Commencement 2014

Michael Jose Blanco receives his hood.

Michael Jose Blanco, MD, who was honored with several awards for humanism, compassion and community service, receives his hood during graduation.

Top 2014 MD Candidates Honored at Convocation Event

Published May 2, 2014

Outstanding members of the Class of 2014 received special recognition during the medical school’s Honors Convocation, held May 2 at Slee Concert Hall on the North Campus.

These award-winning MD candidates also were recognized during the school’s 168th commencement ceremony, held the same day.

Medical Honor Societies

Richard Sarkin/Emeritus Faculty Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society

Catherine S. Abied
Matthew R. Austin
Michael Jose Blanco
Jane Truesdale Caty
Francis William Coyne
Julie Carin Garchow
Ruchi Mathur
Sara Anne Neimanis
William Henry Sipprell, III
Kristine Lois S. So
Christina Yin Bin Wong

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Rachel Elizabeth Aliotta
Matthew R. Austin
Henry Maxwell Bacher
Anthony C. Bejjani
Jane Truesdale Caty
David J. Ciufo
Alice Crane
Emily E. Farrell
Brittany A. Frankel
Saied Ghadersohi
Lunan Ji
Lisa Nicole Linde
Sara Anne Neimanis
Elissa Katherine Ortolani
Neel H. Patel
Matthew E. Schimmel
Cynthia Nichole Schreiner
William Henry Sipprell, III
Bradley William Smith
Kyle W. Trecartin
Daniel Vincent Vargo
Samuel Peter Wiles
Jennifer A. Zabinsky

Departmental Awards

Department of Anesthesiology

Lieberman Award
Interest in and aptitude for the study of anesthesiology
Jane Truesdale Caty

Department of Dermatology

Excellence in Research Award
Outstanding achievement in dermatologic research
Ankit Gor
Canting Guo

Department of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Scholastic Award
Outstanding academic record in emergency medicine
Brian A. Monaco

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Excellence in emergency medicine
Sagar Dinu Patel

Department of Family Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians President’s Award
Outstanding academic record and a commitment to practice family medicine
Julie Carin Garchow

Dr. Charles A. Bauda Award
Academic excellence during third year

Yuqi Mao

Erie County Chapter of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians Leadership Award
Active involvement and demonstrated leadership on the state and national level

Lauren Leigh Valtin

Dr. G. Norris Miner Memorial Award
Outstanding clinical competence in family medicine
Colleen Elizabeth Quinn

Mark A. Petrino Award
Interest in and aptitude for the general practice of medicine
Ruchi Mathur

Department of Medicine

Patrick Costello Award
Highest grade on the written exam for internal medicine
Saied Ghadersohi
Kyle Martina Westerholt

David K. Miller Prize in Medicine
Competence, humility and humanity in caring for the sick
Simon Hsu

Stephen J. Paolini Award
Dedication and compassion in patient care
Samuel Peter Wiles

Emilie Davis Rodenberg Memorial Award
Unusual interest in the study of diabetes
Francis William Coyne

Department of Neurology

American Academy of Neurology Student Prize for Excellence
Sustained interest and excellence in neurology
Lauren T. Gluck

Bernard H. Smith Memorial Award in Clinical Neurology
Most outstanding performance in the neurology clerkship
Bradley Michael Buchheit
Robert John Taylor

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hans J. Lowenstein Award in Obstetrics
Most outstanding clinical work
Catherine S. Abied

Clyde L. Randall Society Award in Gynecology-Obstetrics
Diligence, integrity, scholarship and leadership
Ashley Conway

Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Thomas J. Guttuso Award
Academic excellence in ophthalmology
Jorawer Singh

Harry E. and Loretta A. Jordan Award
Proficiency in ophthalmology
Jane Truesdale Caty

E. J. Weisenheimer Award
Excellence in scholarship and patient care in ophthalmology
Luke A. Lennox

Department of Orthopaedics

Dr. Benjamin and Lila Obletz Prize
Academic achievement and interest in orthopaedic surgery
David J. Ciufo

Department of Otolaryngology

Chair’s Award
Outstanding achievement and interest in otolaryngology
Saied Ghadersohi

Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Association of Pathology Chair’s Award
Scholarship in pathology
Raed Mohammad Alnaji
Ashley Marie Beecher
Robin F. Burger
Yiang Hui
Lunan Ji
Allyson Marie Zakrzewski

Morris and Sadie Stein Award
Excellence in neuroscience
Matthew R. Austin

Department of Pediatrics

Children’s Hospital Prize
Excellence in understanding childhood diseases
Cynthia Nichole Schreiner

Richard T. Sarkin, MD Award/Buffalo Pediatric Society Award
Outstanding clinical skills and commitment to pediatrics
Elissa Katherine Ortolani

Frederick B. Wilkes Pediatric Award
Dedication to patients and the field of pediatrics
Jessica Helen Zak

Department of Psychiatry

Gilbert M. Beck Memorial Prize in Psychiatry
Academic excellence in psychiatry
Lisa Nicole Linde

S. Mouchly Small, MD Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Sean Matthew Rumschik

Farney R. Wurlitzer Prize
Outstanding work in psychiatry
Anna Lisa Derrien
Nisali Gunawardane

Department of Radiology

Dr. George Alker Award
Excellence in radiology
Ilya B. Livshits

Department of Surgery

Buffalo Surgical Society Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence in the clinical years
Ashley Marie Beecher

Chair's Award
Superior clinical performance and the highest score on the surgery exam
Rachel Elizabeth NeMoyer

Dr. Heinrich Leonhardt Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence and potential interest in colorectal surgery
Sara Anne Neimanis

Research Awards

Bacelli Award
Most outstanding research by a medical student
Jorawer Singh

Robin M. Bannerman Memorial Research Award
Most meritorious research in biomedical science initiated in the summer fellowship program
Robert John Taylor

Biochemistry Dissertation Research Recognition Award
Superb dissertation work
Jason Michael Rizzo

Harry E. and Loretta A. Jordan Award
Noteworthy investigation in cancer and neoplastic disease
Nara Lee

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research
Outstanding MD/PhD research
Jason Michael Rizzo

Research Honors Awards
Commitment to excellence in research during medical school
Rachel Elizabeth Aliotta
Kryollis G. Attalla
Canting Guo
Umairullah Lodhi
Robert John Taylor
Christina Yin Bin Wong

Thesis Honors Award
Outstanding research supported by a written thesis satisfying the medical school’s highest standards
Jorawer Singh

Association Awards and Memorials

Dr. James Goldinger Curriculum Leadership Award
Leadership, enthusiasm and dedication to teaching
Anthony C. Bejjani

Ester Ponce Grimaldi, MD Memorial Award
Compassion for patients in primary care
Ruchi Mathur

American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Certificates of Commendation for Academic Achievement
Women graduating in top 10 percent of class
Emily Farrell
Brittany Frankel
Sara Anne Neimanis
Elissa Katherine Ortolani
Jennifer A. Zabinsky

Medical Society of the State of New York Community Service Award
For time and effort given selflessly
Ruchi Mathur

Merck Academic Excellence Awards
Outstanding academics coupled with noteworthy humanism and leadership
Miles Joseph George Basil
Meghan B. Crawley
Kristine Lois S. So

National Medical Association Award
Excellence in scholarship, leadership and commitment to community service
Michael Jose Blanco
Ruchi Mathur

John Paroski, MD Memorial Award
Compassion and excellence in patient care
Matthew R. Austin

Philip P. Sang Memorial Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Michael Jose Blanco

Medical School and Dean's Awards

Evan Calkins, MD, and Virginia Calkins, MD, Primary Care Achievement Award
Exceptional performance in primary care and demonstrated compassion, integrity, judgment and leadership
Eliane A. Abou-Jaoude

Elizabeth Award
Unusual compassion and a noteworthy personal and professional sense of integrity and ethics
Adam Stephen Zayac

Bernhardt and Sophie Gottlieb Award
Expertise in areas outside medicine
Francis William Coyne

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Exemplary compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of care
Michael Jose Blanco

Colonel and Mrs. Robert C. M. Liu Award
Commitment to the U.S. military through family or personal service
Tyler F. Moore

Maimonides Medical Society Award
Scholarship, ability to teach and efforts to make the world a better place
Robin F. Burger

Medical Alumni Association Award
Outstanding community service and commitment
Julie Carin Garchow

Medical Alumni Association Dean’s Award
Participation in extracurricular activities in the medical school while maintaining a high standard of academic excellence
Sara Anne Neimanis

James Platt White Society Award
Foresight, intellectual vigor and moral courage
Anthony C. Bejjani

Latin Honors

Summa Cum Laude

Anthony C. Bejjani
David J. Ciufo
Emily E. Farrell
Brittany A. Frankel
Saied Ghadersohi (first in class)
Simon Hsu
Lunan Ji
Lisa Nicole Linde
Sara Anne Neimanis
Elissa Katherine Ortolani
Neel H. Patel
Matthew E. Schimmel
Bradley William Smith
Kyle W. Trecartin
Daniel Vincent Vargo
Samuel Peter Wiles
Jennifer A. Zabinsky

Magna Cum Laude

Matthew R. Austin
Alice Crane
Rachel Elizabeth NeMoyer
Colleen Elizabeth Quinn
Cynthia Nichole Schreiner

Cum Laude

Rachel Elizabeth Aliotta
Henry Maxwell Bacher
Gregory Scott Canfield
Jane Truesdale Caty
Francis William Coyne
Canting Guo
Luke A. Lennox
Ilya B. Livshits
Jorawer Singh
William Henry Sipprell, III
Daniel Vekhter