Medical Students Honored at Celebration of Academic Excellence
AUC School of Medicine honored more than 150 students during the Virtual Celebration of Academic Excellence on Friday, June 19. Broadcast on Facebook and YouTube, the ceremony recognized students’ outstanding academic achievements for the prior semester, including the Dean’s List, Alpha Omega Phi Honor and Service Society induction, and department and scholarship awards.
Friday’s ceremony also marked the first Celebration of Academic Excellence for students in AUC’s UK Track program, based in Preston, UK through AUC’s partnership with the University of Central Lancashire.
Dr. Mary Lucero, Interim Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, applauded students for their ability to excel in their studies and embody the AUC RISE values as physicians-in-training, in spite of the unique and challenging circumstances surrounding their medical education.
“You showed resilience through honoring your courses despite the challenges of the pandemic. You are inclusive in your support of our diverse AUC and SXM communities. Your service to peers and community is outstanding. And, you performed at a level of excellence that is required and rewarded in medicine,” Dr. Lucero said.
Faculty Appreciation Award
This semester’s Faculty Appreciation Award went to Dr. Erica Rushing, Associate Professor and Dermatopathologist (Sint Maarten campus), Dr. Gargi Soni, Senior Lecturer in Gross Anatomy (UK Track Semester 1), and Dr. Sirina Muntaka, Lecturer in Immunology and Infection (UK Track Semester 2).
Presented by the Alpha Phi Omega Honor and Service Society with input from students, the award recognizes faculty for going above and beyond to ensure student success. This semester’s recipients were noted for their passion for teaching, efforts to make material accessible and easy to grasp, and their consistent encouragement and dedication to students’ mastery of the material.
Alpha Omega Phi and Dean’s List Honors
The student awards kicked off with the official induction of 22 students into the Alpha Omega Phi Honor and Service Society. Eligible students are inducted in their fifth semester and must have a cumulative GPA of 85 or higher, have demonstrated service to the school and community, and exhibited qualities of leadership, excellence and dedication during their training.
One hundred and seventy-five students earned marks high enough to make Dean’s List. To qualify, students must carry a course load of at least 15 credits and earn a semester cumulative average of at least 87.
Department and Scholarship Awards Recognize Outstanding Student Performance
The event also gave special recognition to multiple students who demonstrated excellence in the classroom, on campus, or in the local community, including:
Departmental Awards (Sint Maarten)
Gene Colborn Award in Anatomy, Embryology & Histology – Luna Emogene
Molecular and Cell Biology I Award – Luna Emogene
Molecular and Cell Biology II Award – Michelle Boerigter
Medical Microbiology Award – Oreoluwa Ayo-Olaniyan
Physiology I Award – Myles Melamed
Microbiology and Immunology Award – Emanual Holland
Physiology II Award – Sumaiyia Chowdhury
Dale van Wormer Award for Pathology I – Kollin Kahler
Neuroscience Award – Ashirbad Panta
Dale van Wormer Award for Pathology II – Makenzie Gairrett
Pharmacology Award – Ashirbad Panta
Behavioral Science Award – Jasmin Millon
Introduction to Clinical Medicine Award – Alexandria Kim
Tarek Abi-Saab Peer Tutor Award – Joseph Varney
Departmental Awards (UK Track)
Gross Anatomy – Dhir Gala (Sept. 2019) and Manveer Mahal (Jan. 2020)
Molecular Cell Biology I – Dhir Gala (Sept. 2019) and Manveer Mahal (Jan. 2020)
Molecular Cell Biology II – Dhir Gala (Jan. 2020)
Physiology I – Dhir Gala (Jan. 2020)
Immunology – Dhir Gala (Jan. 2020)
Biostatistics – Dhir Gala, Summiya Qureshi, and Rochelle Jayavendra (Jan. 2020)
Histology and Embryology – Dhir Gala (Sept. 2019) Baltej Bagri, and Mark Jenkins (Jan. 2020)
Social Accountability Scholarship Award
Bo Wang received the Social Accountability Scholarship, valued at $5,000, for his work in the community while at AUC.
“Bo’s record of community engagement reads like a curriculum grounded in learning from multiple sources of knowledge and in the values of respect, humor, gratitude, and love,” said Dr. Golden Jackson, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement. Among Bo's service activities, Dr. Jackson shared Bo’s dedication to volunteering and spending time with cognitively challenged teenagers in Sint Maarten. “Through all his activities, Bo's intentional approach fostered his appreciation for the opportunity to learn from a variety of sources and the fuller understanding of your patient is your best teacher.”
Student Engagement Award
Rachel Johnson received the Student Engagement Scholarship Award, also valued at $5,000, for her service to AUC’s campus community.
“Rachel’s contributions to the AUC community are based on her realization of the challenges of both the global pandemic and soaring racial and political tensions and her belief in the importance of lifting each other up through community,” said Dr. Jackson. Rachel developed the All Club Mentor program, which connected nearly 100 upper semester students with 74 incoming students to serve as peer mentors representing a student organization. Twenty-one AUC student organizations participated in the inaugural semester. “Rachel’s initiative is worthy of recognition in and of itself, but what sets it apart is the collaborative spirit providing a strong foundation.”