LCOM & Department News

Class of 2021 Celebrates Teachers, Classmates at Foundations Awards Event

January 25, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

The UVM Larner College of Medicine Class of 2021 participated in a Foundations Awards celebration January 24. The event, which marks the completion of the first level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum, provides an opportunity for second-year medical students to join with faculty and staff and express their gratitude for the contributions of these Larner College of Medicine community members to their medical education journey.

Chris Hill, left, accepts the Standardized Patient award from Class of 2021 Student Council member Davina Tolbert. (Photo: David Seaver)

The numbers are staggering – since beginning medical school in August 2017, students in the Class of 2021 “have completed 27 secure exams, 8 to 9 anatomy practicals, at least one CSE for every course, 47 TBLs, and 191 Readiness Quizzes,” reported Class of 2021 Student Council member Cameron Burke in his opening remarks at his class’ Foundations Awards ceremony on January 24.

The celebratory event, which marks the completion of the first level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum – Foundations – provides an opportunity for second-year medical students to join with faculty and staff and express their gratitude for the contributions of these Larner College of Medicine community members to their medical education journey.

“Please join me . . . to thank all those people who have given so much to advance our education thus far; the faculty, standardized patients, office staff, and other people too numerous to name who have helped us all reach this point in our medical education,” said Cameron to his classmates. “We wouldn't be here today without them, their dedication to teaching, or their devotion of so much time and energy, all of which has helped cultivate the growth of a class of fledgling medical students and prepared us to enter the hospital, where we will begin working with patients every day.”

In addition to Burke, key players in the event were Foundations Director Karen Lounsbury, Ph.D., who played her inaugural role as host; Dean Rick Page, M.D., and Interim Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Associate Dean for Students Christa Zehle, M.D., who each presented congratulatory remarks to the students; and Class of 2021 student leaders Jenna Dafgek, Sarah Sherman, Naira Goukasian, Sidika Kajtezovic, and Evan Lowry.

The Class of 2021 recently completed an exam for Convergence – the final course in the Foundations level of the curriculum. They will take a National Board of Medical Examiners practice exam on January 28 in preparation for their U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 exam, which they’ll do in February or March before starting the Clerkship level of the curriculum in mid-March.

The following Foundations awards were presented by the Class of 2021:

AMWA Gender Equity Award: Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory 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: Ronald Bryant, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. This award recognizes the faculty member who had few lecture hours, but made a substantial contribution to students’ education.

Above and Beyond Award: Ellen Black, 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: Patrick Mullen, Ph.D. student, Neuroscience Graduate Program

Best Support Staff (Non-teaching) Award: Mike Cross, Custodial Maintenance Worker. This award recognizes the staff member who best supported students in areas besides teaching.

Standardized Patient Award: Chris Hill

Foundations Course Director Award: Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Course Director, Nutrition, Metabolism and Gastrointestinal System (NMGI), and Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Foundations Teaching Award: Ellen Black, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences. The recipient of this award will be hooding the Class of 2019 at their graduation and will be recognized with other Teachers of the Year from the past.

Additional awards presented to members of the Class of 2021 included:

Wellness Award – presented by Class of 2021 Wellness Committee members Lexi Churchill, Olivia Larkin, Elizabeth Lynch, and Jordan Munger to Sarah Sherman ‘21

CVRI Summer Research Fellowship Merit Award – presented by Marilyn Cipolla, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, to Juan Conde, Ph.D. ’21

Exemplary Clinical Exam Skills Award – presented by Shirley McAdam to Susan Campbell ’21, Michael Chmielewski ‘21, Jenna Dafgek ‘21, Van Hoang ‘21, and Ellen Seyller ‘21

LCOM Summer Research Fellowship Merit Awards – presented by Renee Stapleton, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical student research and associate professor of medicine, to Garrett Chan ’21 (mentor: Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.), Collin Love ’21 (mentor: Patrick Bender, M.D.), Kenneth Palanza ’21 (mentor: Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.), and Shae Rowlandson ’21 (mentor: Jay Gupta, Ph.D.)

Durwood Smith Award for Excellence in Pharmacology – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Meri Lackie ‘21

Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology – presented by Dr. Wilcox to Trina Thornburgh ‘21

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 Michael Weber ’21, Rio Beardsley ’21, and Lauren Struck ’21

Helen and Phyllis Wasserman Phorplus Prize for excellence in the Basic Sciences – presented by Dr. Lounsbury to Joy Benner ’21, Meri Lackie ’21 and Shae Rowlandson ‘21


The awards ceremony was followed by a welcome to Clerkship from Associate Dean for Clinical Education Tania Bertsch, M.D.

 

Past Department Highlights

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)

Litele Cezar de Cruz, Ph.D., a visiting scholar from Brazil in the lab of Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D., and Nathaniel Shannon, a graduate student in the CMB program, in the lab of Dr. Brian Cunniff, Ph.D., based on their abstracts, have both received a Travel Award from SfRBM to attend the SfRBM Annual Meeting in Orlando later this year. https://sfrbm.org/meetings/2022-annual-conference/. In addition, Nate's abstract was selected to be presented as a talk at the conference. Chris Dustin, a former RBP Ph.D. student, and now a post-doc candidate at University of Pittsburg will also give an oral presentation at the conference. RBP is again well represented at this major conference in our field.

Research Day 2022, the fifth pathology research day was an incredible success. Thank you to the organizers Vice Chair for Research Dr. Mark Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., post doctoral associate, Nate Shannon, CMB graduate student, and Dr. Rosemary Mattaino, M.D. Thank you as well to the presenters, and moderators for an engaging experience. Four sessions were held spanning the topics of: emerging technologies, and advances in knowledge using new technologies, a panel discussion on having a well-balanced academic career, and presentations from trainees, and internal award recipients. A well attended reception was help in the Hoehl Gallery after the event. (09/2022)

Research Day organizers - 2

(Dr. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Corteselli, Ph.D., Nate Shannon, Dr. Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.,)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, has received a two-year, $200,000 Lung Cancer Discovery Award from the American Lung Association (ALA). The grant will support her research project, titled "Glutaredoxin, Glutathione Metabolism and Lung Cancer." According to the ALA, "The Lung Cancer Discovery Award is for highly meritorious research projects with the potential to significantly improve and transform diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms; foster innovation, use novel approaches; and/or accelerate progress in lung cancer research that improves patient care and helps save lives." (08/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Christina Wojewoda on her acceptance, as a Master Teacher, into the Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy. (8/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Kaloff on receiving The University of Vermont Medical Center Leadership Award for the second quarter of 2022. (7/2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca Wilcox on being selected as a member of the 2022-2023 class of fellows participating in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine. Read more (06/2022)

Dr. Elizabeth Corteselli, a post-doctoral fellow in our department and trainee on the VLC T32 training program, is the recipient of a prestigious Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award. She will be recognized during a reception at the ATS conference in San Francisco this coming week. Congratulations Elizabeth! (05/2022)

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine has been recognized by the Provost and Senior Vice-President for the university of Vermont Distinguished Professor recognition. This recognition is reserved for the most prominent faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing knowledge in their disciplines. This is a significant honor for Dr. Janssen-Heininger. This accolade will be awarded during the spring 2022 UVM Commencement ceremony. Congratulations!! (05/2022)

Dr. Mount and Dr. Threlkeld won a Stout award at USCAP, a Stout award recognizes and awards an individual for the best English language peer-reviewed paper published, which resolves scientific medical problems by studying the anatomic features. Congrats to both! Read paper here: Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021 May 1 (04/2022)

Congratulations! Jo Conant, M.D. has received the ‘Gender Equity in Medicine and Science Rising Star’ award. This award recognizes a woman or gender minority* faculty or staff member at the Larner College of Medicine who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. The awardee also shows the promise for future contributions and leadership in their field as well as in achieving goals for the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (02/2022)

LCOM class of 2024 Foundations Awards, Winners and nominees from our Department: Dr. Rebecca Wilcox- nominated for the AMWA Gender Equity Award | nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award; Dr. Pam Gibson– awarded the Silver Stethoscope Award | nominated for the Foundations Teaching Award | nominated for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award; Dr. Jo Conant– nominated for the Silver Stethoscope Award | nominated for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award; Medical Student Matt Hodd-Wells awarded the Ephraim Woll Award for Excellence in General Pathology (01/2022)

Congratulations! Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. has been appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Larner College of Medicine. Read her story. (01/2022)

Congratulations! Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D.– Dean’s Research Laureate Award (Professor) Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger was presented the Dean’s Research Laureate Award on 10/27/2021 at the LCOM State of Research Address and Awards. Please see the PDF slide that was presented at the program. (10/2021)

Heading to clinical trials..."UVM researchers celebrate ‘first-of-its-kind’ mesothelioma treatment headed to clinical trials" – My Champlain Valley News.  University of Vermont researchers have made a breakthrough in their study of possible treatments for malignant mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure. (10/2021)

Terri Messier, research analyst and lab manager for the Cunniff lab, has been highlighted in the "Meet the Staff" section of the the Larner College of Medicine Dean's Newsletter, October 20, 2021 | Volume III, Issue 20. (10/2021)

Congratulations! Albert van der Vliet, Ph.D. has been named a 2021 Fellow of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine. SfRBM annually confers the special title of Fellow to members who have made outstanding contributions to the association as well as in the field of free radical chemistry, redox biology and antioxidants. (09/2021)

Well done! Christina Wojewoda, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, has received, along with her colleague Daniel Rhoads, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, the 2021 College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Improvement Programs Service Award. The award honors an individual(s) serving within the ranks of the CAP Council on Scientific Affairs who has demonstrated exceptional service. The two pathologists serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the CAP microbiology committee. (08/2021)

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Dr. Albert van der Vliet, Dr. David Seward and their team members for this outstanding acknowledgement (see pdf) from the The American Physiological Society; "your article has been selected for APSselect  (http://apsselect.physiology.org/),  a collection from the APS that showcases some of the best recently published articles in physiological research." (7/2021)

2020-2021 Teaching Award This award is nominated for and voted by medical resdients for idividuals going above and beyond for resident education. Nominees this year: Dr. Agnes Balla, Dr. Kelly Butnor, Dr. Rebecca Wilcox and Dr. Bronwyn Bryant. The winner this year is Dr. Agnes Balla. (06/2021)

Dr. Joanna Conant has become a member of The Teaching Academy at Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. 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.Congrats to Jo on this achievement! (06/2021)

Congratulations to Dr. Arti Shukla on receiving the SAASCR 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award for her seminal contributions to the field of cancer research. Well done Arti!! (5/2021)

SAASCR award 2021

Congratulations!  To Pam Gibson, M.D. who has been awarded 2021 Gender Equity Champion Award which honors Larner College of Medicine community members (faculty, staff or students) who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the advancement of women and those with underrepresented gender identities beyond the scope of their job, area of research, or training. Also, to Joanna Conant, M.D. on her nomination for 2021 The Rising Star Emerging Professional Award which honors a Larner College of Medicine woman or gender minority faculty or staff member who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. (02/2021)

LCOM Foundations Awards: Congratulations to Ron Bryant, M.D. on receiving the Foundations Teaching Award which recognizes the faculty member who provided the most outstanding teaching activities within the foundations curriculum. Also, congratulations to award nominees: Pam Gibson, M.D. for both the Above and Beyond Award and the AMWA Gender Equity Award; Andrew Goodwin, M.D. and Christina Wojewoda, M.D. for the Silver Stethoscope Award and Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. for the Dean Warshaw Integration Award. (01/2021)

LCOM Teaching Academy Recognition for P&LM faculty: Deborah Cook, M.D. and Anne Stowman, M.D. were inducted as Master Teachers and Rebecca Wilcox, M.D. was inducted as a Distinguished Educator. (01/2021)

Mark Fung, M.D., Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has been elected as a new Trustee of the American Board of Pathology. His 3-year term will begin January 2021. Read about it here. (12/2020)

Sarah A. Nowak, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Larner College of Medicine was named the inaugural Blodwen S. Huber Early Career Green and Gold Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (12/2020)

David J. Seward, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Larner College of Medicine was named the inaugural Elmer R. Huber Early Career Green and Gold Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. (12/2020)

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)