For the first time ever, University of Vermont President Daniel Mark Fogel, PhD, will confer medical degrees upon graduates in the UVM College of Medicine’s Class of 2011 during the school’s Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22, at 2:30 pm in UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel. Marcia Angell, MD, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address.Dean Frederick C. Morin III, M.D., and Melinda Estes, M.D., president and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care, will provide a welcome and President Fogel will present remarks prior to Angell’s address. Senior Associate Dean of Research Ira Bernstein, M.D., will recognize the 14 Graduate College students earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and Associate Dean of Student Affairs G. Scott Waterman, M.D., will announce Class of 2011 awards and honors. Following remarks from Class of 2011 student Ari Garber, Ed.D., Fogel will confer an honorary degree, as well as the medical degrees upon 110 members of the Class of 2011.Below are snapshots of some of the Class of 2011’s soon-to-be-doctors:â ¢ Taking action to bring about change is medical student Matthew Meyer’s motto. A Shelburne, Vt., native, Champlain Valley Union High School and Middlebury College graduate, he served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania before enrolling in medical school. As a first-year student, Meyer co-founded the College of Medicine Marathon Team ‘ a group of Vermont City Marathon runners who fundraise for pediatric cancer research ‘ and later organized health care policy forums with Vermont candidates. Fresh from completing a two-month Centers for Disease Control-Hubert Fellowship spent coordinating tuberculosis surveillance in Kenya and East Africa, Meyer counts seeing “my first birth and death and participating in my first surgery and code” among his best med school educational experiences. He will serve a surgical residency at Brown University.â ¢ Barre, Vt., native Alan Frascoia came from a long-line of stone cutters and worked in the granite industry as a sculptor himself before switching gears to medicine, volunteering at the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic in his hometown, and completing a post-baccalaureate premedical program at UVM prior to enrolling. Fast-forward four years and Frascoia is now readying himself for life on a different coast as a psychiatry resident at Los Angeles, Calif.-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.â ¢ A UVM undergraduate molecular genetics major, Michelle Shepard, Ph.D., of Hardwick, Vt., didn’t expect her career path to lead to pediatrics when she enrolled at the UVM College of Medicine. One of five M.D.-Ph.D. students who will receive their medical degrees on May 22, she studied the immune system during pregnancy for her doctoral thesis and expected to go into obstetrics/gynecology (Ob/Gyn). Two critical clinical experiences ‘ one in Ob/Gyn and an Acting Internship in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ‘ led to a new-found interest in the miracle of birth and child development. Shepard, who hopes to do a genetics fellowship after her residency, will complete a residency at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, Angell trained in both internal medicine and anatomic pathology and is a board-certified pathologist. She joined the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979, became executive editor in 1988, and editor-in-chief in 1999. A frequent contributor to professional journals and the popular media on a wide range of topics, particularly medical ethics, health policy, the nature of medical evidence, the interface of medicine and the law, and care at the end of life, Angell is the author of Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case (W. W. Norton & Company, 1996), The Truth about the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do about It (Random House, 2005), and a co-author of the first three editions of the textbook Basic Pathology. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 1997, Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential Americans.President Fogel will confer an honorary Doctor of Science degree to a family member of the late Thomas Sullivan, M.D., an alumnus from the College of Medicine’s Class of 1966, in recognition of his relentless passion for improving health care and health education and his transformative gifts in support of the education he valued so greatly.Faculty members William Raszka, M.D., professor of pediatrics, course director of Attacks and Defenses, and Class of 2011 Foundations Teacher of the Year, and William Hopkins, M.D., associate professor of medicine, course director of Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Systems, and Class of 2011 Clinical Teacher of the Year, as well as Dr. Estes, will participate in hooding the graduates. In addition, some students will be hooded by their faculty mentors. College of Medicine graduates will take their professional oath at the conclusion of the degree-conferring portion of the ceremony.Beginning in mid-June, these new physicians will begin residencies in a wide range of subspecialties, including emergency medicine (18 students), internal medicine (14 students), pediatrics (14 students), and general surgery (11 students), at teaching hospitals across the country.A webcast of The University College of Medicine Commencement Ceremony will be available online on May 22 at www.med.uvm.edu(link is external). For more information about the College’s Commencement ceremony, visit www.uvm.edu/~cmncmnt/?Page=com.html&SM=submenu1.html(link is external) .###
“Over the last several years, there has been a dramatic rise in Islamophobic hate crimes across the United States and around the world,” Quick wrote. “We want our Muslim community … to know that we work closely with public safety and law enforcement to ensure that everyone in our community is safe.” Over 150 students, faculty and staff attended an interfaith vigil held in commemoration of the terrorist attack on March 14 in Christchurch, New Zealand, which claimed the lives of 49 worshippers celebrating Jumu’ah, a weekly Muslim congregational prayer. The vigil emphasized the need for community, stressing the importance of coming together during times of tragedy. “We are here to know each other, to grow with each other, to love each other, to understand that our differences and our diversity are things that bring us together in a way that makes us a family — a Trojan family, a global family — representing every country in the world, every religion on the planet,” Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni said. The event was hosted by the Muslim Student Union, Interfaith Council, the Office of Religious Life and Ansar Service Partnership, a Muslim community service organization on campus. “I really hope that after this tragedy people will really put forth more of an effort to humanize Muslims and to get to know us and what our faith is — to understand that our faith isn’t about hate or terrorism, but it’s about peace,” Jama said. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims, their families, friends and their nation,” Brake said. “So let us remember — together — the communities of Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.” Soni opened the vigil with a statement about the prevalence of hate crimes directed at religious communities and how the USC community has previously come together to memorialize them. Paarsa Haque, student leader of ASP, read a quote from a rabbi she knew in her community in Memphis about the importance of community. Associate Dean of Religious Life Vanessa Gomez Brake introduced Muslim Student Union members as they read aloud the names of the victims. “[I want us] to be leaders of positivity, to be builders of communities, to be support systems when we are in need, to be light when there seems to be darkness,” Speight said. “When we come together, we say we cannot normalize [mass shootings],” Soni said. “This can’t be normal. This is not the world we want to live in. We stand for something bigger than this.” The event included four stations for students to write messages of support to the mosques targeted in last week’s mass shooting. (Dimple Sarnaaik/Daily Trojan) After a moment of silence was observed, MSU president Zayn Razi told the story of Daoud Nabi, a prominent member of the Islamic community in New Zealand who died shielding a man from the shooter. Awo Jama, a freshman majoring in journalism, said she felt healed by the vigil and hopes the attack in New Zealand spurs change. “‘The cancer of hate will only stop when we stand together in solidarity and love,’” Haque said. “Seeing you all here today reminds us that these situations affect us all and they bring communities together.” “I tell you this story about this man because I want you to know what a real Muslim looks like,” Razi said. “I want you to know what Islam is: Islam is Daoud Nabi.” Director of Muslim Life Jibreel Speight offered a prayer and words of wisdom regarding how students can stand in solidarity with different communities. In a memorandum sent to the USC community on March 15, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs Michael W. Quick wrote that the purpose of the vigil was to support and uplift Muslim communities — both globally and on campus. The Rev. Richard Sunwoo, parish pastor of the Caruso Catholic Center, and Bailey London, executive director of Hillel, offered interfaith support and prayer to the Muslim community. Razi also discussed the way the Muslim community has been misrepresented and how fear and ignorance fuels hate crimes. Four stations were set up at the vigil where attendees could write messages of support to Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, the two mosques targeted in New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting. “If they know us, they have no reason to be afraid, they have no reason to hate,” Razi said. “I know this is a difficult time for you,” Soni said. “Over the last several years, we have seen a dramatic rise in Islamophobic hate crimes in our country and around the world. I want you all to know that this is your home, that this is your family, that you belong here, that we love you and that you’re safe.” “We pray, almighty God, that you restore peace and that you remind us of your love, especially now as our ears grow weary and tired of hearing about bloodshed and injustice,” Sunwoo said. In closing, Soni directly addressed the Muslim students in attendance and reminded them of their value and importance at the University, regardless of acts of Islamophobia that have occurred throughout the world. Speakers at the vigil also encouraged students to engage with the Muslim community during Islam Awareness Week next week.