The 121st graduation ceremony for the UTMB School of Medicine was held on Saturday, June 4 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center and featured as keynote speaker Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer Jr. of Miami, who has championed health care for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised.   

Greer, who has won a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, opened clinics in Miami to provide health care for the poor and homeless.  His topic for the keynote was “Why the World is Yours to Save.”
Nearly 60 percent of the more than 200 members of the class of 2011 will remain in Texas to continue their medical training as residents. And just under half of the class will be entering primary care residency training.
Four of the graduates received extra cheers from some UTMB faculty members who just happen to be their parents. The graduates with parents on staff at UTMB were Michael E. Boyars, son of Dr. Michael C. Boyars; Cooper Phillips, son of Dr. Linda Phillips; Sara Janne Aarsland, daughter of Dr. Asle Aarsland and Brian Masel, son of Dr. Brent Masel.
“I am so proud of all of our graduates for all of their accomplishments,” said Dr. Garland D. Anderson, provost and dean of the UTMB School of Medicine. “And I am extremely proud of our faculty members whose children are entering the medical profession. Texans should be proud of all these graduates who exemplify the best of our next generation of physicians.”
Many faculty honorees participated in the ceremony including Senior Faculty Marshal J. Regino Perez-Polo, professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and I.H. Kempner Professor in Human Genetics and Chief Faculty Marshals Judith F. Aronson, professor Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology, L. Clarke Stout, Jr. professor in Anatomic Pathology and William Osler Scholar, John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine and Gayle L. Olson, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The ceremony included the announcement of the Gold-Headed Cane Award winner Karen Sargent, who was selected by her graduating peers for her dedication to the health and welfare of patients and this year’s Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni Award winners — Dr. Edward V. Hannigan  (posthumous award), Dr. Thomas B. Hancher, Dr. Bernard F. Morrey and Dr. Charles W. “Bill” Bailey, Jr., the Ashbel Smith is the highest alumni honor bestowed by UTMB’s School of Medicine Alumni Association.
Here are the other award winners:

The William N. and Ida Zinn Alpha Omega Alpha Award: Jillian Whitney Lazor.

The James W. Powers Memorial Award: Dr. Bernard M. Karnath, associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine.

Global Health Scholars: Sara Janne Aarsland, Philip Andrew Ashley, Anand Krishna Bhat, Katherine Louise McQuade Billingsley, Michael Eugene Boyars, Norman Miles Farr, Catherine Elizabeth Foster, Heather Anna Jones, Heather Michelle Relyea Ashley and Phillip Thaddeus Scott.

American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology: Jason Robert Thonhoff.

AMWA’s Glasgow-Rubin Memorial Award and Achievement Citations: Gurleen Dhami, Melissa Fern Efron, Sharon Hughes Gnagi, Adriane Floyd Haragan, Auris Onn-Lay Huen, Lindsey Marie Jordan, Jillian Whitney Lazor, Grace Kao-Ann Lin, Michaela Renee Marek, Mary Kathleen Powers and Julia Woodard Tripple.

Herman A. Barnett Memorial Awards: Nicholas Kay Howland, Jonathon Keewing Kwan, Anthony James Lewis, Grace Kao-Ann Lin, Adam Kyle Purtell and Sean Karl Winston.

Beiersdorf History of Dermatology Award: Brett Andrew Blakeway.

Best Original Essay for “Skin Diseases Depicted in Cinema”: Auris Onn-Lay Huen.

Truman Graves Blocker, Jr. Scholars Awards: Adriane Melissa dela Cruz, Melissa Marie Smith-Phillips and Jason Robert Thonhoff.

Johanna Blumel Memorial Scholarship: Auris Onn-Lay Huen

Isabella H. Brackenridge Scholarship: Jillian Whitney Lazor.

Ivan Bruce Memorial Award: Mary Chandler Rainey.

John R. Calverley, M.D. Award for Excellence in Neurology: Claudia Andira Perez.

The Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D. and Candy Carson Scholarship: LaQuisa Chimere Hill.

Dean’s Award for Research Excellence: Lindsey Anne Hunter-Ellul.

Distinguished Student Award in Pediatrics: Andrea Michelle Davis Diebel.

Division of Emergency Medicine Student Award: Jennifer France Robertson.

Claire Donovan Medical Education Scholarship Fund: Phillip Thaddeus Scott.

The Donald Duncan Memorial Scholarship in Anatomy: Jeremy Andrew Halbe.

The Dr. and Mrs. Seymour Fisher Academic Excellence Awards in Neuroscience: Jason Robert Thonhoff.

Hamilton Ford Award for Psychiatry in Medicine: Mary Chandler Rainey.

Thomas W. Freese Memorial Award for Excellence in Dermatology: Michaela Renee Marek.

Hambrock-McGanity Awards in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Sara Janne Aarsland, first place; Brandon Michael Haney, second place; and Melissa Fern Efron, third place.

JAMP/Shiller Initiative to Promote Careers in Academic Medicine: Co-May Dang Pasdar-Shirazi, Shiller Scholar.

Tonya Johnson Memorial Award: Darvy Lee Mann.

Joseph B. Kass Award for Research: Nguyen Vu Nguyen.

Mavis P. Kelsey, M.D., Excellence in Medicine Award: Sharon Hughes Gnagi, Mavis P. Kelsey Scholar.

Edward J. and Ellie Weisiger Lefeber Sr., Prize in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology: Gloria Wai-Chung Li, Lefeber Scholar in Gerontology.

George Edward Longshie Scholarship: Anthony James Lewis.

William L. Marr Award in Medicine: Gabriel Mansouraty.

The John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine Award for Excellence in Basic Sciences or Humanities: Nguyen Vu Nguyen.

The John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine Student Award: Brian James Telesz.

The John P. McGovern Student Awards in Oslerian Medicine Student Scholars, John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine: Chanel Nicole Granville, Gloria Wai-Chung Li, Mary Chandler Rainey, Heather Michelle Relyea Ashley.

Practice of Medicine Essay Award in Oslerian Medicine: Heather Michelle Relyea Ashley.

Merck Manual Awards: George Oladipo Adesina, Bo James Beus, Michael Eugene Boyars, Brian Clyde Lobo and Michaela Renee Marek.

William Todd Midgett, M.D., Award for Superior Clinical Practice: Michaela Renee Marek, William Todd Midgett Scholar.

William H. Nash, M.D. Endowed Award in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Adriane Floyd Haragan

W.D. and Laura Nell Nicholson Award in Family Medicine: Christine Rose LeBlanc.

The Edward Randall Medals for Academic Excellence: Melissa Fern Efron, Jeremy Andrew Halbe, Adriane Floyd Haragan, Jillian Whitney Lazor and Anthony James Lewis.

George Sealy Research Award in Neurology: Adriane Melissa dela Cruz.

Edgar B. Smith Endowed Scholarship in Dermatology: Lindsey Anne Hunger-Ellul.

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award: Amber Michelle Howell.

The L. Clarke Stout Jr. Award for Excellence in Pathology: Janice Michelle Tyler.

Texas Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians Award: Bo James Beus.

The John “Jack” Wallace, M.D. Prize in Cardiology: Christel Reneé Cuevas.

Bennie O. White, M.D., and Irene C. White Scholarship: Ashley Marie McMakin.