College of Medicine graduate students hold oath and awards ceremonies

Seventy-eight incoming graduate students pursuing DrPH, master’s or PhD degrees at Penn State College of Medicine recently participated in the annual Graduate Student Oath Ceremony.

During the Aug. 18 ceremony, the students took an oath to uphold the values of integrity, professionalism and scholarship throughout their academic careers. The oath was developed nine years ago by a group of College of Medicine graduate students who spent a year crafting it until they were able to articulate the best expression of Penn State values.



Lisa M. Shantz, associate professor of cellular and molecular physiology, provided the keynote address. Symbolic of their initiation into the community of biomedical scientists, first-year PhD students received white lab coats and master’s students received a special gift.


Graduate Student Oath Ceremony 2017

An awards ceremony recognizing current graduate student achievements immediately followed the ceremony. Following is a list of award recipients.

Graduate Alumni Endowed Scholarship and the Class of 1971 and 1974 Awards: for individuals who have achieved exemplary academic records, and have additionally provided their colleagues and our community with examples of involvement above and beyond the expected, were presented to:

  • Jocelyn Tang (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Kathleen Schieffer (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Phillip Domeier (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Christopher Dower (Molecular Medicine)
  • Ryan Yoast (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Nathalie Fuentes (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Nick Parekh (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Caitlin Nealon (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Jillian Weissenreider (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Taryn Mockus (Neuroscience)
  • Saumya Maru (MD/PhD)
  • Robert Nwokonko (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Stephanie Schell (Biomedical Sciences)

Graduate Alumni Endowed Scholarship: These awards recognize the contributions to our campus that have had a positive impact on their graduate colleagues and classmates. Specifically, these students are extremely active in student organizations and activities which contribute to the graduate experience at the College of Medicine.

  • Ian Hayman (GSA president)
  • Amanda White (Research Forum chair)
  • Emily Kostek (PHASE co-president 2017)
  • Anna-Marie Warrington (PHASE co-president 2017)
  • Jessica Parascando (PHASE president 2016)

Karl H. Beyer Jr., MD, PhD Scholarship: These awards recognize academic excellence and leadership.

  • Amelia  Ubesie (Doctor of Public Health)
  • Caitlin Millett (Neuroscience)
  • Anna Ssentongo (Master of Public Health)
  • Alissa Coffey (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Praneet Sandhu (Biomedical Sciences)
  • Gary Farkas (Anatomy)
  • Kristin Lambert (MD/PhD)
  • Erum Azhar (Master of Public Health)
  • Katie Sneeringer (Doctor of Public Health)

Patrick G. Quinn Award for outstanding performance by a post-comprehensive PhD candidate in the department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology was presented to:

  • Olivia Rivera (Physiology)

The following students were nominated by their peers as an acknowledgement of their contributions to the campus, to the community, and to their disciplines.

  • Brian Chiou
  • Cecilia Bove
  • Prashanth Gokare
  • Rachel Stanford
  • Jaclyn Welles

The College of Medicine also runs a number of summer research internship projects for undergraduate students. These programs would not be nearly as successful if not for the participation and support of graduate students that act as Junior Mentors. For their work this past summer, these students are recognized for their excellence:

  • Rob Nwokonko
  • Alissa Meister
  • Nathalie Fuentes
  • Melanie Eshelman
  • Brian Chiou
  • Cecilia Bove
  • Michelle Tutunik
  • Matthew Lauver
  • Heather Schmitz
  • Jacob Hornick
  • Jesica James
  • Caitlin Nealon
  • Emily Blanke
  • Jillian Weissenreider
  • Courtney Clyburn
  • Erin Tyndall
  • Joel Coble
  • Elisabeta Blandin
  • Shauna Ebanks
  • Scott Tucker
  • Michelle Douthitt
  • Amanda White
August 24, 2017 Scott J. Gilbert

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