, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, who as served as the program director since 2009. (10/2022)

Congratulations, to Dr. Jason Brazelton, M.D., for being named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society. "Dr. Brazelton's thoughtful and collabrative approach has improved care in our community and Porter's Medical staff has been incredibly fortunate to work with him." (09/2022)