Commencement 2016

2016 MD Candidates Honored for Excellence at Convocation Event

Published May 9, 2016

Top members of the Class of 2016 received special recognition during the medical school’s Honors Convocation, held April 29.

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These award-winning MD candidates also were recognized during the school’s 170th commencement ceremony, held later the same day.

Medical Honor Societies

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

  • Sarah Belliotti
  • Chelsey Catherine Ciambella
  • Michael Dibianco
  • Patrick Adrian Donohue
  • Steven James Gangloff
  • Lauren Jepson
  • Vincent LaSala
  • David Lloyd
  • Daniel Luu
  • Ebrahim Mirakhor
  • Emilie Powers O'Neill
  • Nicholas Palladino
  • Nora Allen Proops
  • Sarah Riley
  • James Shea
  • Michele Smith
  • William Stendardi
  • Anna Rich Waller
  • Kathleen Wood
  • Becky Zhao

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

  • Colin Begy
  • Kristen Bennett
  • Kristopher Philip Clark
  • Ross F. Cole
  • Joshua Cox
  • Soroush Farnoosh
  • Stephen Duncan Haight
  • Gilad Maurice Jaffe
  • Nethra Kumar Madurai
  • Paul F. McBride
  • Amanda Morrison
  • Vincent Paul Moscato
  • Jimmy Mullally
  • Theresa Neiderer
  • Emilie Powers O'Neill
  • Nathan Paul Olszewski
  • Kate Raiti-Palazzolo
  • Sarah Riley
  • James Shea
  • Michele Smith
  • Jason Benjamin Smoak
  • William Stendardi
  • Rachel Stewart
  • Ashlee Elizabeth Stutsrim
  • Olga Varechtchouk
  • Kathleen Wood

Departmental Awards

Department of Anesthesiology

Lieberman Award
Interest in and aptitude for the study of anesthesiology
Brandon Michael Bilka
Kaitlyn Yarussi

Department of Dermatology

Excellence in Research Award
Outstanding achievement in dermatologic research
Kimberly Ann Huerth
Ebrahim Mirakhor

Department of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Scholastic Award
Outstanding academic record in emergency medicine
Anna Rich Waller

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Excellence in emergency medicine
Ryan Hartman

Department of Family Medicine

American Academy of Family Physicians President’s Award
Outstanding academic record and a commitment to practice family medicine
Christian Damon Lobo

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

Megan E. Gaugler
Amanda Morrison

Erie County Chapter of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians Award
Demonstrated understanding and appreciation for the role of the family physician in the health care system

Upasana Kochhar

Dr. G. Norris Miner Memorial Award
Outstanding clinical competence in family medicine
Sean David Bourne
Aneela Cox

Mark A. Petrino Award
Interest in and aptitude for the general practice of medicine
Vincent LaSala

Department of Medicine

Patrick Costello Award
Highest grade on the written exam for internal medicine
Emilie Powers O’Neill

David K. Miller Prize in Medicine
Competence, humility and humanity in caring for the sick
Emilie Powers O’Neill

Stephen J. Paolini Award
Dedication and compassion in patient care 
Gilad Maurice Jaffe

Emilie Davis Rodenberg Memorial Award
Unusual interest in the study of diabetes
Amanda Morrison
Emilie Powers O’Neill

Department of Neurology

American Academy of Neurology Student Prize for Excellence
Sustained interest and excellence in neurology
Steven James Gangloff

Bernard H. Smith Memorial Award in Clinical Neurology
Most outstanding performance in the neurology clerkship
Michele Smith

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hans J. Lowenstein Award in Obstetrics
Most outstanding clinical work
Nicole Brewer Gaulin
Lauren Melissa Little
Jenna Studer

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

Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Thomas J. Guttuso Award
Academic excellence in ophthalmology
Dian Yu

Harry E. and Loretta A. Jordan Award
Proficiency in ophthalmology
Jason Chow

E. J. Weisenheimer Award
Excellence in scholarship and patient care in ophthalmology
Vincent Paul Moscato

Department of Orthopaedics

Dr. Benjamin E. and Lila Obletz Prize
Academic achievement and interest in orthopaedic surgery
Jason Benjamin Smoak

Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Association of Pathology Chair’s Award
Scholarship in pathology
Brandon Michael Bilka
Max Jacobson

Morris and Sadie Stein Award
Excellence in neuroscience
Amanda Morrison

Department of Pediatrics

Children’s Hospital Prize
Excellence in understanding childhood diseases
Rachel Stewart

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

Frederick B. Wilkes Pediatric Award
Dedication to patients and the field of pediatrics
Nethra Kumar Madurai

Department of Psychiatry

Gilbert M. Beck Memorial Prize in Psychiatry
Academic excellence in psychiatry
Sarah Riley

S. Mouchly Small, MD Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Charles T. Camp

Farney R. Wurlitzer Prize
Outstanding work in psychiatry
Nora Allen Proops

Department of Radiology

George Alker Award
Excellence in radiology
Michael J. Hong Jr.
Max Jacobson

Department of Surgery

Buffalo Surgical Society Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence in the clinical years
Katie Lynn Konesky

Chair’s Award
Superior clinical performance and the highest score on the surgery exam
Ashlee Elizabeth Stutsrim

Dr. Heinrich Leonhardt Prize in Surgery
Academic excellence and potential interest in colorectal surgery
Richard L. Dubois

Research Awards

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

Harry E. and Loretta A. Jordan Award
Noteworthy investigation in cancer and neoplastic disease
Robert Zachary Ferdman

Research Honors Awards
Commitment to excellence in research during medical school

Shervin Badkhshan
Aneela Cox
Nicole Brewer Gaulin
Katie Lynn Konesky
Constance Mei
John Michael Pinski

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Award for Overall Excellence in Cancer Research
For outstanding academics, publication record and dissertation abstract 
Jason Eng

Association Awards and Memorials

American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Certificates of Commendation for Academic Achievement
Women graduating in top 10 percent of class
Kristen Bennett
Jeanette Lynn Epstein
Mandy Hei-Man Ma
Nethra Kumar Madurai
Amanda Morrison
Theresa Neiderer
Emilie Powers O’Neill
Kate Raiti-Palazzolo
Sarah Riley
Michele Smith
Rachel Stewart
Ashlee Elizabeth Stutsrim
Olga Varechtchouk
Kathleen Wood

Dr. Avery Ellis Memorial Award
For work advancing the curriculum or implementing a new and lasting school initiative
Steven James Gangloff

Dr. James Goldinger Curriculum Leadership Award
Leadership, enthusiasm and a dedication to teaching
William Stendardi

Ester Ponce Grimaldi, MD Memorial Award
Demonstrated compassion for patients in primary care
Janelle Duah

Maimonides Medical Society Award
Scholarship, ability to teach and efforts to make the world a better place
Ebrahim Mirakhor

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

Merck Academic Excellence Awards
Outstanding academics coupled with noteworthy humanism and leadership
Sarah Belliotti
Michael Robert Bisogno
Gilad Maurice Jaffe

National Medical Association Award
Excellence in scholarship, leadership and commitment to community service
Chinelo Ogbudinkpa

John Paroski, MD Memorial Award
Compassion and excellence in patient care
Jimmy Mullally
Emilie Powers O’Neill

Philip P. Sang Memorial Award
Ability to relate well to patients, faculty and staff
Kristopher Philip Clark

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
Taryn Spencer

Elizabeth Award
Unusual compassion and a noteworthy personal and professional sense of integrity and ethics
William Stendardi

Bernhardt and Sophie Gottlieb Award
Expertise in areas outside medicine
Steven James Gangloff
Abdul-Haseeb Sheikh

Colonel and Mrs. Robert C. M. Liu Award
Commitment to the U.S. military through family or personal service
Brandon Michael Bilka

Medical Alumni Association Award
Outstanding community service and commitment
Chelsey Catherine Ciambella
Lauren Jepson

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

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Exemplary compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of care
Sarah Riley

James Platt White Society Award
Foresight, intellectual vigor and moral courage
Steven James Gangloff

Latin Honors

Summa Cum Laude

  • Colin Begy
  • Kristopher Philip Clark
  • Ross F. Cole
  • Joshua Cox
  • Soroush Farnoosh
  • Stephen Duncan Haight
  • Gilad Maurice Jaffe
  • Richard Howard Law
  • Nethra Kumar Madurai
  • Amanda Morrison
  • Vincent Paul Moscato
  • Jimmy Mullally
  • Emilie Powers O'Neill
  • Kate Raiti-Palazzolo
  • Michele Smith
  • Jason Benjamin Smoak
  • William Stendardi
  • Ashlee Elizabeth Stutsrim
  • Kathleen Wood

Magna Cum Laude

  • Kristen Bennett
  • Jeanette Lynn Epstein
  • Megan E. Gaugler
  • Faizi Mohaimen Hai
  • Ryan Hartman
  • Mandy Hei-Man Ma
  • Paul F. McBride
  • Theresa Neiderer
  • Nathan Paul Olszewski
  • John Michael Pinski
  • Sarah Riley
  • Ethan Samuel Rosenfeld
  • Rachel Stewart
  • Olga Varechtchouk

Cum Laude

  • Lindsay Carlson
  • Chelsey Catherine Ciambella
  • Joss Chanin Cohen
  • Alex Dinh
  • Patrick Adrian Donohue
  • Janelle Duah
  • Richard Dubois
  • Thomas Harvey
  • Max Jacobson
  • Eric Edward Kaczor
  • Thomas Krier
  • Ebrahim Mirakhor
  • Michael Travis O’Leary
  • Jamie A. Ott
  • Nora Allen Proops
  • James Shea
  • Guneet Singh
  • Allison Yu