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Honors and Prizes

Commencement Awards, May 2014

Cum laude The degree of Doctor of Medicine cum laude will be conferred on students whose academic performance shows unusual merit. Jessica Ashley Berger, Neel Mahendra Butala, Michelle Mizhi Chen, Nicholas S. Downing, Asiri Saumya Ediriwickrema, Vivek Tammaji Kulkarni, Nicole Ali McNeer, Stephanie Michelle Meller, Amy Catherine Moreno, Caroline Mei Shan Ong, Brooks Van Udelsman, Daniel Freedman Weisberg

American Academy of Neurology Award Awarded to recognize a graduating medical student for excellence in clinical neurology. Irina Shklyar

ACP Internal Medicine Award Awarded to graduating students who will be entering a categorical or primary care internal medicine residency in Connecticut and have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community service. Charisse Laura Mandimika, Elise Gao Liu

Norma Bailey Berniker Prize Established in 1970 by bequest of John H. Bailey, B.A. 1900, M.D. 1903. To be awarded to members of the graduating class who give promise of best exemplifying the disciplines and precepts of the Oath of Hippocrates and the Prayer of Maimonides. Michael Drake Alpert, Anne Gibson Beckett, Ethan Wesley Dean, Vivek Tammaji Kulkarni, Mark Vu Mai, Daniel Freedman Weisberg

The Campbell Prize Founded in 1900 by bequest from James Campbell, honorary M.A. 1891, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1886 to 1899. Awarded to the graduating student who secures the highest score on Step II of the National Board Medical Examination. Mikell Margaret Yuhasz

Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians Award Established in 1994 to recognize outstanding students entering a career in Family Practice. Not awarded in 2014.

Connecticut Chapter of American College of Surgeons Prize Awarded to a graduating student for excellence in surgical sciences. Brooks Van Udelsman

The Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed Award Established in 1999 in honor of Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed, the first African American graduate of Yale School of Medicine in 1857. Awarded through peer nomination to a graduating, underrepresented, minority student in medicine and public health who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, exemplary leadership, and a significant commitment to the community at large. Charisse Laura Mandimika

Miriam Kathleen Dasey Award Established in 1950 in honor of Miriam Kathleen Dasey, Registrar from 1921 to 1950. Awarded annually to students who by strength of character, personal integrity, and academic achievement give promise of fulfilling the ideal of the compassionate physician. Alexandra Raisa Adler, Peter Hashim, Jake Izenberg, Haben Fessehaie Kefella, Maria Francesca Nardell, Jorge Augusto Ramallo Pardo, Ameya Vinod Save, Theresa Lynn Williamson

The Dean’s Prize for Community Service This annual award recognizes the graduating students who, by leadership and service, have made major contributions to the School of Medicine, to the New Haven community, or to the community at large. Neel Mahendra Butala, Charisse Laura Mandimika, Jorge Augusto Ramallo Pardo

Endocrinology Society Medical Student Achievement Award Established in 1997 to recognize a graduating student who has shown special achievement and interest in the general field of endocrinology. Dinah Foer

The Selma and Karl Folkers Prize in Biomedical Research Awarded to a graduating M.D./Ph.D. student whose thesis research has demonstrated excellence in basic cell and molecular biology. Qing Yang

The Peter Grannum Prize Established in 1990. Awarded to an outstanding African American graduate. This annual award is supported by the Shirley, Maggie and Hugh Comer Fund. Theresa Lynn Williamson

The Marguerite Rush Lerner Award Awarded to students for outstanding creative writing. Zola Chihombori Quao, Jessica Greenberg, Nicole Krenitsky, Eunice Martins, Esther Park, Talia Robledo-Gil, Emily Yin

The M.D./Ph.D. Alumni Award Awarded to a graduating M.D./Ph.D. student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievements, leadership, and service. Dylan Frances Davey

The M.D./Ph.D. Award Awarded to an outstanding member of the graduating M.D./Ph.D. class who has shown excellence in both research and clinical activities. Feras Akbik

New England Pediatric Society Prize Awarded to that member of the graduating class entering pediatrics who in the opinion of peers and faculty best exemplifies those qualities one looks for in a pediatrician: “A competent, caring, good humored person whom I would want to take care of my children.” Nicole Ali McNeer

The Parker Prize Established in 1914 by bequest from Frank J. Parker, Ph.D. 1895, M.D. 1898. Awarded annually to the graduating students who, during the course, have shown the best qualifications for a successful physician. Vivek Tammaji Kulkarni, Dhruv Khullar

The Perkins Prize Awarded to the student who achieves the highest rank on Step I of the National Board Medical Examination. Michelle Mizhi Chen

Mila Rainof Award The Mila Rainof Award will be given each year to a graduating Yale medical student entering the field of emergency medicine who, like Mila, has contagious enthusiasm for caring for patients, while bringing attention, kindness, and compassion to each interaction. Iris Anita Chandler

The Dr. David and Arthur Schuman Award of Excellence in Family Practice Awarded annually to recognize a student or resident in the State of Connecticut for his or her academic excellence and contributions to the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians and other organizations that promote understanding of the specialty of Family Medicine. Not awarded in 2014.

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award Awarded to the student who has demonstrated excellence in the specialty of emergency medicine. Ellen Marie Vollmers

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award Supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Established to honor a graduating student who demonstrates the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in his or her interaction with patients. Gal Ben-Josef

Lauren Weinstein Award Established in 1992 in memory of Lauren Weinstein (Yale medical student, 1988–1989). Given to a student who displays courage, perseverance, and compassion and has dared to reach for the best in herself or himself. Olatunde Ibukunoluwa Bosu

The Milton C. Winternitz Prize in Pathology Established in 1950 in honor of Milton Charles Winternitz, honorary M.A. 1917, Professor of Pathology and Bacteriology, 1917–1925, Anthony N. Brady Professor of Pathology, 1925–1950. Not awarded in 2014.

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Thesis Prizes, May 2014

The American Cancer Society Prize Given by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Cancer Society and awarded to a graduating student for an outstanding thesis in the area of cancer. Michelle Mizhi Chen

The Association for Academic Surgery–Novartis Research Award Awarded to a graduating student entering a surgical field, who has done outstanding research during medical school. Eric Kuo

The Peter F. Curran Prize Established in 1976. To be presented to a graduating medical student for an outstanding thesis. Peter F. Curran was Professor of Physiology at Yale, 1967 to 1974. Samantha Fong-Ting Lau

Wilber G. Downs, M.D., M.P.H., Prize for the Outstanding Thesis in International Health Established in 1988 for the best thesis in the area of international health. Jake Izenberg

The Ferris Prize Established in 1934 and endowed in 1937 by anonymous donors in honor of Harry Burr Ferris, A.A. 1887, M.D. 1890. Awarded to a graduating student for an outstanding thesis. Jessica Ashley Berger

The William U. Gardner Thesis Prize Established in 1989 by Dr. Gardner’s widow and awarded to the graduating student with the most outstanding thesis in the graduating class. Asiri Saumya Ediriwickrema

The Nicholas J. Giarman Prize Established in 1976. Nicholas Giarman was Professor of Pharmacology, 1949 to 1968. To be presented to a student for an outstanding thesis. Aniruddh Pradip Patel

The Keese Prize Established in 1880 by bequest from Mary M. Keese in memory of her son, Hobart Keese, M.D. 1855. Awarded annually to a student who presents an outstanding thesis. Brooks Van Udelsman

The Dr. Harold H. Lamport Biomedical Research Prize Established in 1976. To be presented to a student for an outstanding thesis reporting original biomedical research. Amy Catherine Moreno

The Lidz Prize in Psychiatry Awarded to a graduating student for an outstanding thesis in the field of psychiatry or neuroscience. Daniel Freedman Weisberg

The M.D./Ph.D. Thesis Prize Awarded to the graduating M.D./Ph.D. student with the most outstanding dissertation. Nicole Ali McNeer

Dr. Marvin Moser Prize Established in 2007 by Dr. Marvin Moser for a prize-winning thesis in preventive cardiology, lipid disorders, or hypertension. Vivek Tammaji Kulkarni

The Dr. Louis H. Nahum Prize Founded in 1973 by bequest from Louis H. Nahum, M.D. 1916. Awarded annually to a member of the graduating class who merits such award by virtue of the excellence of the thesis that the student has written as required for the medical degree. Iris Anita Chandler

The John P. Peters Prize Established in 1976. To be presented to a student for an outstanding thesis in the area of internal medicine. John P. Peters was Professor of Medicine at Yale, 1927 to 1955. Neel Mahendra Butala

David and Harriet Seligson Thesis Prize Established in 2011 in honor of Dr. David Seligson for the best thesis in the area of laboratory medicine. Sponsored by the Department of Laboratory Medicine. Caroline Mei Shan Ong

The Louis G. Welt Prize Established in 1976. To be presented to a student for an outstanding thesis. Louis Welt was Chairman and Professor of Medicine at Yale, 1972 to 1974. Nicholas S. Downing

The Abraham White Prize Awarded annually to a graduating student for outstanding research. Established in 2010, the prize is in memory of Dr. Abraham White, who served as a distinguished teacher and scholar of physiological chemistry at Yale from 1931 to 1948. Stephanie Michelle Meller

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Student Research Day Oral Presentations, May 7, 2014

Jessica Ashley Berger. Impact of Early Extubation and Reintubation on the Incidence of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Neonates (Dr. Vineet Bhandari, Pediatrics)

Nicholas S. Downing. Speed, Standards, and Innovation at the Food and Drug Administration (Dr. Joseph Ross, Internal Medicine)

Stephanie Michelle Meller. Role of Embolic Protection in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Results from the Deflect I Study (Dr. Alexandra Lansky, Internal Medicine)

Asiri Saumya Ediriwickrema. Multi-Layered Nanoparticles for Combination Gene and Drug Delivery to Tumors (Dr. W. Mark Saltzman, Biomedical Engineering)

Brooks Van Udelsman. Characterization of the Biomechanical Properties of Tissue-Engineered Vascular Grafts Implanted in the Arterial Circulation (Dr. Christopher Breuer, Surgery, and Dr. Jay Humphrey, Biomedical Engineering)

Nicole Ali McNeer. Nanoparticles and Oligonucleotides for Genome Engineering (Dr. W. Mark Saltzman, Biomedical Engineering)

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Awards to Faculty and House Staff, May 2014

The Francis Gilman Blake Award Established in 1952 by Nu Sigma Nu. Endowed by Dr. Robert C. Kirk, B.S. 1930, as a memorial to his twin brother, Dr. Gilman D. Kirk, B.S. 1930. Awarded annually to that member of the faculty of the School of Medicine designated by the senior class as the most outstanding teacher(s) of the medical sciences. Margaret Johnson Bia, M.D.

Charles W. Bohmfalk Prizes Established in 1989 under the terms of the Alice Bohmfalk Charitable Trust. Prestigious teaching prizes will be awarded annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the teaching program, one in the basic sciences and one in the clinical sciences, as judged by the faculty and students. Basic Sciences: Susan J. Baserga, M.D., Ph.D. Clinical Sciences: Karen Santucci, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine

The Alvan R. Feinstein Award Presented to a Yale School of Medicine faculty member chosen as the outstanding teacher of the year of clinical skills by a committee of chairs of the clinical departments, associate chairs, and students. Matthew Rogers Grossman, M.D.

The Leah M. Lowenstein Award Presented annually by the Office for Women in Medicine to a faculty member who is the model of a medical educator whose humane teaching reaches and influences all students regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic background. These are the traits espoused by the late Leah Lowenstein, a medical educator and first female dean of a coeducational medical school. Margaret Johnson Bia, M.D.

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award Presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Established in 1998 to honor the faculty member who demonstrates the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in his or her interaction with patients. Stephen Richard Holt, M.D.

The Betsy Winters House Staff Award Presented annually to that member of the House Staff of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center, designated by the graduating class, who has/have made the most significant contribution to the education of medical students. Michael Sullivan, M.D.

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