Commencement 2021

Convocation Ceremony Fetes Class of 2021 MD Candidates

Published May 7, 2021

Leading members of the Class of 2021 received special recognition during the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Honors Convocation, which took place online April 29.

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These award-winning MD candidates also were recognized during the school’s 175th commencement ceremony.

Medical Honor Societies

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

  • Claudia Iyla Aghaie 
  • Natalia Anna Alexandridi 
  • Isabel Francesca Armendi 
  • Jesse Cole
  • Victoria N. Cranwell 
  • Timothy Felong
  • Angela Rosanna Grassi
  • Jenna Heath
  • Mark R. Lawler 
  • Jordan S. Levine 
  • Samantha Jane Loria 
  • Jenna Lynch 
  • Alexandra Marrone 
  • Mark Pryshlak
  • Marc Daniel Ruszaj
  • Ryan R. Salemme
  • Matthew Dalton Simson 
  • Christine Alexandra Toufexis 
  • R. Ross Welliver

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

  • Robert Michael Benjamin III 
  • Casey L. Cabrinha
  • Christian Giancarlo Cavalieri 
  • Esha Chebolu
  • Chelsea Nicole Cleveland 
  • Michael David Cobler-Lichter 
  • Jacob R. Coene
  • Andrew James Fink
  • Andrew Douglas Gong 
  • Angela Rosanna Grassi 
  • Bradley J. Hawayek
  • Jenna Heath
  • Eric Edward Irons 
  • Elizabeth Leigh Kaufman 
  • Andrew Philip Kelly 
  • David Aaron Kerling Jr. 
  • Austin Kloc
  • Mark R. Lawler 
  • Katherine L. Lee 
  • Alexandra Marrone 
  • Anthony Mitchell 
  • Alexander Neary
  • Sarah Quinn
  • Kyungduk Rho
  • James Jude Rutkowski 
  • Ashley Michelle Sarquiz 
  • Lucas M. Serra
  • Nico Shary
  • Christine Alexandra Toufexis 
  • Nadav I. Weinstock
  • Zachary J. Zimmer

Departmental Awards

Department of Anesthesiology

Lieberman Award
Interest in and aptitude for the study of anesthesiology
Jonathan Matthew Goc
Amber Marie Repasky

Department of Dermatology

Ralph T. Behling Award
Demonstrated outstanding diligence, integrity and scholarly achievement in the field of dermatology
Casey L. Cabrinha

Department of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Scholastic Award
Outstanding academic record in emergency medicine
Mackenzie Elizabeth Loesing

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Excellence in emergency medicine
Jacob Daniel Canavan

Department of Family Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians President’s Award
Outstanding academic record and a commitment to practice family medicine
Mark R. Lawler
Mark Pryshlak

Charles Bauda Award
Academic excellence during third year

Sara Diletti-Swenson
Samantha Hassan

The Erie County Chapter of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians Family Medicine Scholarship Award
Dedication to caring for the underserved
Carlos Iván Martínez

The Erie County Chapter of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians Family Medicine Scholarship Award
Family Medicine Interest Group Leadership Award
Sneha Dilip

The Erie County Chapter of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians Family Medicine Scholarship Award
Erie County Chapter NYSAFP Leadership Award
Lewis Alexander Wong

G. Norris Miner Memorial Award
Demonstration of outstanding clinical competence in family medicine
Jesse Cole
Anna Mathur Jacquinot

Mark A. Petrino Award
Demonstrated interest and aptitude for the general practice of medicine
Taylor Ann Jacobs

Department of Medicine

Patrick Costello Award
Achieved highest grade on the written exam for internal medicine
Kyle Matthew Patterson
Phien Tang

David K. Miller Prize in Medicine
Competence, humility and humanity in caring for the sick
Ryan R. Salemme

Stephen J. Paolini Award
Dedication and compassion in patient care
Iain J. Thompson

Emilie Davis Rodenberg Memorial Award
Unusual interest in the study of diabetes
Clare Hurley Martin
Anjali Sood

Division of COMBINED INTERNAL MEDICINE AND PEDIATRICS

Dr. Beth J. Wutz Memorial Award
For demonstrating a dedication to both intelligent and empathic care of both children and adults
Korinne A. Barnett
Joshua J. Owczarczak

Department of Neurology

American Academy of Neurology Student Prize for Excellence
Sustained interest and excellence in neurology
Geetha Vasudevan

Bernard H. Smith Memorial Award in Clinical Neurology
Most outstanding performance in the neurology clerkship
Stephanie Rose Denzler

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hans J. Lowenstein Award in Obstetrics
Most outstanding clinical work
Maria Elizabeth Brzozowski
Alexandra Christine Alfiero
Natalia Anna Alexandridi

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

Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Thomas J. Guttuso Award
Academic excellence in ophthalmology
Adam Renard Siedlecki

Harry E. and Loretta A. Jordan Award
Proficiency in ophthalmology
Andrew P. Beiter

E. J. Weisenheimer Award
Excellence in scholarship and patient care in ophthalmology
Andrew James Fink

Department of Orthopaedics

Dr. Benjamin E. and Lila Obletz Prize
Academic achievement and interest in orthopaedic surgery
Bradley J. Hawayek

Department of Otolaryngology

Department of Otolaryngology Chairman’s Award
Demonstrated outstanding achievement in otolaryngology
Chelsea Nicole Cleveland

Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Association of Pathology Chairs Award
Scholarship in pathology
Max Kohen

Morris and Sadie Stein Award
Excellence in neuroscience
Andrew James Fink

Department of Pediatrics

Children’s Hospital Prize
Excellence in understanding childhood diseases
Elizabeth Leigh Kaufman

Richard T. Sarkin, MD Award/Buffalo Pediatric Society Award
Outstanding clinical skills and commitment to primary care pediatrics
Jacob R. Coene

Frederick B. Wilkes Pediatric Award
Dedication to patients and the field of pediatrics
Richard DeStefano

Department of Psychiatry

Gilbert M. Beck Memorial Prize in Psychiatry
Academic excellence in psychiatry
Olivia Plante

S. Mouchly Small, MD Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Lauren N. Lucente
Emily Kathleen Slominski

Farney R. Wurlitzer Prize
Outstanding work in psychiatry
Austin E. Milbrand

Department of Radiology

Dr. George Alker Award
Excellence in radiology
Max F. Crinnin

Department of Surgery

Buffalo Surgical Society Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence in the clinical years
Alexandra Claudia Sima

Department of Surgery Chair’s Award
Superior clinical performance and the highest score on the surgery exam
Kyle Matthew Patterson

Dr. Heinrich Leonhardt Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence 
Victoria N. Cranwell

Research Awards

Bacelli Award
Most outstanding research by a medical student
Esha Chebolu

Robert M. Bannerman Memorial Research Award
Most notable research in biomedical science initiated during the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Summer Research Fellowship Program
Lester Ernesto Bayona Chuye

Research Honors Awards
A commitment to excellence in research during medical school
Lester Ernesto Bayona Chuye
Robert Bruce
Esha Chebolu
Andrew John Claffey
Michael David Cobler-Lichter
Maria Coluccio
Victoria N. Cranwell
Timothy Felong
Andrew Douglas Gong
Adrienne Hezghia
Anthony Mitchell
Benjamin Lawrence Pastwik
Pramod Mohan Rao
Kyungduk Rho
Jordan Cook Serotte
Lucas M. Serra
Saarang Pratap Singh
Kaity Han-Yung Tung
Aaron M. van Dyne

Thesis Honors Awards
Outstanding research supported by a written thesis satisfying the school’s highest standard
Lauren M. Harte

Association Awards and Memorials

Dr. Avery Ellis Memorial Award
For work advancing the curriculum or implementing a new and lasting school initiative
Karole T. Collier

Dr. James Goldinger Curriculum Leadership Award
Leadership, enthusiasm and a dedication to teaching
Maria Coluccio
Mackenzie Elizabeth Loesing

National Medical Association Award
Excellence in scholarship, leadership and commitment to community service
Karole T. Collier

John Paroski, MD Memorial Award
Compassion and excellence in patient care
Timothy Felong

Philip P. Sang Memorial Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Mackenzie Elizabeth Loesing

The Dr. Karen Schupak Memorial Medical Student Award
Demonstrates a high degree of empathy when working with patients
Mark R. Lawler

Medical School Awards and Dean’s Awards

Elizabeth Award
Unusual compassion and a noteworthy personal and professional sense of integrity and ethics
Mark R. Lawler

Bernhardt and Sophie Gottlieb Award
Expertise in areas outside medicine
Sara Xu

Colonel and Mrs. Robert C. M. Liu Award
Demonstrated commitment to the U.S. military through family or personal service
Jonathan Matthew Goc

Medical Alumni Association Award
Outstanding community service and commitment
Jacob Blum
Richard DeStefano

Medical Alumni Association Dean’s Award
Participation in extracurricular activities in the medical school while maintaining a high standard of academic excellence
Christine Alexandra Toufexis

Merck Academic Excellence Award
Outstanding academics coupled with noteworthy humanism and leadership
Claudia Iyla Aghaie
Natalia A. Crenesse-Cozien
Jenna Heath
Alexandra Marrone

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Exemplary compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of care
Ryan R. Salemme

James Platt White Society Award
Intellectual vigor and moral courage
Angela Rosanna Grassi
Marc Daniel Ruszaj

Harold J. Levy Award in Psychophysiological Medicine
Worked to make a positive difference on the well-being of fellow medical students
Ray Pak

Dean’s Transformational Award
Recognize any individual, group or organization that develops a policy, program, document or research finding that has changed the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences community or world in a unique and impactful manner
Karole T. Collier

Recipients of Honor Awards in Years 1, 2, 3

Edward L. Curvish
Biochemistry — year 1
Angela Rosanna Grassi
Michael David Musteric
Zachary J. Zimmer

Ernest Witebsky Award
Proficiency in microbiology — year 2
Michael David Cobler-Lichter
Sarah Quinn
Nico Shary

Marek Zaleski Award
Academic achievement with outstanding community service — year 2
Alexandra Marrone

Gibson Atwell Jones Award
Excellence in anatomy – year 1
Eric Edward Irons
Zachary J. Zimmer

John B. Sheffer Award
Highest performance in pathology laboratory — year 2
Jenna Heath

Kornel Terplan Award
Most outstanding performance in pathology — year 2
Andrew James Fink
Carl R. Hashem

Douglas S. Riggs Award
Most outstanding performance in pharmacology — year 2
Aberlee J. Milliron

The Donald W. Rennie Physiology Award
Physiology
Steven J. Avino

Medical Student Research Forum Honors
First Honors
Kaity Han-Yung Tung (2019)
Second Honors
Alexandra Claudia Sima (2019)
Third Honors
Abigail W. McLaughlin (2021)

Latin Honors

  • Claudia Iyla Aghaie
  • Steven J. Avino
  • Andrew P. Beiter
  • Robert Michael Benjamin III 
  • Jonathan Binns
  • Jacob Blum
  • Robert Bruce
  • Maria Elizabeth Brzozowski 
  • David Joseph Byrwa
  • Casey L. Cabrinha
  • Michael Darren Campbell 
  • Jacob Daniel Canavan 
  • Christian Giancarlo Cavalieri 
  • Esha Chebolu
  • Chelsea Nicole Cleveland 
  • Michael David Cobler-Lichter 
  • Jacob R. Coene
  • Jesse Cole
  • Max F. Crinnin
  • Rongjia Deng
  • Stephanie Rose Denzler
  • Sara Diletti-Swenson
  • Sneha Dilip
  • Mitchell J. Eyerman
  • Andrew James Fink
  • Andrew Douglas Gong 
  • Angela Rosanna Grassi
  • Tyler K. Harasta
  • Carl R. Hashem 
  • Samantha Hassan 
  • Bradley J. Hawayek 
  • Jenna Heath
  • Eric Edward Irons
  • Elizabeth Leigh Kaufman 
  • Andrew Philip Kelly
  • David Aaron Kerling Jr. 
  • Austin Kloc
  • Mark R. Lawler
  • Katherine L. Lee
  • Jordan S. Levine
  • Samantha Jane Loria
  • John Dalton Madigan 
  • Alexandra Marrone
  • Clare Hurley Martin
  • Abigail W. McLaughlin 
  • Caitlin Meza
  • Aberlee J. Milliron
  • Anthony Mitchell
  • Alexander Neary
  • Joshua J. Owczarczak 
  • Benjamin Lawrence Pastwik 
  • Kyle Matthew Patterson 
  • Mark Pryshlak
  • Sarah Quinn
  • Pramod Mohan Rao 
  • Maxwell B. Rapp
  • Kyungduk Rho
  • Thomas J. Rush
  • James Jude Rutowski 
  • Ryan R. Salemme 
  • Ashley Michelle Sarquiz 
  • Ilana Selli
  • Jordan Cook Serotte 
  • Lucas M. Serra
  • Nico Shary
  • Adam Renard Siedlecki 
  • Phien Tang
  • Christine Alexandra Toufexis 
  • Emily Joan Triplett
  • Daniel J. Tysz
  • Aaron M. van Dyne
  • Geetha Vasudevan 
  • Nadav I. Weinstock 
  • R. Ross Welliver 
  • Kevin Hua Xing Yang 
  • Zachary J. Zimmer