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Hundreds Celebrate College of Medicine Graduation and Honors

WASHINGTON (May 7) — Parents, families and friends cheered, and faculty and students were honored as scores of Howard University College of Medicine graduates received their hard-earned medical degrees and took the Hippocratic Oath in Cramton Auditorium on Howard’s campus.

Class valedictorian Menarvia K.C. Nixon was the star of the morning’s proceedings, collecting 10 awards, seven for having the highest scholastic average of the class.

They included the Grafton Rayner and Edna Spriggs Browne Award, the Michael Oliver Dumas Prize, the Howard University Medical Alumni Association Alumni Award, the Dr. M. Wharton Young Prize, the O. Anthony Ogundipe, M.D., Endowed Academic Achievement Award, the Merck Manual Award and the American Medical Women’s Association’s Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement.

Nixon also received the Dr. John L. Townsend Award for the highest score on the National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination in Medicine, the Department of Neurology Award for the highest grades in neurosciences and the Department of Pathology’s Robert S. Jason Memorial Award.

Graduate Mariel Ames Kerr also picked up an armful of awards.

Her eight awards included the Merck Manual Award, the American Medical Women’s Association’s Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation for Academic Achievement, Admissions Office Service Award, Raymond P. Jackson Award, the Department Of Community and Family Medicine’s, Dr. Joseph J. Nidiry Family Medicine Clerkship Award, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Award for Second Highest Clerkship Grade in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ Charles Prudhomme, M.D. Award and a Department of Radiology Award.

A number of College of Medicine graduates also received multiple awards, including:

Raolat Mosunmola Abdulai, key founder of the College of Medicine’s free clinic, who received the Dr. Percy O. Batipps Jr. Achievement Award, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation, the Department of Medicine’s Dr. W. Lester Henry Jr. Award and the Department Of Obstetrics And Gynecology Certificate for Outstanding Performance in Obstetrics and Gynecology;

Elliot Amponsah Asare, who received the Outstanding Performance in Obstetrics and Gynecology Certificate from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Department of Radiology Award and the Dr. Avram Cooperman Prize from the Department of Surgery;

Umar Bowers, who received the Dr. Emile C. Nash Award, the Admissions Office Service Award, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation and the Dr. Charles H. Kelley Award;

Angelle Avian Denise Brebnor, who received the Howard University Medical Alumni Association’s Pioneer Award, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation, Department of Medicine Departmental Award, the Leroy R. Weekes, M.D., Clinical Award in Obstetrics and Gynecology;

Kerry-Ann Cadogan, who received the Department Of Anatomy’s Dr. W. Montague Cobb Prize for Excellence in Anatomy, the Department Of Medicine’s award for Outstanding Female Student in Medicine, the Department of Surgery’s Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Award;

Jacques Dorcé Jr., who received the Dean’s Alpha Omega Alpha Award for Professionalism, the Raymond P. Jackson Award and the Department Of Pathology’s Robert S. Jason Award;

Shakir Étienne-Toussaint Emel, who received the Dean’s Alpha Omega Alpha Award For Professionalism, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation and the Dr. Charles H. Kelley Award;

Giuliana Patricia Genge, who received the Merck Manual Award, the Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation for Academic Achievement, the Admissions Office Service Award, the Normal Lee Award and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology awards for Highest Clerkship Grade and Highest Score on the Special Board National Board Clerkship Examination;

Kito Akin Obasi Lord, who received the Howard University Medical Alumni Association’s Pioneer Award, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation and MedSTARS Health Careers Opportunity Program Scholar Award;

Jabari Ian Justin Martin, who received the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Dr. Charles H. Epps, Jr. Prize in Orthopaedic Surgery, The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Walter H. Bradshaw, M.D. Award and the Department of Surgery’s Honorable Mention;

Jessica Abidemi O’Babatunde, who received the American Medical Women’s Association’s Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation for Academic Achievement, the College of Medicine’s Service Citation and the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health’s Bertran F. Cooper, M.D., Class of 1978, Memorial Award;

Kristin Marie Trulear, who received American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Citation for Academic Achievement, the Department Of Anesthesiology’s Clyde W. Jones, M.D., Award. Department of Pediatrics And Child Health Honorable Mention and the Department Of Surgery Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Award

Staff and faculty receiving awards from the 2010 Class were Rozanna J. Aitcheson, financial aid manager; Dr. Dawn L. Cannon, retired associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions; Dr. Bonnie C. Davis, Department of Radiology, Dr. Christopher N. DeGannes, Department of Medicine; Sterling M. Lloyd Jr., special assistant to Dean Robert Taylor, and Dr. Leikidelu Taddese-Heath, Department of Pathology.

Dr. Julie Holland-Hughes, an anesthesiologist and member of the College of Medicine’s 1990 class, gave the graduation address.

She told the students that in all things, put the patients’ needs first.

“Society has entrusted us with its health and well-being, and, with that trust comes a responsibility that is unmatched in other professions,” Holland-Hughes said.

She also assured the students that despite the heated debate regarding health care, one the she and her colleagues endure during President Bill Clinton’s administration, they and their profession will be fine in the future.

“Sure, times are turbulent, as they were years ago,” she said “but everything I know tells me that America is a nation of wise people who, eventually, will come to a sensible way of dealing with health care. And, whatever the ultimate outcome, we as doctors will be fine.”

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